How to Support Immunity Holistically with Foods and Herbs
This year has been a lesson in just how much we need to be supporting our immunity. Without a healthy, vibrant immune system, we’re susceptible to all manners of illness. But when our system is thriving, we become truly free to live our best lives. Nature offers an endless abundance of herbs and foods to support our immunity, but here are a few of the most potent sources that I reach for constantly.
A diet lacking in protein has been found to disrupt the function of the immune system. Be sure to include protein-rich foods like eggs, meat legumes, and nuts at every meal.
A diet high in antioxidant-rich foods will help to support the immune system due to its high content of phytochemicals. These help to mediate tissue injury produced as part of the body’s defense against infection. Incorporate an array of colorful vegetables and fruits like dark leafy greens, beetroot, and tomato.
Vitamins A, D, E and K (our fat-soluble vitamins)
These vitamins are involved in modulating the immune system and are found in foods such as egg yolk, carrots, apricots, fish liver oils, salmon, tuna, hazelnuts, and dark leafy greens.
B vitamins are important for antibody formation- which is the component of the immune system that neutralizes pathogens. B vitamins are found in whole grains, spirulina, beef, lamb, eggs, salmon, sardines, green vegetables, mushrooms, avocados, bananas, chicken, tuna, and barley.
Probiotics are involved in healthy gut function, as well as a number of components of immune response including inflammation and allergies. Foods containing probiotics are natural yogurt, kefir, and fermented cabbage.
Essential Fatty Acids
The Key role of EFA’s in immune function is preventing inflammation, and are required for the structure and function of the immune cells. Include foods such as sardines, salmon, and flaxseed oil.
Zinc is a significant antioxidant in the immune system with numerous roles including antiviral activity. Foods high in zinc include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, seafood, egg yolks, and beef.
- Echinacea: modulates and balances the immune system.
- Calendula: facilitates lymphatic circulation and aids in the removal of toxins from the body. The immune system is reliant on a functioning lymphatic system.
- Lemon Myrtle: high in antioxidants, and has been traditionally used for respiratory infections.
- Marshmallow leaf: traditionally used to strengthen the immune system by helping to remove toxins and raising resistance to disease.
- Peppermint: antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-septic; this protecting the body from infection.
- Licorice: antiviral, anti-inflammatory and protects the tissues of mucous membranes.
All of these herbs are found in Kate's Restore and Digest Blend from Mayde Tea. For deep immune support, consume 1-2 cups of both teas daily.
If you're in Australia and want to try Kate's favorite blends, head here and use the coupon code "maydematters" to get 10% off your purchase.