As we head into the colder months, maintaining a healthy immune system is important to protect your body from viruses.
While many predisposing factors impact our immune system function, such as your age, sex, and genetics. Other lifestyle factors including being active, eating well, managing stress and getting adequate sleep can help boost our immune system function (1).
This blog post will explore 4 ways to boost immunity from a holistic perspective; including the addition of LIVA Food’s organic date powder and syrup.
Stay Active and Sleep Well
Guidelines from Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology state that for health benefits, adults aged 18-64 years should be physically active each day, minimize sedentary behavior and achieve sufficient sleep (2).
- Sleeping for 7-9 hours per night on a regular basis
- Moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity up to 150 minutes per week
- Muscle training activities twice a week and several hours light activity including standing
- No more than 3 hours of recreational screen time and breaking up long periods of sitting
Following these scientifically proven guidelines can have huge health benefits including improved bone health, reduced risk of developing type two diabetes, reduced cardiovascular disease, improved mental health and quality of life.
Allowing our bodies to get moving and allow time for proper rest is essential to our immune system function.
To explore more about the 24-hour movement guidelines and resources for every age group visit: https://csepguidelines.ca/
Fuel your Body
Cooking nourishing meals and eating a wide variety of food will provide your immune system the nutrition it needs to thrive. Getting adequate nutrition from food sources first and supplements second when needed is the preferred method.
Ensuring a balance of protein, healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. Vitamins including: vitamin A, B6, C, B12, C, D, E, copper, folate, iron, selenium, zinc (1).
Recommendations from Canada’s Food Guide include: (3)
- Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit
- Aim to fill one quarter of your plate with whole grain foods
- Aim to fill one quarter of your plate with protein
- Include a variety of protein foods (poultry, fish, legumes, tofu, salmon, nuts and seeds)
- Choose polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocados, and nuts)
In addition, swapping the way we sweet, LIVA date powder and syrup contain vitamin A and zinc that contribute to the normal function of the immune system.
Next time you make a soup or chilli; add some LIVA date powder to the mix, or garnish with a drizzle of syrup to naturally sweeten and boost the vitamin content.
For more tips on how to boost your immune system through nutrition visit Canada’s Food Guide: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/
The changing seasons and transition can feel stressful and learning to identify areas of stress in your life and developing healthy coping skills is essential to mitigate stress.
When in stressful situations, our bodies produce greater levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol limitsinflammation and over time creates further inflammation in the body. Furthermore, stress decreases the body's lymphocytes (white blood cells that fight off infection) (4).
In order to prevent the impact of long-term stress on the body, try relaxation techniques including deep breathing, mediation and a gratitude practice.
Next time you feel overwhelmed, turn to gratitude, and write down three things in that moment you are grateful for. Turning your attention to factors outside of the situation can be extremely grounding the recenter your perspective on that stressful situation.
Check out this free guided meditations developed by UCLA: https://www.uclahealth.org/programs/marc/free-guided-meditations/guided-meditations?id=22&iirf_redirect
This article was developed by Emma BscFN (c), our resident dietetics student.
Long KZ, Santos JI. Vitamins and the regulation of the immune response. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1999 Mar;18(3):283–90.
Government of Canada CFIA. Health claims on food labels [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2022 Oct 18]. Available from: https://inspection.canada.ca/food-labels/labelling/industry/health-claims-on-food-labels/eng/1392834838383/1392834887794?chap=0#s39c18
What Happens When Your Immune System Gets Stressed Out? [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials. 2017 [cited 2022 Oct 18]. Available from:
Manage your stress [Internet]. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. [cited 2022 Oct 18]. Available from: https://www.heartandstroke.ca/en/healthy-living/reduce-stress/manage-your-stress/