Registered Nutritionist Eli Brecher takes us through 3 ways in which nutrition can support your immune system
How can nutrition support your immune system?
The immune system works to protect the body from illnesses and potential threats such as harmful bacteria. Nutrition plays an essential role when it comes to supporting the immune system, by providing key nutrients, supporting gut health, reducing inflammation and supporting the body to recover 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 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 and 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 in the immune system during infection and illness to help support recovery.
2. Supports gut health
With more than 70 per cent of the immune system being located in the digestive tract, it is critical that we look after our gut health. The gut microbiome, which is made up of trillions of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and fungi), plays a key role in immune function. The gut microbiome thrives off a diverse range of fibre-rich plant-based foods, such as fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. For an easy way to boost your fibre intake, try adding a spoonful of Chia Bia Immune Support to your breakfast, which contains 9.4 grams of fibre per 30 gram serving.
Include fermented foods in the diet, such as live yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and miso. These contain probiotics, which are the friendly bacteria that are great for gut health. You can also get these live cultures from Chia Bia Immune support, which contains Bacillus coagulans (GanedenBC30), a beneficial bacteria that may support the 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 as 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.
3. Reduces inflammation
The immune system may be weakened by chronic and may become more susceptible to infections and other health problems. In order 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 both rich in the 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, you can stir 30 grams of Chia Bia Immune Support into breakfasts such as yoghurt or porridge, blend it into smoothies or sprinkle it over cereal.
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Eli Brecher is a London-based AfN Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Nutrition and a recipe developer on Instagram @EliBrecherNutrition. Having lived with Crohn’s all her life, Eli understands that having a healthy gut is fundamental to our overall wellbeing. With a clinic on Harley Street and online, Eli’s mission is to help people transform their gut health, optimise their nutrition and elevate their quality of life.
Eli’s undeniable passion for the wellness and nutrition industry has seen her firmly cement herself as one of the industry’s leading recipe developers, working with high profile brands on the supermarket shelves, delivering corporate nutrition talks and designing the menus at London’s top boutique fitness studios.
Why not try one of our fantastic recipes that includes our Chia Bia Immune Support!