Nourish - Immunity Support
How the Immune System Works
The immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs, that together help to protect the body by fighting infections and other diseases. When germs such as viruses or bacteria enter the body, they attack and multiply. The immune system protects against illnesses by fighting off the pathogens that cause them. The lymphatic system, which includes the tonsils and lymph nodes, as well as white blood cells are one of the keys ways our immune system fights infection. If the immune system is compromised due to imbalanced diet, stress, or lack of sleep, we can become more susceptible to common infections such as colds and flu.
The colder seasons present a greater challenge for our immune systems to fight infection. The combination of the cool, dry weather – favourable conditions for a virus to thrive – and a lower absorption of vitamin D due to lack of sun exposure, leaves our bodies susceptible to a host of infections. The immune system works tirelessly to fight off pathogens, but this time of year we can all benefit from giving it a helping hand. Three supplements that work together to help support immunity are vitamin D, zinc, and vitamin C.
Vitamin D AKA “the sunshine vitamin” is synthesised on the skin in response to sunlight. Vitamin D is required to maintain healthy immune function, however it is often a nutrient that people can become deficient in, particularly in Ireland due to low levels of year-round sunshine. Therefore, the HSE advice is to supplement Vitamin D3 a few times per year to avoid deficiencies. BetterYou Dlux Vitamin D 3000 provides your daily dose of vitamin D in one spray.
Vitamin C supports the immune system to attack pathogens, protect cells, and reduce inflammation. Natural sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, green vegetables, and berries such as strawberries, cranberries and goji berries. Vitamin C levels are lowered during times of infection and supplementing after a virus may be beneficial. Solgar Ester-C Plus provides a complex of vitamin C, essential minerals, and vitamin C metabolites in one daily capsule.
Zinc is essential for good health and plays an important role in immune system function. It affects how our cells respond to infections, and can help keep inflammation under control.
Our bodies cannot make zinc so we need to get it from our food. You can find it in legumes, wholefoods, nuts and seeds, and shellfish. Solgar Zinc Picolinate is a highly absorbable form of this mineral.
The gut microbiota has the largest number of bacteria and the greatest number of species compared to other areas of the body. The gut houses 70% of the immune system. An imbalance in gut flora can result in susceptibility to more infections like colds and flu. Fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, and kombucha are great sources of gut-friendly bacteria, along with cheeses and yogurt. Optibac Every Day capsules help to maintain overall digestive health, immunity and energy levels.