Immunity By Intake
How can you strengthen your immune system and stay as healthy as possible?
Your Immune System
Your immune system defends and protects your body by helping it fight disease and infection.
When a foreign, harmful substance, also known as an antigen, enters your body, your immune system produces antibodies to attack and fight off the antigen. This helps prevent you from getting sick.
Signs of a weak immune system include:
• Frequent infections or colds
• Needing more than two courses of antibiotics a year
• Chronic fatigue
• Stomach issues including gas, diarrhea and constipation
• Slow healing wounds
• High stress level
Weak immune systems make it harder for the body to effectively fight off illnesses. How can you strengthen your immune system and stay as healthy as possible? Nutrition plays a vital role not only in healing and recovery, but also in preventative care.
For a strong immune system, our bodies need a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients. Because the human body is complex, there is no one supplement or specific food which best improves the immune system. You need a healthy diet in combination with healthy lifestyle factors such as adequate sleep, exercise and low stress levels.
Nutrients that support immunity include:
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin D
• Vitamin B6
• Vitamin E
• Lean protein
Nutrients act as antioxidants; they help support the activity of immune cells in producing antibodies. About 70% of the immune system starts in the gut, so a healthy gut is important for a strong immune system because it aids in absorption of the essential nutrients. Incorporating the nutrients mentioned above helps create a healthy gut and digestive system. Water is also important for absorption and transportation of vital nutrients. Adequate sunshine and regular exercise can improve the immune system, too.
Try to incorporate a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables each day. These foods can help boost your immune system:
• Sweet potatoes
• Brown rice
• Whole grain breads
• Yogurt with live cultures
• Fermented foods such as Kombucha tea and miso