Cold and Flu season is upon us and it’s at this time that everyone wishes they had a stronger immune system. While we amass many antibodies as children there are several ways we can improve our immune system without getting injections.
A quick scan of the discussion in the fitness industry around nutrition and diet reveals the subject of MACROnutrients is everywhere. While the macronutrients of protein, fat, and carbohydrate are important in a weight loss/gain discussion, a more beneficial discussion around MICROnutrients should be more prevalent.
Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that are in the macronutrients that make up our food. These micronutrients are the foundation of a healthy immune system. To boost your immune system we recommend getting a variety of vitamins and minerals by eating various sources of meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some fruit.
Mix it up and eat different kinds of foods. This will help ensure your body is getting all the micronutrients it needs and keeps your immune system in tip top shape.
If washing your hands is the first line of defense in keeping bacteria out of your body. The health of your gastro intestinal tract is the first line of defense once bacteria enters your body. Keeping your gut healthy will dramatically improve your body’s ability to fight of invading bacteria.
One of the main reasons we suggest eating varying sources of meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and some fruit is that they are helpful in keeping our organs running well. Foods outside of these recommendations can lead to “leaky gut” or micro holes in your GI tract which can allow bacteria to pass through into your body.
Another important aspect to keeping your gut healthy is adding fermented foods to your diet. An entire other post could be written about how and why fermented foods are good for your gut health but for the sake of brevity here I’ll keep it short. Add foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha (without added sugar) to your daily food intake.
Become More Resilient
Make yourself harder to kill. Train hard. Run sprints, lift heavy weights, cary objects over distances. Putting your body under regular physical stress elicits a response that prepares your body for more stress. This means that when your body is faced with a foreign bacteria it will be better equipped to destroy it.
Making small improvements in your diet and adding some strenuous exercise to your routine can go a long way in keeping you healthy all year round. Then you can continue to enjoy life while everyone else is sniffling around you.
Now go move better.