Immune Support A strong immune system is very important for a robust sense of health. If the immune system is weakened, this leaves the body vulnerable to bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infections, lowering the quality of overall health. The immune system protects us from foreign organisms and invaders, and the stronger it is, the easier we are able to resist these threats to our immune system. It is normal to catch the occasional cold or infection, however when infections occur regularly, the immune system needs to be strengthened. There are many vitamins, minerals and herbs with great nutritional value which work to re-balance and strengthen the immune system: • Vitamin C is often the first go-to for somebody with a cough or cold, or for a preventative immune booster, as Vitamin C helps to increase white blood cell production. • Zinc increases white blood cell production and acts as an anti-viral for the immune system. • Vitamin D, commonly deficient particularly in wintertime due to lack of exposure to sunlight, is necessary for white blood cell production and immune protection. • Vitamin A as well as keeping the skin and mucous membranes healthy, Vitamin A is an anti-oxidant which keeps the immune system healthy by fighting bacteria and viruses. • Selenium is a potent anti-oxidant with free radical scavenging actions. • Herbs such as Elderberry, Echinacea, Olive Leaf and Astragalus stimulate, strengthen and re-balance the immune system and have anti-bacterial actions. • Garlic is known as a natural anti-biotic, excellent for supporting the immune system. • Manuka honey is a honey which is native to New Zealand and has strong anti-bacterial properties when eaten raw. • Propolis is a resinous product made by bees. Propolis is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. • Colloidal Silver - microscopic particles of silver are suspended in a solution which act as an antiseptic and anti-bacterial. • Beta glucans are made from the cell walls of yeast, and work to boost the immune system. • Probiotics are beneficial bacteria which help to balance the immune system. As eighty percent of the immune system resides in the digestive system, it is very important that we have the correct balance of bacteria. Probiotics introduce beneficial bacteria into the digestive system, keeping the ‘bad’ bacteria under control which can interfere with immune system function. • Mushroom complex contains a variety of medicinal mushrooms such as Maitake and Shiitake which work to stimulate the immune system. Other tips and hints: • Avoid sugar as it suppresses the immune system and white blood cell activity. • Avoid dairy products during an infection as they increase the production of mucous and catarrh. • Consume foods rich in Vitamin C and anti-oxidants to feed the immune system. • Reduce stress. Stress and elevated cortisol levels deplete the immune system and leave you more vulnerable to infection.