Registered nutritionist Eli Brecher takes us through three ways nutrition can support your immune system.
How can nutrition support your immune system?
The immune system protects the body from illnesses and threats like harmful bacteria. Nutrition is essential in supporting the immune system by providing key nutrients, supporting gut health, reducing inflammation and supporting the body in recovery from illness.
Provides key nutrients
Certain vitamins and minerals are essential for the immune system to function properly. Vitamin C, vitamin D and iron are of particular importance. These nutrients help to support the production of immune cells and antibodies and help to regulate the immune response. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, kiwi and bell peppers, while the iron is found in red meat, kidney beans, chickpeas, nuts, dried fruit and dark leafy greens such as spinach.
The best source of vitamin D is the sun, although the UK does not receive enough sunlight to meet our needs in the winter months, so supplementation is advised. Chia Bia Immune Support contains 100% of your recommended intake of vitamin D as well as high levels of vitamin C. Protein is another key nutrient, as amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are used by the immune system during infection and illness to help support recovery.
Supports gut health
With more than 70% of the immune system being located in the digestive tract, it is critical that we look after our gut health. The gut microbiome, comprised of trillions of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and fungi), plays a key role in immune function.
The gut microbiome thrives off diverse fibre-rich plant-based foods, such as fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Add a spoonful of Chia Bia Immune Support to your breakfast to boost your fibre intake, which contains 9.4 grams per 30-gram serving.
Include fermented foods in the diet, such as live yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and miso. These contain probiotics, which are friendly bacteria for gut health. You can also get these live cultures from Chia Bia Immune support, which contains Bacillus coagulans (GanedenBC30). These beneficial bacteria may support digestive health and, in turn, may support the immune system.
Prebiotic-rich foods, such as onions, leeks, slightly underripe bananas, Jerusalem artichokes and oats, are fuel for the probiotic bacteria to feed off, which helps to maintain a healthy gut microbiome and, in turn, supports a healthy immune system. Chicory root is another source of prebiotic fibre and can be found in Chia Bia Gut Health.
The immune system may be weakened by chronic and may become more susceptible to infections and other health problems. To reduce inflammation and support healthy immune function, consume plenty of antioxidant-rich foods such as blueberries, kale, beetroot and spinach, as well as foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect, including oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring), as these are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation.
Chia Bia Immune Support and Chia Bia Gut Health are rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
A balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods is crucial for supporting a strong immune system and promoting overall health. To help support the immune system, stir 30 grams of Chia Bia Immune Support into breakfasts such as yoghurt or porridge, blend it into smoothies or sprinkle it over cereal.