Health : advice to boost your immune system
The immune system plays a vital role in helping us fend off attacks from viruses and bacteria. But is there a better healthy diet and what are the lifestyle changes we can make to feel better and improve our natural defenses? Here’s how a healthy diet and improved lifestyle can help us optimize our immune system’s ability to protect us from foreign invaders.
How can a healthy diet boost the immune system?
-Take enough vitamins: Nutrition is our first protection in the battle against infections. The key soldiers against infection include vitamins A, C, E, B6 and D, and minerals like zinc, iron and selenium. Some of the foods that contain large amounts of these vitamins and minerals are carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, strawberries, almonds, avocados, salmon, oysters, tuna, white meat and veal.
The best healthy diet offers lots of vitamins
The reason that many of these vitamins can help us keep our immune system strong is that they are also antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce the impact of free radicals, which are harmful chemicals that damage healthy cells and genetic material, making the virus more likely to invade the body, reproduce, and compromise the work of our immune system. . Antioxidants help decrease the impact of free radicals and help the immune system prevent, heal, and suppress viral activities.
Proteins are essential for a healthy diet
-Eat proteins: Proteins are very important for the healthy diet. According to Harvard University publications, you should consume a minimum of 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight to avoid getting sick. Not eating enough protein can have negative effects on T cells, which send antibodies that fight disease, bacteria and viruses and are essential for the proper functioning of the immune system.
Proteins also contain a large amount of zinc which is a mineral that helps the production of white cells that fight infection. Lean protein can be found in seafood, chicken, turkey, eggs and beans.
Garlic and onions are rich in prebiotics
-Eat foods rich in prebiotics: Prebiotics can be found in foods like onions, garlic, bananas and asparagus. Prebiotics help maintain the balance of microbiomes in the intestines, which is vital for the proper functioning of the immune system. Periodicals “work” by increasing the population of good bacteria in the intestines which in turn encourage the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Anti-inflammatory cytokines are tiny proteins that boost the functions of the immune system.
Eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits helps to be healthy
-Eat ‘rainbow’: One easy way to make sure you’re on a healthy diet and taking enough antioxidants that help the immune system, vitamins, and minerals is to eat ‘the rainbow,’ says Lisa Ballehr, an osteopathic doctor. and practitioner of functional medicine.
This method includes a rainbow of fruits and vegetables such as red apples, potatoes, cherries or grapes; oranges, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mangoes, yams or tangerines; green kiwis, broccoli, olives, limes or grapes; yellow apples, pears, bananas or pineapple; blueberries, cabbage, kale, dry grounds; beige cauliflower, dates, coconut, walnuts or sauerkraut. The greater the variety of fruits and vegetables you eat every day, the more you can be sure of the nutrients your body uses to boost your immune system.
What foods can help you strengthen your immune system?
Foods to Include in Your Healthy Diet
– Citrus: Most of us turn green vitamin C only in moments when we are sick. And that’s because vitamin C helps improve the natural defenses of the immune system. Vitamin C is known to increase the production of white blood cells. And white blood cells are key elements in fighting infections in the body.
Popular citrus fruits are: grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and clementines. And since the body does not produce and store vitamin C, it is essential to take it daily. And with such a variety of citrus fruits, it’s easy to take advantage of it to refuel your body.
Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are very rich in vitamin C
-Red peppers : If you think citrus fruits contain the most vitamin C of all fruits and vegetables, then think again. Gram for gram, red peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits. Red peppers are also a very rich source of beta carotene. In addition to boosting the immune system, red peppers in our healthy diet can help keep skin healthy. Beta carotene also helps the health of the eyes and skin.
Red peppers help keep skin healthy
-Broccoli: Broccoli contains a very large amount of vitamins and minerals. Filled with Vitamin A, C and E, and other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the best healthy vegetables you can eat at your table. The key to keeping their nutritional power intact is to cook them as little as possible or not at all.
Broccoli contains a large amount of vitamins
– Garlic: Garlic can be found in almost every kitchen around the world. Garlic adds a little taste and is also a must for health. The first civilizations already recognized its power to fight against infections. Experts and nutritionists say garlic can also help lower blood pressure and slow hardening of the arteries. The immunostimulatory owners of garlic seem to come from the high concentration of sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin.
Garlic has immunostimulatory properties
-Ginger: Ginger is another food to turn to when you’re sick. Ginger can help decrease inflammation and thus reduce sore throats and other inflammatory diseases. Ginger can also help relieve nausea. While ginger is used in many sweet desserts, it is a bit spicy because of its gingerol, which is close to capsaicin. Ginger can help decrease chronic pain and has properties that can help lower cholesterol.
Ginger can help decrease inflammation in the body
– Spinach: Spinach is not only rich in vitamin C, but also has lots of antioxidants and beta-carotene which can help boost the immune system’s ability to fight infections. Very similar to broccoli, spinach is best undercooked to keep its nutrients intact. However, being overcooked still boosts vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released by oxalic acid.
-Yogurt: Look for yogurts that are made with “active and living cultures”, such as Greek or Bulgarian yogurt. These cultures can stimulate the immune system to better fight diseases. Opt for plain yogurt instead of fruit yogurt that is filled with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself using fresh fruit or a spoonful of honey instead of sugar.
Yogurts are also great sources of vitamin D, so try to choose brands that are fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is also known as a natural defense against viruses.
-Almonds : When it comes to fighting colds and viruses, vitamin E ranks just behind vitamin C. Vitamin E is one of the keys to a healthy immune system. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that it requires the presence of fat to be properly absorbed. Nuts, like almonds, have lots of vitamins, but also fats. Half a serving or about 46 almonds provide about 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.
-Indian saffron: You certainly know that Indian saffron is a key ingredient in most curries. But this bright yellow spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, scientific studies show that the high concentration of curcumin, which gives the yellow color of Indian saffron, can help reduce the muscle damage induced by exercise.
-Green tea : Green tea and black tea are full of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. But green tea has higher levels of epigallocatechin gallate, another type of antioxidant. Epigallocatechins are proven to improve the immune system. The fermentation process through which black tea goes destroys most of the epigallocatechins. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the epigallocatechins are preserved. Green tea is also a good source of L-theanine. L-theanibe can help with the production of compounds in T cells that fight germs.
-Papaya: Another fruit filled with vitamin C is papaya. 224 percent of the daily recommended amount can be found in a single papaya. Papayas also have digestive enzymes called papains that have anti-inflammatory effects. Papayas also contain a large amount of potassium, vitamin B and folate, all of which are very beneficial for health.
-Kiwi : Like papayas, kiwis are naturally full of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while other nutrients in kiwis help the rest of our bodies to function properly.
-Poultry: When we are sick, chicken soup is more than just something that will help us feel better with a placebo effect. Poultry helps relieve cold symptoms and helps keep us from getting sick. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, contain a large amount of vitamins such as vitamin B-6. One serving of lean turkey or chicken contains 40 to 50 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-6 is an important player in much of the chemical reactions that occur in the body. This vitamin is also vital for the formation of new, healthy red blood cells. Broth or soup made from boiled chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin and other nutrients that help stomach and immune system health.
-Sun-flower seeds : Sunflower seeds are packed with nutrients including phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin B-6. They also contain a lot of vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is important for regulating and maintaining the functions of the immune system. Other foods that contain large amounts of vitamin E are avocados and dark leafy greens.
How lifestyle changes can boost the immune system
In addition to a healthy diet, exercise, sleep, and not smoking are also great ways to strengthen the immune system to help fight invaders.
-Sufficient sleep: If we don’t get enough sleep, we will be more likely to develop infections since sleep is the time when our bodies work hard to fight inflammation and infections. ‘When you rest, the body on its side has a lot of work. During this time, it self-repairs and releases toxins so that you may feel refreshed after sleep. Those who have irregular sleep can have health problems simply because they lack sleep, which results in chronic inflammation, “says Ballehr.
This inflammation can stress the immune system by making it less effective in fighting viral or bacterial infections. Even though the amount of sleep you need is something very individual, it is recommended that adults sleep between seven and eight hours a night.
-Stopping cigarettes: Smoking increases the risk of developing infections by destroying antibodies in the blood, experts say. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to fight foreign infections. Smoking cigarettes also damages the lungs’ ability to “cleanse” the infection and destroys the tissue in the lungs.
-Physical exercise: Being physically active is something that helps the immune system. According to a scientific study carried out in 2019, physical activity can decrease inflammation and improve immune regulation, which can counteract the negative effects of age. The study also suggested that moderate physical activity can reduce the risk of getting sick.
With all of this in mind, it is also important to remember that washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent infection by viruses or bacteria. Washing your hands won’t boost our immune system, but it can help protect us. We must wash our hands for 20 seconds before and after a risky exposure such as preparing food, taking care of a sick person, when we ourselves are sick or when we cough.