As a holistic nutritionist, I have seen first-hand the positive effect that good nutrition can have on immune health - not only for myself and my family but for my clients as well. Eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet can help to boost your immune system, protect against disease and keep you feeling your best.
But are you wondering - where do I start?
In this blog post, I will provide 5 easy ways you can support and boost your immune health, including through our daily nutrition. It is important to note that while food is important, the following advice should not replace the advice of a qualified medical professional.
Alright, let’s dive in…
1. Eat a Variety of Whole Foods
Eating a wide range of whole foods is the best way to get a variety of vitamins and nutrients that are essential for boosting your immune health. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds in your diet.
Whole foods provide the best nutrition for your immune system because you cut out all the preservatives and chemicals you would find in processed and packaged food. Aim for a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help to support your immune system.
Need some recipe inspiration for healthy meals to make for your family? Grab my Free 7 Day Meal Plan to help you start incorporating more whole foods into your family’s daily nutrition so you can rely less on the processed foods that may suppress their immune system.
2. Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods as much as Possible
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one since you would assume that by eating more whole foods, you decrease your intake of processed foods. Processed foods are often high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and preservatives, all of which can weaken your immune system. Aim to limit your intake of processed foods, such as chips, crackers, and sugary snacks. Additionally, eating too much sugar can weaken your immune system and can increase your risk of getting sick. One of the biggest culprits for children’s sugar intake is through their beverages so avoid sugary sodas, juices and other sports drinks and get them sipping on water!
3. Add Immune-Boosting Foods
Certain foods can help boost your immune system. Examples include dark leafy greens and berries. Try to incorporate these foods into your diet on a regular basis to get the most benefit. Herbs and spices are another great way to add flavor to your meals and also boost your immune system. Ginger, turmeric, and garlic are all known for their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Try adding these to soups, stir-fries, or smoothies.
4. Get Enough Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for healthy immune function. It helps to reduce inflammation, boost the production of white blood cells, and protect against infection. Foods that are high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
5. Prioritize Getting an Adequate Amount of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for your overall health and can also help boost your immune system. Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, while children should get 10-12 depending on their age.
Making it a point to follow these tips during the winter months can help boost your immune health and let’s face it - all of these lifestyle changes can only improve your overall quality of life! Some of these tips overlap with a previous blog post where I discuss my Top 10 Tips for Prioritizing Your Health in the New Year. Go check it out and once you start making these changes, you’ll realize we have so much control over our general health through our lifestyle. If we make healthy habits a priority, then our health can only benefit!
So be sure to eat a variety of whole foods, cut back on sugar, add immune-boosting foods, avoid processed foods, and get enough sleep to ensure you stay healthy and strong all year round!
Wishing you health and wellness,