It’s that time of year again when the sniffles are all around us, so it’s time to gear up with a nourishing diet that supports your immune system, along with some key Isagenix® products to keep you fighting fit.
Our immune system is a remarkably complex network of cells, tissues and organs that act as the body’s first line of defence. Even more important during the cooler months, the immune system requires a healthy diet containing essential vitamins and minerals that work together. Keeping a healthy diet is just the beginning. The convenience of the Isagenix System is a great way to stay indoors and beat the chill!
As their name suggests, adaptogens are derived from the word ‘to adapt’ and their function within the body is to assist the body in times of stress, in this case, external stressors from our environment. Adaptogens are botanical ingredients that come from plants that have adapted in their own harsh environment and are not found in normal diets unless they are supplemented. Ionix® Supreme contains an adaptogen blend that can help to support your body during times of stress.
- Avocado, nuts, seeds & omega 3’s
These foods are a good source of healthy fats that contain natural anti-inflammatory properties and our IsaOmega™ is a great source of those essential omega 3’s which can be difficult to meet through your daily diet. Avocado, nuts and seeds also provide a superior source of vitamin E which is important for anti-viral defence mechanisms (1).
- Prebiotic fibre and probiotics
A major part of our immune system can be found within the gut, so it makes sense that we should pay attention to supporting good gut health. Prebiotic fibre, including inulin and oligosaccharides act as fuel for healthy gut bacteria and in turn help support immune function. Probiotics are usually defined as microbial food supplements with beneficial effects on the body. Most probiotics fall into the group of organisms’ known as lactic acid‐producing bacteria and are normally consumed in the form of yogurt, fermented milks or other fermented or supplemented foods. One of the beneficial effects of lactic acid bacteria consumption may include enhancing the immune system (2). The IsaLean™ Shake is a source of both prebiotic fibre and contains a small amount of a probiotic (lactobacillus acidophilus).
Zinc is a mineral involved directly in host defence. Zinc acts on thymulin, a hormone that promotes T-cell function and differentiation. A compromised immune response and increased oxidative stress is often observed when we are deficient in zinc (3). A mild zinc deficiency causes an imbalance in T-helper cells and interferes with activities of interleukins, which are signalling proteins that regulate the immune response (3). Foods high in zinc include oysters, beef, chicken, tofu, seeds, nuts, lentils, yoghurt, oatmeal and mushrooms. Zinc can also be found in Complete Essentials™ with IsaGenesis™ to provide a safety net for when your dietary intake may fall short.
- Vitamin C
When the cough, sniffles and aches start, many people reach for vitamin C. Helping to boost the immune system is a familiar benefit of the vitamin and new research suggests that it is important for respiratory health, as it is present in high concentrations in the respiratory tract. One study found that the amount of vitamin C in the fluid lining the respiratory tract doubled just two hours after supplementation (4). With its high concentration in the respiratory system, vitamin C is your body’s first defence against the harmful elements that enter the body through the airway. As an antioxidant, vitamin C reacts with these elements and neutralises them before they can harm cells. AMPED™ Hydrate contains 40mg of vitamin C per serve which takes you well on your way to hit your recommended daily intake.
- Vitamin D
Ever wondered why it’s more common to get sick in winter? One school of thought is that reduced sunlight exposure may be part of the cause, which often leads to a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is an important nutrient involved in immune cell production and may influence the bacterial flora that constitute the lungs and the gut and affect immune function through this route (5). Ageless Actives™ contains 1,000IU per recommended daily dose of vitamin D3 in the active form needed to elevate blood levels.contains 1,000IU per recommended daily dose of vitamin D3 in the active form needed to elevate blood levels. This clinically effective dose supports bone health, immune health and cardiovascular health.
- Fruit & vegetables
Mum always said to eat your fruit & vegetables and what do you know – she was right! Loaded with natural antioxidants and phytochemicals, these plant-based nutrients are key to a healthy immune system. Think ahead this winter by adding kale and spinach to your IsaLean Shake, planning a nutritious third meal to supplement your Isagenix System or boosting your antioxidant intake with Isagenix Greens™. Greens offers a Antioxidant-rich ingredients like ginkgo biloba leaf, green tea extract and grape seed extract help fight free radicals.ntioxidant-rich ingredients like ginkgo biloba leaf, green tea extract and grape seed extract help fight free radicals (6). Antioxidant-rich ingredients like ginkgo biloba leaf, green tea extract and grape seed extract help fight free radicalsGrandma may have been right, too! Chicken soup and chicken breast, rich in carnosine and its derivative anserine, could contribute to our natural immunity in controlling the initial stages of a cold or flu by having an anti-inflammatory effect (7). Soup or any hot liquid is also great for hydration and may even help clear a blocked nose (8). That’s a great sign for those that enjoy their Cleanse for Life as a hot tea!
- Hydration habits
Hydration is particularly important in winter, especially when spending time in heated, air-conditioned spaces. Be sure to keep your water levels at two to three litres per day. Warm up with a cup of antioxidant-rich green tea or herbal tea of your choice – an excellent way to stay hydrated, which enhances digestive function and supports your body’s natural functions. Put simply, staying hydrated is important for your organs to function at their best. Sipping on some AMPED Hydrate or a cup of warm Cleanse for Life™ is a great way to stay hydrated during winter.
When added to a daily routine that includes proper nutrition, seven to nine hours of sleep each night and regular physical activity, these daily habits can help your immune system continue working at its peak. Stay well this winter and keep your Isagenix products handy to help you along the way!
- Moriguchi S, Muraga M, Vitamin E and immunity, Vitamins & Hormones, Academic Press, Volume 59, 2000, p.305-336. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0083-6729(00)59011-6.
- Parvez S, Malik K, Ah Kang S, Kim H. (2006) Probiotics and their fermented food products are beneficial for health. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 100: 1171-1185. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2672.2006.02963.x
- Zinc: Mechanisms of Host Defence. J Nutr 2007, May; 137(5):1345-9.
- Behndig et al. Augmentation of respiratory tract lining fluid concentrations through supplementation with vitamin C. Inhal Toxicol. 2009;12(3):250-8.
- Lucas RM, Gorman S, Geldenhuys S, Hart PH. Vitamin D and immunity. F1000Prime Reports. 2014;6:118. doi:10.12703/P6-118.
- Meydani SN, Wu D, Santos MS, Hayek MG. Antioxidants and immune response in aged persons: Overview of present evidence. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995;62(suppl):l465S-l476S.
- Abishayev M, Deyev A. (2012). Management of the Virulent Influenza Virus Infection by Oral Formulation of Nonhydrolized Carnosine and Isopeptide of Carnosine Attenuating Proinflammatory Cytokine-Induced Nitric Oxide Production. American Journal of Therapeutics. Vol. 19 – Issue 1: pp e25-e47
- Saketkhoo K, Januszkiewicz A, Sackner MA. Effects of drinking hot water, cold water, and chicken soup on nasal mucus velocity and nasal airflow resistance. Chest Journal, 2000, http://www.chestjournal.org/cgi/reprint/74/4/408