It’s an incredibly complex system that works nonstop to protect and defend your body from infection. It’s also a system that depends on good nutrition in order to function properly.
Studies have shown that heatwaves can reduce the body’s immune response to the flu, or affect vaccines and nutrition. This is why strengthening your immune system is so important.
Your immune system is made up of your own personal army of “soldiers”.
They protect your body by identifying anything foreign, from a virus to a bacteria to a parasite, then seeking it out and destroying it.
Our bodies depend on proper nutrients and a healthy lifestyle to keep our defences strong.
Here are three items that are important to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape:
Your immune system has some “special forces” in the form of white blood cells.
These cells produce specialised proteins called antibodies, which seek out and destroy invading viruses and bacteria.
As antibodies are proteins, you need adequate protein in the diet to ensure that you’ll be able to manufacture the antibodies your body needs.
Healthy proteins, like fish, poultry, lean meats, soy foods and low-fat dairy products, provide the building blocks your body needs to make these specialised proteins.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are key players in immune system health as they’re great sources of vitamins A and C, as well as phytonutrients.
Vitamin C encourages your body to produce antibodies, while vitamin A supports the health of your skin and the tissues of your digestive tract and respiratory system.
All of these act as first lines of prevention against foreign invaders.
Many of the phytonutrients found in fruits and veggies act as antioxidants, which can help reduce oxidative stress on the body that may weaken your body’s ability to fight off illness.
Keeping your digestive system healthy is also important in supporting immune function.
Your digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria that have numerous functions in promoting health.
Some strains of bacteria help you break down the fibre in your foods, others consume intestinal gas, while yet others help produce vitamins like vitamins K and B12.
When your system is populated with these good bacteria, they also crowd out potentially harmful bacteria that might enter your digestive tract.
Some of the best sources of these friendly bacteria are cultured dairy products, like yoghurt and kefir.
As you know, whenever you’re trying something new, make sure to check with your doctor or nutritionist about the right amount to take.
Some people suffer medical conditions that affect the operation of their immune systems, and diet alone won’t help them.
But for healthy people, eating well can help keep your immune system healthy and strong.
To help your body in the fight against foreign invaders, your internal “army” needs the best nutrition possible – so call in the troops!
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