Immune Supporting Foods for Fall - Bruce's Roots
Nutrients that have been demonstrated (in either animal or human studies) to be required for the immune system to function efficiently include essential amino acids, the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, Zn, Cu, Fe and Se. Practically all forms of immunity may be affected by deficiencies in one or more of these nutrients. Animal and human studies have demonstrated that adding the deficient nutrient back to the diet can restore immune function and resistance to infection. Among the nutrients studied most in this regard are vitamin E and Zn. Increasing intakes of some nutrients above habitual and recommended levels can enhance some aspects of immune function. There is increasing evidence that probiotic bacteria improve host immune function. - Calder PC1, Kew S.
Here is a list of my favourite foods to get these immune boosting properties to support immunity this Fall
Important to also focus on water intake, sleep and stress reducing activities.
Choose organic and local when possible:
Lemons: high in the antioxidant Vitamin C, contains some B Vitamins which are great for energy and stress. Lemon also has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Tip: start your day with a slice or two of organic lemon in warm water
Garlic: it's antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. Garlic is high in antioxidants which fight free radical stress in the body. When garlic is crushed or chopped allicin forms, a compound which has many health benefits
Turmeric: there is a reason why this spice has been used for thousands of years in India. Due to curcumin in turmeric, It's a very strong antioxidant, supports the liver, supports the joints and has anti-inflammatory properties. Available for purchase as a root, as a spice (buy spices organic) or buy an elixir mix by Blume.
Vitamin E Rich Foods: Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant. I recommend eating raw nuts, nut butter, seeds and avocado to get your fix
Carrots contain antioxidant vitamin A precursors called carotenoids (Beta carotene) that help promote vision and support a healthy immune system
Ginger: this root has antimicrobial properties, boosts immune function and fights cellular damage
Greens: high in many vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll they also contain fiber which feeds your gut bacteria. Our microbiome impacts the strength of our immune system, mood, digestion and inflammation
Berries: it's not berry season, but I couldn't leave them out! Berries are high in flavanols, an antioxidant that prevents cell damage and support the immune system
Fermented Foods: If we aren't taking a probiotic, we should definitely be getting good bacteria from our food. Examples of fermented food include sauerkraut, kimchi, miso paste, kombucha, tempeh, picked beets. Fermented food must be purchased from the refrigerated section at the grocery store. If they add vinegar to food it's simply pickled and there are no live cultures.
Chaga: this medicinal mushroom with no psychoactive affects known for immune system support. I buy Sun Potion or Four Sigmatic and drink as a beverage. It's caffeine free, but helps with energy due to support the adrenal glands, the organs that are impacted from stress and shift work. When the adrenal glands (often referred to as the HPA axis) are taxed our immune system suffers.
Tea: I drink a lot of tea and I love all different blends. From matcha, to herbal teas, coffee leaf tea to purple tea.. I love it all and each tea is high in different antioxidants. For example, matcha is high in the the amino acid L-theanine. It has been shown to strengthen our immunity, resist or fight off infection, and build up and increase the capacity of gamma delta T cells, the body's first line of defence against infection.
Pranin Organic: As you may know, I love this local company so much. I am so fortunate to be a Pranin Pure Foodie and share why these powders are life changing. It’s obvious they understand health and make that their priority. Each powder is 100% organic, nothing sourced from China, made by a Naturopathic Doctor in Richmond, BC and made from whole foods. I find the best way to consume is to add to your smoothies. Since it’s getting cooler out I suggest not using frozen ingredients and adding warming foods like ginger root and cinnamon. My fav are the chocolate smoothie boosters, oh heck yes to chocolate smoothies.
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Super Maqui: “this purple powder known as Aristotelia chilensis is considered to be the most powerful antioxidant superfruit for being rich in polyphenols, anthocyanins, delphinidins, and other nutrients. According to the USDA's ORAC database, the Chilean fruit contains 7x more antioxidant value than acai berries and 9x more than goji berries. The delphinidins in the Super Maqui™ berry are highly effective at neutralizing free-radicals, which are agents that age the body, helping us combat the symptoms that come with aging, and prevents development of cancer cells” - Super Maqui site with quoted research
Code brucesroots20 for 20% off at Pure Pharmacy!
What’s your favourite immune supporting food? Comment and let us know!
Tip: ensure you are getting adequate Vitamin D as we won't hit our recommended daily intake in the Fall/Winter months. Supplementation of D3 is recommended versus D2 due to absorption benefits. D3 is usually made from lanolin which is from sheep’s wool, but if you’re vegan you can D3 from lichen.
Want a more personal and individualized approach to your health? I love supporting clients one on one in person at the office in Gastown or online. We all thrive differently and I want to honour that by supporting what your body needs.
This post is not sponsored.