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Top nutrients for optimal immune function

With the current state the world is in there has never been a better time to get your immune system on point. What many people don’t understand about nutrition is that the body needs certain micronutrients to effectively carry out daily bodily processes. The immune system like every other system in the body has nutrient requirements and nutrient cofactors (something necessary for these processes to take place).

Girl with a cold blowing her nose
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What needs to be asked is are there any reasons or factors, internal or external that may be dampening a normal immune response? For example, smoking can cause an increase in nutrient requirements (B vitamins, vitamin C and others) to carry out daily processes compared to non-smokers. As well as the fact that smoking is a damaging the respiratory system which REALLY, really needs to be functioning at 100% at the moment to protect yourself from airborne pathogens. Excess sugar consumption can also impair the immune system, around 100g of sugar consumed, can temporarily impair vitamin C absorption as well as suppress the immune system for up to 6 hours. Maybe think twice about that glass of juice with your breakfast or the sugary drink with lunch… In terms of juice, it’s better to eat the whole fruit as there’s a lot more to benefit from in the rest of the fruit too (think fibre). Drinking too much alcohol can also suppress the immune system, as well as damage the gut barrier and the intestinal lining – making it harder for your body to absorb nutrients from your food.

"...around 100g of sugar consumed, can temporarily impair vitamin C absorption as well as suppress the immune system for up to 6 hours"

Orange tree full of oranges and vitamin C

Having said this, the main nutrients you should take note of for immune function are;

Immune boosting fresh food, fruits and vegetables

These are just some of the nutrients you really want to increase in your diet at the moment. This combined with good hand hygiene, common sense, getting enough exercise, fresh air and sunlight are all pieces of the puzzle. If you want help putting these pieces together in a way that works for you as an individual, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment. We are now also doing online (skype/zoom) consults for those who sensibly want to keep their distance from other people.

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