5 Ways to beat a cold

June 07, 2015 0 Comments

image: Pinterest

I get it, this post is so cliché for this time of year, but I have 5 hot little secrets that will help you support your immune system this change in season!

One of my lecturers at university taught us a great way to remember the secrets to optimal immune health. Introducing the 3P’s and 2Z’s.

P. Photosynthesis (aka, sunlight, aka Vitamin D!)
Vitamin D plays a key role in regulating and enhancing the immune system. It can be harder in these cooler months to get outside. Luckily in Australia the sun is still warming (especially in the middle of the day) right through winter. You don’t have to be basking in it for hours, 10-30 minutes/day (preferably around lunch time… think lunch in the sun) is great.
P. Protein
Most people don’t realize the importance of protein for immune function. Protein, at its most basic form, is amino acids. Each of the amino acids has a unique role in the body and serves every cell of your being. This means that adequate protein is required for the cells of your immune system to work. It is recommended that you consume about 0.8-1.0g* of protein per kilo of bodyweight. With this in mind, consider that 1 egg has approximately 6-8g. Are you getting enough?

P. Probiotics
You can find probiotics in any fermented food source. Think yoghurt (we recommend full fat and organic), sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha. Start by consuming one probiotic rich food at least once a day, and build up from there.

Z. Zinc
Zinc is another big player in the immune system that goes completely under the radar. Zinc is so essential to the immune system that science has not yet learnt all of the mechanisms by which it is involved. Foods high in zinc are: sunflower and pumpkin seeds, cashews, kefir and yoghurt, cacao, chickpeas, capsicums, mushrooms, spinach, egg yolk, grassfed beef and lamb, and chicken.

NATUROPATHIC CLUE: Have a look at the outer two fingers and observe your nails. Do you have a white spot/s? If so, you may have a zinc deficiency**

Z. Zzzzzs (yep, sleep!)
It really can be that simple. If you are not having adequate amounts of sleep your immune function decreases. Sleep quantity is personal, but ideally you want to be getting 6-10hrs per night.

*Note depending on your needs (i.e. exercise, pregnancy, lactation) you may require more or less than this quantity. If you are unsure, please consult your GP or health care practitioner.

**This is not a diagnosis. This is simply a diagnostic tool that a Naturopath may use, in conjunction to many other signs and symptoms that may be suggestive of a zinc deficiency.

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