Good day everyone! I’m hoping this communication finds you well! Checking in on your diet journals! How is it going? Have you noticed any particular food type that you tend to indulge in more often than others? I know with the easy availability of Easter candy, I had some difficulty earlier this week. But today is a fresh new day! I’m having a cup of tea while I write this,and will work hard today on keeping my diet clean – with fresh vegetables, hemp/flax/chia seeds added to my breakfast…Will be thinking about a creative Mediterranean diet like meal for tonight. Yesterday we talked about Vitamin D. It was a lovely day with lots of sunshine – though a bit brisk. Today, there’s a light coat of snow on the ground;0)! Ohio’s weather gets crazy sometimes. Ever notice how the crazy quick weather changes seem to be followed by catching a ‘cold’? There are lots of
potential reasons for that ‘coincidence’ – but I think we can decrease our risk of catching those colds by focusing on strengthening our immune systems today – and every day.

Our immune system is pretty complex. It requires a lot of specific nutrients to keep it running smoothing – much like a car. One small missing part can cause lots of other issues. We talked about one specific essential vitamin, Vitamin D, yesterday as it was sunny and thus on my mind! Remember, essential vitamins are ones that we need to take in to our body, as our body doesn’t make them). But the reality is, we need a combination of vitamins and nutrients – all of which interact in very specific ways – to keep our complex system running properly. Some vital nutrients needed to keep our immune system functioning include vitamins A, D, C, E, B6, B12, folate, zinc, copper, iron and selenium. All of these play major roles in protecting cell membranes and activities happening within our immune cells.

 

Many factors play a role in how much of these nutrients we need to take in during the day through our diets, including health problems, medications you might be taking, stress levels, recent illnesses and even intestinal problems (like irritable bowel syndrome, frequent heartburn or GERD). Additionally, years of poor diet choices may have created decreased stores within the body. The nutrients with the strongest scientific evidence for supporting the immune system are vitamins C, D and zinc – and we will, at some point, cover each of those specifically.

 

However, it’s important to remember that ensuring that you get each of these nutrients into your system every day is huge in bolstering your immune system. Continue to work on your diets. Eat whole, unprocessed food as much as possible – and the more colorful the food (think the rainbow of colors), the better – as each color of food has different nutrients associated with it AND different antioxidants, which help fight inflammation. Remember to take care of your ‘gut’ – we’ve talked about prebiotic and probiotic food and/or supplements – these help your intestinal tract heal from many ‘insults’ over time and help your body absorb the nutrients it needs to support your immune system. And if you find that your diet has been less than ‘good’ over the years or you are concerned that you may be depleted of certain vitamins or just want to be sure you are getting what you need in, a good multivitamin from a properly certified source (cGMP label and good reputation) is a good way to go as well. Again, I will provide a link to one source – remember it isn’t the only good source of good quality supplements, but it IS a good source – and I want to make sure you have access to the option.
Stay healthy, stay safe. Here’s to a Happier, Healthier YOU!
Dr. Stiller, Stacy, Nicole and Chris