With the hectic holiday schedules almost upon us, healthy eating can sometimes fall by the wayside. Add cold and flu season on top of that and even the strongest immune systems can be put to the test!
The nutritionists at our sister company, Nutritional Weight & Wellness, start by encouraging clients (this time of year and always) to strengthen their immune system with real food. On top of that our next stop is to add important supplements to really strengthen the immune system, vitamin D and zinc being our first two choices. Read on for why these two are so important.
Vitamin D –You’ve probably heard that vitamin D is very helpful for avoiding the winter blues, but most are surprised to learn it’s also critical for our immune systems. Every cell in your body has vitamin D receptors! We encourage clients to have vitamin D levels between 50 and 80; ask for a simple blood test at the Dr. to determine your levels.
Signs of a vitamin D deficiency:
Vitamin D dosage recommendations: To maintain healthy levels, most people need to take a daily dose of 4,000 IU during the winter and 2,000 IU during the summer.
Zinc –Adding to the dynamic duo, zinc is another critical vitamin that supports the immune system. Zinc is important for proper activation of our immune system and increases T-cells that are needed to fight off illnesses.
Zinc is a crucial mineral for growth and development of our bodies. Areas of our body that have high cell turnover, like our skin, hair and nails, need a lot of zinc. Some foods that are high in zinc include oysters, grass-fed meats, fish, nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds).
Signs of a zinc deficiency: If you get frequent colds, flu or other infections you may be deficient in zinc. Always feel like you need a sweet after a meal and acne are also signs. To know for sure we invite you into our offices for a zinc challenge test. The test entails taking a tablespoon of zinc water, holding it in the mouth for 20 seconds and then evaluating the taste.
Zinc dosage recommendations: Our nutritionists recommend one zinc capsule a day, on a full stomach.
Wacker, M., & Holick, M. National Institutes of Health, US National Library of Medicine. (2013). Vitamin d - effects on skeletal and extraskeletal health and the need for supplementation(PMCID: PMC3571641). Retrieved from Nutrients website: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23306192