5 nutrients to eat to get immune ready for autumn
Autumn and winter are the ideal times of year for picking up some nasty bugs leading to colds and flu. However, adjusting your diet to include seasonal foods can help you strengthen your immunity and help you become winter ready! Check out these top 5 immunity nutrients!
1) Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps to create healthy mucous membranes. Mucous membranes are designed to provide a protective barrier against viruses in the body, and they line areas such as the lungs, throat, nose and mouth. Vitamin A rich foods are: red meat, eggs, fatty fish (cod liver oil), milk, butter, cream, deep yellow, green and red colored plants, sweet potatoes and carrots.
2) Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps to improve immunity by modulating the cells involved in immune responses. Vitamin C also acts as a free-radical scavenger, which helps to protect cells from damage and reduces inflammation. Found in many fruits and vegetables; it is highest in blackcurrants, sweet green and red peppers, hot red peppers, green chili peppers, oranges and strawberries.
3) Vitamin D
Vitamin D stimulates differentiation and activity of macrophages, a large white blood cell that protects the body against attacks from microscopic foreign bodies. This means the body is more capable of fighting different bacterial and viral agents. Sunlight on your skin increases vitamin D levels in your body. During seasons with less sunlight, we require more vitamin D through foods such as meat, oily fish (cod liver oil), butter, eggs, mushrooms and sprouted seeds.
4) Vitamin E
Vitamin E increases antibody humoral production – the kind of immunity that protects against harmful macromolecules found in bodily fluid. This means that the body is more capable of creating a greater resistance against viral and bacterial infections. Vitamin E foods are cold pressed vegetables oils (wheat germ, nut and seed oil), spinach, kale, sweet potato, egg yolk, liver, soy beans, asparagus, dairy, almonds, hazelnuts and wheat germ.
Zinc is essential for the normal development and function of immune cells and a deficiency leads to an increase in opportunistic infections. Meat, eggs, and seafood are the best sources. Nuts, legumes, whole grains and seeds are a good source when soaked, fermented or sprouted.
Jan Denecke is a clinical nutritionist that practices in the Rozelle clinic. To find out more immune-building tips and solutions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org for his free, A-Z immunity e-book.