When we hear about immunity its usually in reference to avoiding the winter flu. However, the immune system plays numerous vital roles within our body and an altered immune system can be the underlying trigger for many chronic disease states. A current disease state on the rise is autoimmunity. This essentially occurs when there is a loss of tolerance to self due to genetic, environmental (eg bacteria, toxins, food additives), hormonal and immune factors (diet, stress, lifestyle, toxins).
The best protection against autoimmunity is supporting the immune system by providing it with the resources it needs to function. Here are some of the most important ways to eat for immunity:
Reducing Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants and a popular immune supportive vitamin. Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruits are a potent dietary source of vitamin C, not surprisingly 1 piece contains 100% of your daily vitamin C needs. Knowing this means, there are no excuses to not meet your vitamin C RDI! Other sources of vitamin C include capsicum, cauliflower, strawberries, citrus fruit and broccoli.
Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruits are also a rich source of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant especially when it comes to immunity. As Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, make sure to eat alongside a source of fat. Try drizzling chopped kiwi fruit with nut butter as a quick and delicious snack.
Vitamin D helps to regulate the immune system and therefore less likely to mount an attack against our own cells! Try getting your daily safe sun exposure to promote optimal vitamin D levels, especially if you work indoors.
Support Gut Health
Probiotics are well known for their role in immunity, as approximately 80% of our immune system is located in the gut! Understandably, the balance of bacteria we house does make a difference. Enjoying probiotic rich foods daily such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and miso is an easy way to encourage a healthy microbiome.
To help our good gut bugs flourish they need to be well fed. This is one of fibres many important roles. Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruits are an easy way to get your daily fibre count up. For a fibre-rich snack, simply Cut! scoop! enjoy!
Support Cell Function
Essential Fatty Acids
Just like we communicate with one and other our cells are constantly communicating by sending and receiving signals. To help the right signals be sent and received polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) are necessary. Such essential fatty acids nourish our cells. The best dietary sources include oily fish, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds, flaxseed and chia seeds.
Immune Boosting Wholefoods Smoothie
- 1 Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit
- ½ avocado, diced
- 1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
- ½ frozen banana
- 1 handful spinach leaves
- 1/2 tsp vitamin C powder
- Handful ice cubs
- Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, pour into serving glasses