There has been a lot of talk about our immune system and how we can improve and enhance it. From the chiropractic perspective we will look at enhancing the body’s own immunity via neuroimmunology. that is by having a fully functioning and high performing nervous system, our immune system is also enhanced.
On can not also discount the effect that diet, exercise, mindset, rest and sleep have upon our immune system. Here I sit down with Chatswood Naturopath Tanya Marinovic and discuss how you exercise your immune defensive muscles.
What can we do, why is food and diet important to aid our body’s immune system
A healthy, balanced diet is important for supporting your immune system. You need sufficient energy and nutrients for the immune system to function properly and poor nutrition can compromise it.
Your diet can affect the gut barrier function, and white blood cell function, all of which impact immune function.
80% of the immune system is formed in your gut. If your gut is not functioning properly, for example you are bloated after a meal or constipated, have leaky gut, parasites or SIBO your immune system is likely to suffer. Gut health is also critical in absorbing nutrients from food so it’s very important to avoid foods you are reacting to and work on reducing gut inflammation. And the only way you can do this is by having a healthy diet.
What food would you recommend?
To improve the immune system people need to start paying attention to the food they are eating and to their lifestyle.
- Foods to help improve immune system
- Citrus fruit: oranges, lemons, mandarins, lime’s
- Berries, blueberries and raspberries
- Red capsicum,
- Broccoli, and leafy green vegetables are rich in magnesium, vitamin C and are alkalizing to our body
- Ginger, garlic, onions
- Pepitas, Brazil nuts (full of zinc and selenium),
- Chicken soup (contains gelatin which is helpful for gut and immune health its also soothing, warming and provides great source of hydration while you are sick),
- Shellfish like oysters and muscles are good source of zinc,
- Mushrooms esp, shitake, reishi, have immunomodulating activity and have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Fermented foods- Kefir and sauerkraut support gut and immune health
- Exercise regularly, get chiropractic care, meditate, go for a walks in nature, get some sunshine and fresh air. Surround yourself with positive people
- Replace all your skincare and cleaning products with environmentally friendly products that don’t have any harsh chemicals.
- Get adequate sleep. Studies have shown that sleep loss can reduce Natural Killer cells activity and increase a risk for infections.
What supplements would you recommend?
Once you have your diet and lifestyle sorted and you still feel that you need more support than you can consider supplementing with vitamins and herbs.
Vitamins I use to support immune health are:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
There are many herbs to help modulate or stimulate immune system. More common ones are: Echinacea, Andrographis, Elderberry and olive leaf. Both elderberry and olive leaf have antiviral properties
Herbs to support respiratory health:
All these herbs and vitamins I mentioned could have potential contraindications especially if you are on any pharmaceutical medication so always talk to your naturopath or a healthcare professional before use.
Are there any types of brands/products that stand up against others?
I prefer practitioner products such as Medi herb and nature care liquid herbs, Designs for health, Bioceuticals, Eagle, Orthoplex etc. Their formulas are well researched, more concentrated and most of the time I get very good results. In saying that there’s off shelf products like HOG and fusion. Both of those companies have good range of products
For more information Tanya is available at
Facebook page- TM.Naturopathy or call directly on 0400491891 to schedule a virtual appointment via zoom.