It’s that time of the year again when sunlight is limited, we start to cover up, we get outside less, and tend to move/exercise a little less. This cocktail sets our immune system into a compromising position, making us susceptible to the common cold/flu.
Let’s build our winter shield!!!
“…Modulation of the immune system is one of the most plausible mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of probiotics on human health.”
It is said that 70% of immune system is based in your gut flora and positive effects these good bacteria (probiotics) have on your gut, are imperative building blocks of your immune system. Coach Kayla goes in depth in her blog – “Relationships – Gut & Immune System”.
Especially during times when our immune systems are challenged, a balanced gut flora is imperative in efficiently digesting our meals and therefore getting the fullest nutritive value of our food, further strengthen our bodies.
Food sources: kefir, grass-fed yogurt, sauerkraut, fermented vegetables
“Zinc is known to play a central role in the immune system…”
The all-powerful mineral – Zinc! As stated above, Zinc plays a central role in regulating the immune system. It is a major player in the creation of DNA, growth of cells, building proteins, healing damaged tissue, and optimal levels help to regulate testosterone.
Food Sources – Shellfish: oysters, crab, lobster; beef, poultry, pork, legumes, nuts & seeds. Some plant foods like legumes and whole grains are also good sources of zinc, but they also contain phytates that can bind to the mineral, lowering its absorption.
Recommended supplement: ATPLabs Synerzinc
“Low magnesium intake is linked to chronic inflammation, which is one of the drivers of aging, obesity and chronic disease” – optimal magnesium intake can lower the chronic load on the immune system and therefore helping it to function more effectively.
Magnesium is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body: energy conversion, muscle contraction and relaxation, gene maintenance, nervous system regulation aka “chill pill”, and is essential to optimize vitamin D levels.
Unfortunately, studies suggest that about 50% of people in the US and Europe get less than the recommended daily amount
Food sources: Pumpkin seeds, spinach, dark chocolate, avocado, halibut, mackerel, salmon
Preferred supplement: ATPLab SynerMag
“Vitamin C contributes to immune defence by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system.”
Good old Vitamin C! Have an orange and you’re all covered?! Maybe not!
Vitamin C is a free radical scavenger – when the body is stressed, Vitamin C helps clean up the mess aka “Anti-oxidant”.
Why not only one orange? There is about 100mg of vitamin C in an orange, but it is often suggested we need 1,000 mg during these challenging winter months.
Food sources: sweet red peppers, oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach
Preferred supplements: NewRoots Vitamin C8, ATPLab SynerC
“…laboratory studies show that vitamin D helps control infections and reduce inflammation.”
Saving the best for last!!
This vitamin/pro-hormone packs quite the punch with regards to your immune system and overall well-being!
The best way to optimize your vitamin D levels is to get early morning, non-sunscreen-protected, sun exposure – helping to set your circadian rhythm as well. Up here in the Great White North, 15-20 minutes in the summer months would suffice but in the winter months you would need closer to an hour – hence the winter vitamin D supplementation.
Food Sources: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, liver, red meat, egg yolks, but nothing beats the SUN!
Preferred supplements: Thorne Vitamin D3/K2, ATPLabs Vitmain D3
Black Seed Oil
“The medicinal benefits of black seed are mainly due to its main active compound called thymoquinone, which has shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other therapeutic properties that protect the body from cell damage and chronic diseases.” 
Black Seed Oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce upper respiratory and digestive discomfort. It has also shown support in blood sugar and cholesterol metabolism.
Its strong immune support comes primarily from the powerful antioxidant – Thymoquinone!
Remember that each of the above-mentioned supplements have their individual strengths but together they form quite the synergistic and formidable armor!
For more guidance on your individual needs, feel free to reach out to our Holistic Nutrition Consultant, Kayla DIGaetano.