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LETS UP THE IMMUNE!

In light of current events here are some guidelines to up your immune defence!



The Immune system….


Firstly, let’s quickly touch on our immune system and all its glory.

We have two main branches of the immune system: innate (non-specific) and acquired (adaptive) immunity.

Innate immunity is our first line of defence, it consists of physical and chemical barriers that are constantly working for us and protecting us against pathogens we touch and eat (Consists of: our skin and lining of respiratory system and digestive system)

The Innate immune system is required to activate our adaptive immune system…


The adaptive immune system responds to pathogens through antibodies that initiate attack and destruction of pathogenic invaders.


Now let’s talk upping our immune response…


There is plenty of evidence surrounding nutritional support for our immune system. So here are the best of the bunch and where they can be found:


Vitamin C:

Supporting both branches of immunity this gangster nutrient scavenges free radicals, enhances the immune response, supports cellular integrity and assists in the regeneration of vitamin E.

Found in: Red capsicum, broccoli, kiwi fruit, strawberry (all berries), tomatoes, lemons, pineapple.

Action: Key electron donor and thus a great antioxidant, wound healing and collagen forming, adrenal support, transporter of iron and folate.


Vitamin E:

A fat soluble vitamin, vitamin E is a key protector of our cells!

Found in: Olive oil, avocado, eggs and fatty fish Action: Regulates oxidation, protects cell membranes, supports immune function and increases resistance to viral and bacterial infections.


Beta-carotene:

The precursor for Vitamin A and major antioxidant.

Found in: Green and yellow fruits and vegetables, eggs, sweet potato, pumpkin

Action: Vitamin A supports our first line of defence in our lining cells (respiratory and digestive) enhancing immune cells and supporting immune competence.


Selenium:

Selenium deficiency is linked to impaired immune function.

Found in: Brazil nuts, shellfish, eggs, molasses.

Action: Immune stimulant, antioxidant.


Zinc:

Critical for the maintenance of immune function and hormonal production.

Found in: pumpkin seeds, oysters, sesame seeds, oats, walnuts

Action: Reduces the replication of viruses, assist in collagen repair, wound healing, HCL production, reduces intestinal permeability.


N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC):

The precursor of glutathione- our all time antioxidant!

Found in: Meat, wheat germ, eggs, legumes.

Action: Lung health and healing, liver detoxification, lessens muscle fatigue.


Quercetin:

A pigment that is found in fruit and vegetables.

Found in: Onions, kale, broccoli, berries, tea.

Action: Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antioxidant, prevents replication of some viruses.


What is an antioxidant you say…


Antioxidants protect us from the damage of free radicals. Cellular damage occurs when high levels of free radicals accumulate (this causes oxidation: hence anti-oxidant).

A diet high in antioxidants reduces the risk of oxidative stress and protects against disease!

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BHSc Nutritional Medicine

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