Studies have shown that a high intake of simple sugars decreases white blood cell production by up to 50%. Eating a diet based on wholefoods and loading up on antioxidant rich vegetables and fruit will boost your overall health and help protect you from other viruses and infections. On the other hand, a diet that is high in refined foods and sugars (refined carbs including junk food and alcohol) is known to dramatically decrease your immune function. Vitamin D is another key nutrient that dampens inflammation. Recent research has shown that people with low vitamin D levels are 36% more likely to catch a cold than those who are not. The reason for this is that vitamin D helps your body produce a protein called cathelicidin that fights bacteria. As it’s the sunshine vitamin and most of us don’t get enough of that over winter it is recommended to take a supplement over the winter period.
Practical Tip: Feed your body nutrients not empty calories…and this is especially true when you feel run down.