Our immune system has to work hard to deal with the various potentially harmful pathogens which we breathe in, consume and touch. Various elements of the immune system will work to neutralise and eliminate them. How can we best support our immune system in doing its job?

How to boost your immune system

Beneficial Bacteria to help you fight off bugs and infections

The first line of defence for the immune system is our skin and digestive tract. Here we have bacteria to help keep sickness at bay. One of the most crucial ways of supporting your immunity is to pay attention to encouraging beneficial bacteria. You can do this by eating foods such as kefir, miso, natural yoghurt, aloe ferox and prebiotic foods such as onions, garlic, bananas, pulses and whole grains. Consider a broad spectrum Probiotic supplement or take a supplement with live cultures see Living Nutrition.

An anti-inflammatory diet to support immune response

Another key factor is inflammation. This is a vital part of immune response and if it is not working properly and is not switching off inflammatory response properly then symptoms can occur such as arthritis. Poor sleep, stress and very low calorie diets and too many foods high in saturated fats like dairy and animal fats can all adversely affect the immune system. Eating a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods such as walnuts, almonds, leafy green vegetables, seeds, olive oil and tomatoes is beneficial.

The immune system needs good nutrition to stay healthy. Not only do you need to have a healthy and balanced diet, but you need to be absorbing and digesting nutrients well, again beneficial bacteria and high fibre foods will help this.

Some foods are especially important in providing the important nutrients and immune support we need.

Super immunity foods: 

  • Nuts, seeds, grains and pulses – these are high in zinc which is anti-inflammatory and is a component of digestive and detoxification enzymes as well as having a role in white blood cell activity. In order to release the zinc from these foods it is good to soak them: this reduces the effects of the phytic acid present. Grains and pulses can be cooked after soaking which shortens cooking time and nuts and seeds can be dehydrated after soaking for a delicious snack; look out for activated nuts and seeds in the health food shops.
  • Fermented foods to encourage beneficial bacteria, have a daily live natural yoghurt.
  • Salads and green leafy vegetables. A daily salad with olive oil dressing, lemon and garlic made from mixed leaves with some raw vegetables and a sprinkling of seeds.
  • Blueberries as a rich source of anti-oxidants including anthocyanidins and polyphenols. They are a great addition to your daily fruit and vegetable intake. They can help to speed up recovery from colds and bugs too.

Superfoods to boost immunity:

Spirulina, Chlorella, Barleygrass and Aloe Ferox juice. These have powerful alkalising and energising properties plus all the essential amino acids for our immune cells and hormones. Aloe Vera enhances nutrient absorption, encourages friendly bacteria and has anti-oxidants and enzymes.

Other immune boosting tips: 

  • Drink water between meals to stay hydrated
  • Avoid foods that cause irritation (dairy, sugar and refined foods)
  • Go to bed early for quality sleep
  • Daily meditation
  • Daily exercise and fresh air