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How to Boost your Immune System

We all know that you cannot stop yourself from catching a cold, but you can try and avoid it.

Instead of taking cold and flu tablets when you start to feel unwell try and use natural sources to boost your immune system and help fight against any nasty colds or viral infections!

Vitamin C

vitamin C’s helps to protect cells and keeps them healthy and is necessary for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue, which gives support and structure for other tissue and organs and helps wounds to heal. This come form citrus fruits, Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, brussels sprouts and strawberries.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E can be a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection. Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds are all high in vitamin E. So you can snack happy!

Vitamin B6

This vitamin is part of nearly 200 biochemical reactions in your body, so therefore is critical in how your immune system functions. Foods high in vitamin B6 include bananas, lean chicken breast, cold-water fish such as tuna, baked potatoes and chickpeas. Bring on the hummus!

Vitamin A

You have permission to go colourful with your food. Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and squash are all great options and are rich in vitamin A. The body turns  carotenoids the colour part of the food into vitamin A, and they have an antioxidant effect to help strengthen the immune system against infection.

Vitamin D

You can get most vitamins from food, but vitamin D is an exception to that rule. You can increase your intake through foods such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines) but the best source of vitamin D is from sunlight as this is formed under the skin so get out this winter!

Folate/folic acid

Folate/folic acid is the natural form and works together with vitamin B12 to form healthy red blood cells and helps tokeep our central nervous system in order. You get this by adding more beans and peas to your plate on a regular basis, as well as leafy green vegetables.

Iron

Iron helps your body carry oxygen to cells. Your body can more easily absorb this from sources such as lean poultry including chicken, turkey and seafood. If you are a vegetarian you can get other forms of iron in beans, broccoli and kale.

Zinc

You can find zinc in oysters, crab, lean meats and poultry, baked beans (skip the kind with added sugar), yogurt and chickpeas. Zinc appears to help slow down the immune response and control inflammation in your body.

Bonus Tip: When You Can’t Eat Fresh Vegetables or Meat, Eat Frozen!

If you are feeling unwell try the following foods to help you feel better.

Elder Flower

Great for helping respiratory issues or other conditions with mucus and inflammation. Look into elderflower in tea

Ginger

When feeling unwell, you can add sliced ginger to tea or as a gargle for sore throats. Ginger’s natural spiciness can help clear congestion. And breathing in ginger can help clear those nasal passages as well.

Thyme

Thyme is rich in anti­oxidants  which help to support normal body functions. It seems to have a positive effect on the glandular system as a whole and has antiseptic and anti-microbial qualities which helps settle chesty coughs.

Garlic

N atural antibiotic with many healing properties. Anti-viral and anti-fungal. Try take it raw as cooking it reduces some of its therapeutic value.

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