How can I keep my immune system strong?
We spoke to Nutritional Therapist - Gillian Cruickshank to answer this question.
"The importance of Vitamin C can not be stressed enough. Interestingly humans, other primates and guinea pigs can not make vitamin C inside the body. All other mammals, birds and possibly fish make their own .
The reason for this is unknown although it is theorised that a genetic mutation occurred a very long time ago possibly caused by a virus.
This would make sense as the cells that require the most ascorbic acid (vit C) are the immune cells which are of course the army of cells which identify, hunt down and kill viruses and bacteria.
The best form of Vitamin C is Liposomal vitamin C. Liposomal vitamin C is ascorbic acid which has been encapsulated inside a lipid (fat). The benefits of this are that the vit C gets delivered directly to cells and massively increases the availability and high doses can be taken without causing digestive system upset.
I have attached a short video explaining.
A fighting fit immune system is imperative. Here is a list of other nutrients and ingredients to support the immune system.
Vitamin D – get some daily rays or a supplement at least 1000iu’s a day with vitamin K2. In this country we cannot get enough vitamin D from the sun between September and May because of the suns position and lack of strength.
Zinc – meat, shellfish, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, milk, chickpeas (hummus)
Selenium – Best source is Brazil nuts, 6 to 10 a week, no more as they are very high. Also cashews, peanuts, broccoli, butter, eggs, garlic (human breast milk) onion, oats, seeds, turkey, chicken.
Vitamin A – butter, eggs, fish, green leafy veg, cheese, spinach, sweet potato, carrots. High in red, orange, yellow fruits and veg.
Quercitrin – Apples eat the skin, its true an apple a day will keep the doctor away, green tea, broccoli, cauliflower, capers, citrus, garlic, red onion, tomato.
Black Elderberry or Cherry Active available from Holland and Barratt. Expensive but worth it for incredible benefits.
Echinacea and olive leaf extract as supplements.
A few days before flying or being in other confined spaces dose up on vitamin C, zinc, echinacea and Brazil nuts.
Saunas are also very beneficial. The way the body reacts to viruses is to increase body temperature and create a fever. Viruses are killed by the heat but not the cells of the body, it is however a fine line. So regular saunas raise internal body temperature in a controlled way helping the body keep viruses at bay, they have numerous beneficial effects. A far infrared sauna is the best."