Is it just us or do there seem to be lots of bugs going round at the moment? Whether you’re here in Bali with us (rain, rain go away!), suffering through the Winter cold and flu season in Australia or sunning it up in the European Summer, one thing remains the same….
A good immune system is the cornerstone of health. Last month we looked at sleep and how your sleep hygiene can affect your overall wellbeing and immune system (here if you missed the write up!).
This month we thought we would take a look at how you can use WHOLE FOODS for immunity before reaching for a supplement. We get a lot of requests for vitamins and supplements and while we know they play a part and are thankful for them when we need them for a boost – it’s good to treat them as just that; a booster to help you when you have a gap in your lifestyle that you can’t get from wholefoods and your environment.
The benefits of vitamin C for immunity boosting are very widely known, but did you know that vitamin D also plays a super important role in the functioning of the immune system? We know that sunshine makes us happy – hey that’s why we’re here in Bali right?
Vitamin D is traditionally known to assist with bone density and calcium metabolism – this means that Vit D is needed by your body to help in the absorption of calcium.
But studies now also show that vitamin D deficiencies can lead to a higher susceptibility to infections, viruses and auto-immune disorders. WOW!
This is because vitamin D is actually classified as a hormone and its role is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system.
Vitamin D plays a huge part in regulating how well immune cells can work to fight off pathogens and infections.
Studies also suggest that higher levels of vitamin D can not only help the body produce antimicrobial peptides that can lessen the chance of infections taking hold, but may also lessen their severity if infected.
This is particularly the case with respiratory infections, as Vitamin D assists with enhanced lung function as well. Really great to know if you live in wet, humid conditions like we do here in Bali, or if you’re in areas that are now going into cold and flu season.
Getting enough vitamin D will go a long way in giving your body’s natural immune defenses the best chance of performing at their best and giving you the greatest chance of staying healthy!
Natural sources of vitamin D include getting enough sunlight – but not enough to burn. If you’re not vegan you’re in luck – fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines and egg yolks are great sources of vit D. Mushrooms are also amazing.
Vitamin D levels can be tested if you are really not sure, contact your trusted wellness provider to run a test. If you’re here in Bali you can order these through Peggy at Bali Healing in Canggu or directly through PRODIA.
The supps: If you do need to supplement your vit D intake – we have a good one by Blackmores available in store or online.
FOLATE and your immune system
Otherwise known as the humble Vitamin B9!
(Folate isn’t just important for pregnant women! There are studies that show folate in the first few weeks of an embryo’s life can have a positive effect on the spinal cord and brain development and help to prevent birth defects.)
But – everyone needs this important vitamin! Folate is essential for a healthy immune system and works with good ol’ vitamin B12 to form healthy blood cells. Put simply, It allows cells to divide normally and also play a crucial role in healthy mental well-being!
If you’re low in folate you might have symptoms like memory loss, fatigue, “pins and needles”, mouth ulcers. Low folate has also been linked to those with depression.
Natural sources of Folate or B9 include cauliflower and dark leafy greens. It is also found in beans, lentils, eggs, asparagus, peanuts and oranges.
The supps: If you’re pregnant, feeling low in vit B9, or just know you’re not getting enough leafy greens – we have a great one from Natures Plus available now in store.