The Immune System
The immune system is made up of the tonsils, thymus, lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen and white blood cells. Its overall function is to limit or prevent infections in the body from harmful micro- organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Optimise Immune System
In order to optimise your immune system, you will need to eat a well-balanced nutrient rich diet; do regular physical activity; ensure adequate sleep; as well as reduce stress and anxiety as much as possible.
Healthy Eating Guidelines
The Australian healthy eating guidelines encourage the consumption of a wide variety of nutritious foods every day. Each food group (meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, fats) provide important macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, fat) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace elements, antioxidants, phytonutrients) that support the immune system. See our recipes and meal planning.
Zinc is essential for the development and functioning of immune cells and reducing inflammation in the body. Good sources of zinc include meat, fish, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Selenium has a role in reducing inflammation in the lungs. The best source of selenium is brazil nuts; just 1-2 nuts per day will meet your recommended daily intake. Selenium is also found in meat, seafood, eggs and dairy products.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which has been shown to reduce the duration of colds and flu. Good food sources include oranges, tomatoes, kiwi, capsicums, green leafy vegetables and potatoes.
Vitamin D is not only essential for healthy bones and teeth, it also plays a vital role in supporting the immune system. Food sources include eggs, cheese and oily fish; it is also important to expose your skin to 30-40 minutes of winter sunshine each day to stimulate your body to make vitamin D.
A healthy microbiome will also optimise your immune system, so add some natural yoghurt (rich in probiotic friendly bacteria) to your muesli, oats, salad or curry, and include prebiotic foods in your diet such as onion, garlic, leeks, legumes, apples, pears, stone fruit and whole-grains.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids (ALA, EPA, DHA) have a positive influence on the immune system. Foods sources include nuts, seeds, sardines, mackerel, trout and salmon. These foods are also rich in Vitamin E, an antioxidant, which has numerous roles in the body including immune health.
It is essential that everyone practises good hygiene and social distancing at the current time due to COVID 19. We encourage our bariatric patients to eat well, take your multivitamin and mineral supplements, walk daily and take care of your mental health during this stressful time.
Mercy Bariatrics Perth
Our Dietitians and Exercise Physiologists are able to offer help and guidance for patients via Telehealth consults (Skype, Face Time, What’s App or Telephone) as well as some essential face to face consults at the clinic. Get in contact here.
Best wishes and stay well from the team at Mercy Bariatrics.