Your Body’s Superhero – The Immune System

By Lisa Kilgour, Nutritionist Lisa Kilgour is a registered holistic nutritionist (RHN), founder of, and a faculty member at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. In 2016 Lisa spoke about the gut-brain connection at TedX Kelowna, and was voted “BC’s Favorite Nutritionist” by Natural Health Care Canada in 2010. She currently lives in the breathtaking Okanagan Valley, BC, surrounded by good food and stunning scenery.

It’s here. That time of year we’ve been dreading all summer is finally here. Yup, time for seasonal health issues. Why does it seem so scary? We all tend to live a busy, hectic life and we don’t have time to lay around in bed all day feeling like we’ve been run over by a truck. So we try to prepare—we have tissues on hand, we stay far FAR away from anyone that’s sniffling, and hope for the best.

What are we missing?

Our immune system is miraculous. All day it scours the body looking for viruses, bacteria, and rogue cells that shouldn’t be there and gets rid of them. It’s our body’s personal superhero. But, our system works within the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is our relaxation mode. When we’re stressed our immune system is depressed. Our personal superhero is chained down and can’t work properly. Have you ever wondered why you tend to get sick AFTER a busy and stressful time? While you’re stressed viruses take up residence in your body. They replicate and have a good ol’ time while your immune system is depressed by your stress reaction. Once relaxed, your system finds these viruses and attacks…and these are the cold symptoms you feel. Always keep in mind; symptoms of seasonal issues are symptoms of your immune system FIGHTING it, not of the illness itself. We can help our body out, even when we’re under stress. We can support the immune system and give our personal superhero some help.

Immune Supportive Supplements

Human-strain Probiotic One of the best ways to support your immune system is with a healthy gut. 80% of our immune system lives around our gut and it’s our gut bacteria that educate and balance our system. Without good bacteria your immune system doesn’t work properly. My fave - Flora's Adult’s Probiotic (US/CA). This is my all-time favorite probiotic. It’s a human-strain/multi-strain probiotic that survives digestion. It does a great job at seeding the gut with great strains of bacteria. Daily support Since many of us simply don’t have time to get sick, an everyday immune-support supplement can be key to get through the cold and flu season. My fave – Sambu Elderberry Concentrate (CA). This is a delicious and nutritious way to support your immune system everyday. Elderberries are used all through Europe and are a great way to provide daily immune support. Oh ya, it also tastes REALLY good. Immune-boosting supplements Sometimes even superheros need extra support. When you feel a cold coming on, you want to help your body go on high alert and attack the virus. My fave – Dr. Dunner’s SambuGuard (CA). Best taken at the first sign of seasonal issues, this food-based supplement will give your system the jolt it needs to get you feeling your best as quickly as possible. This is especially good for supporting respiratory infections. Give your own personal superhero all of the support it needs this winter with a few easy supplements.