Written and Edited by: Nature’s Superfoods Team
The immune system plays a vital role in protecting your body from any harmful substances and disease-causing sources. From bacteria to abnormal cellular changes, it works overtime to keep our bodies in a functional state. Consisting of two subsystems – adaptive and innate – the former is something that can be “trained” to elicit the necessary immune responses so that our body is optimised to fight off any harm. Of all the things we can do to boost our immune system, nutrition is a key factor that contributes to immune fitness. We cover some of the foods and vitamins that are known to boost our immune system, as well as other tips to consider to improve our immune health.
1. Dietary Tip: To Consume ENOUGH whole-food Vitamin C
There is no doubt that vitamins can help boost the immune system. Of all the vitamins, Vitamin C is an essential vitamin to have in your diet as it results in the proper functioning of immune cells. Vitamin C is an antioxidant needed to produce collagen in the skin, strengthen the immune system and fight viral infections. Even though Vitamin C is highly concentrated in immune cells in the body, it is rapidly depleted during a viral infection. Hence, consuming enough Vitamin C regularly is important to boost the immune system and reduce the severity as well as the duration of illnesses such as common colds. Vitamin C comes in two forms: natural whole food form or synthetic form. The synthetic forms of Vitamin C are not always used in formulas at the exact pH levels required to effect change in the body. On the other hand, natural wholefood sources of Vitamin C are bio-available as they are readily absorbed and processed by the body.
A great example of a whole-food high in Vitamin C is the Camu-Camu Berry Powder. Amongst all fruits, the Camu-Camu Berry has the highest Vitamin C content. To put things in perspective, it has 10-30 x more Vitamin C than oranges by weight. Nature’s Superfoods Camu-Camu Berry Powder is made from only pulp and skin (without the seeds), unlike cheaper versions of Camu-Camu Berry Powder including the seeds. Hence, this high-quality Camu-Camu Berry Powder available in such organic food stores in Singapore contains a range of 7-10% Vitamin C, which is one of the highest among all fruits. Just 1 teaspoon a day is enough to meet a healthy adult’s daily requirement of Vitamin C and keep the common cold and viruses at bay.
Not sure how to incorporate this wonderful source of Vitamin C into your diet and help boost your immune system? Consuming Camu-Camu Berry Powder could not be easier! Try our quick, easy, hassle-free, and not to mention delicious Camu-Camu orange juice recipe.
2. Fitness Tip: To Engage in Regular Physical Activity
If you are looking into how to boost the immune system naturally, one of the safe and effective ways to prevent the cold and flu, regular physical activity may be your answer. Regular exercise is known to improve overall well-being. From improving cardiovascular health to protecting your body from a variety of diseases, just like a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity can boost the immune system, which is the body’s defence against infections. Physical activity is known to help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. Moreover, it causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells which are responsible for fighting diseases. Also, exercise reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Since more studies are being done to demonstrate the correlation between stress and immune function, reducing stress is one of the ways to indirectly boost your immune system naturally.
It is important to note that exercise is an effective tip to follow to strengthen the immune system and to prevent the common cold. However, if you are already down with the cold and your immune system is already weak, it is probably best to put strenuous activities on hold as insufficient rest increases your vulnerability to cold.
3. Lifestyle Tip: To Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking fluids is important when trying to prevent the common cold and flu. Even though water is the go-to option to stay hydrated, other fluids such as hot tea, fresh juice, and even hot soups are great ways to stay hydrated, especially if you have a fever. Fluids are known to loosen congestion in the nasal passages and chest so that breathing is good. With that said, do avoid caffeine and alcohol as they do the exact opposite, leaving you dehydrated. Moreover, they interfere with your circadian rhythm, thus affecting the sleep and rest needed for recovery