HOW TO SUPPORT A HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM THROUGH FOOD?

WHAT DOES OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM DO?

The major function of our immune system is to stop or slow down infection.

The immune system differentiates from healthy cells and unhealthy cells, which identify various unwanted pathogens, which are signals that are DAMPs (danger associated molecule patterns). Cells can be open from a damaged cell which can be caused by non-pathogens. (NIH, Allergy, Infection and Disease. 2013.)

Infected pathogens, like bacteria and viruses are set off by the signals which are recognized by the immune system they are PAMPs (pathogen associated molecular patterns.) (NIH, Allergy, Infection and Disease. 2013.)

 Immune cell are precursors which are stored in the bone marrow and regenerated into mature cells these happen in all different areas of the body, which includes skin, bone marrow, bloodstream, thymus and lymphatic system, lymph nodes, spleen and mucosal tissue. (NIH, Allergy, Infection and Disease. 2013.)

 

WHAT DOES THE LYMPATHIC SYSTEM HAVE ON OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?

 The three main functions of the lymph system include:

 The lymph vessels help’s drain interstitial fluid out of the tissues and delivering back to the blood, it maintains blood circulation volume, it supports our cardiovascular system.

 Transportation of dietary lipids, the lymph vessels deliver lipid soluble vitamins, and are taken in by the GI tract.

They carry immune responses. The specialised lymph tissues are highly specialised in determining and defending the body against disease causing pathogens. (Tortora & Derrickson.)

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BACTERIAL AND VIRAL?

Bacteria are complicated single cell microbes with a rubber membrane, they reproduce by themselves, and survive in many environments. Most are harmless, some are beneficial, they can spread and cause infections, the bacteria infection is easier to detect than viruses, which can be detected via blood tests and sampling etc, and can be treated successfully mostly with antibiotics.

Viruses are much smaller they have a protein protection and selective DNA or RNA are attached they cannot live without a host, unlike bacteria. They in turn attach to cells and reproduces, which producers more virus cells until they die. Some can cause normal cells into malignant cells. Viruses don’t respond to antibiotics, supporting a strong and healthy immune system it most important.

 

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INNATE AND ADAPTIVE IMMUNITY?

The immune system has two types of immunity, innate and adaptive immunity, they are separated they do connect and overlap which provide defensive capabilities.

Innate has no memory, their defence are immediate or in hours of the antigen making contact, it is activated by a chemical response of the antigen.

 Adaptive immunity is antigen specific it must process the antigen to recognise it, an array of defenders, attack the foreign antigen after they process it.

Allergies would be an adaptive response, they are hypersensitive reactions which stem from abnormal responses from the immune system, these make contact on mast cells call IgEs, an release histamine which causes an inflammatory response on these cells, example, hay fever, eczema etc. (Merck Manual. Consumer Version.)

 

 

HOW TO BUILD UP A HEATHY IMMUNE SYSTEM THROUGH FOOD?

When it comes to preventing illness, most people know their immune system is important, but might be confused about how to support it.

As a nutritionist eating the right foods which contain important nutrients, a healthy gut microbiome, looking at environmental factors, and minimising stress level, plays a big part in  boosting our immune system in staying healthy.

Sometimes supplements maybe necessary for people who are not getting sufficient nutrients, who have poor gut function, and have other underlining issues that maybe needed to address to help for short periods of time but supplementing they can be expensive.

In the current climate we are all facing, and spending more time at home,  our budgets stretched. This can be an ideal time to learn how to prepare healthy foods in your kitchens, not only to boost your immune system but for the future.

Here are five key nutrients that will help boost and support your immune system which you can get our foods:

1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a powerful anti-oxidant with a critical role in enhancing immune function. This micronutrient is involved in cellular immune response and provides enhanced defence against multiple infectious diseases.(1)

Vitamin A is found in bright orange and yellow foods like sweet potato, mango, carrots, capsicum, and dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli.

 

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is probably the most well-known anti-oxidant, and thousands of people take high-dose supplements with hopes of "boosting" their immune system. However, research shows that vitamin C from food at a dose of 100 mg to 200 mg per day is effective at preventing respiratory infections.(2)

Did you know that following foods can provides an average of 500 mg per day of vitamin C from whole food sources like strawberries, cauliflower, capsicum, mango, and grapefruit.

3. Vitamin E

Vitamin E plays an important role in immune function and supplementation has even been shown to reduce respiratory infection in the elderly.(3) Most typical diets do not provide adequate vitamin E, but deficiency symptoms can be subtle so individuals may not know if they are deficient.(4)

Rather than relying on supplements, deficiency can be prevented through adequate dietary intake of foods like nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and plant-based oils as a way to keep the immune system functioning optimally. One of the reasons we see a significant decline in cellular immunity with aging could be due to inadequate intake of anti-oxidants like vitamin E. Diets high in vitamin E naturally improve cellular immunity, even without supplementation.(5)

4. Selenium

Selenium is an essential mineral that acts as a powerful anti-oxidant. Adequate dietary selenium is required for the function of almost every arm of the immune system, so falling short can have serious consequences when it comes to fighting infections.(6)

Brazil nuts are extremely high in selenium, but can easily exceed the daily upper limit and cause toxicity if eaten frequently. Sardines are an excellent source of selenium that can be eaten more frequently and provide anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats which also have beneficial effects on the immune system.

5. Zinc

Like selenium, zinc is an essential mineral critical for immune function. Even mild to moderate zinc deficiency can impair immune function and increase risk of respiratory infections, so adequate dietary zinc should be emphasized for anyone looking to protect their immune system.(7)

Zinc is found in whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and meat so eating a diet high in whole foods is key to getting enough zinc. Like vitamin C, zinc supplements are popular for immunity, but helping your clients keep zinc levels adequate through diet means supplements won’t be needed to reverse a deficiency later on.

 

6. Vitamin D

Vitamin D not only maintains our calcium levels, by depositing calcium from our blood to the skeletal bones which enhances mineralization, it also plays a critical role in many cellular tissues in fat digestion and absorption, function of the kidneys, liver, and pancreas, but most importantly, also disrupts unwanted viral and bacterial pathogens that are present in our system, which supports our innate immune system.

There are some foods which contain a reasonable amount of vitamin D, which are oily fish, cod, wild caught salmon, dairy, sprouted seeds.

So, enjoy the sunshine when you can, soak up those marvellous rays, 20 minutes a day sitting in the sun is the best medicine!

 

Welcome To My  Immune Support Programmes

I have just released my Immune Support Programmes these programmes focus on key nutrients for support our immunity with delicious food you can make for from home.

You can download for FREE a 5 Day Immune Boosting Support Plan, this is a good starter plan, and will give you a taste of how my Immune Support Programme works.

A second Immune Support Programmes is a bigger programme which is “Boosting Your Immune System 7 Day Programme” which is a full 7 day guide with added snacks and more meals. This programme is available at cost of $29.

If a structured plan is not your thing, and would prefer a recipe book that you can pick and choose what you would like to cook. 

You can download my e Recipe Book “How to Boost Your Immune System Recipe Book Naturally”, which covers 20 delicious recipes for you to try. The e-recipe book is available at a cost of $25.

The beauty of these Immune Support Programmes I am able to put together special customised programmes that are specific to your individualised or dietary needs, they can be done online via email.  A special nutrition planning form will be sent for you to fill out.  The cost of these customised plans, start from $89.

To purchase my Immune Supporting Programmes you can find them to purchase under my PRODUCTS.

PERSONALISED IMMUNE SUPPORTING PROGRAMMES

The beauty of these Immune Support Programmes I am able to put together special customised programmes that are specific to your individualised or dietary needs, they can be done online via email.  A special nutrition planning form will be sent for you to fill out.  The cost of these customised plans, start from $89.

To access a personalised programme you can do under my SERVICE AND BOOKING TAB.