With the coronavirus pandemic spreading across the globe, keeping your immune system up and running has become more important than ever. Even though we continue to learn more about the virus with each passing day, it has become clear that gearing up the body to battle against the infection should be our top priority. One of the best ways to get going the body’s immune system is to include a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods in your daily diet.
Since 70% to 80% of our immune cells live in our gastrointestinal tract, so what we eat plays a key role in keeping our immune system healthy. Avoiding some food you love to eat may be easier when you learn that nurturing your immune system will simultaneously help keep your weight under control and make you healthier overall.
To aid you to keep the immune system strong, here are five things you can cut down on today that will give your immune system an immediate boost:
- Sugar: Sugar is sneaky. Engaging in foods and beverages that are high in sugar or refined carbohydrates can weaken the immune response. Sugar affects the way your white blood cells attack bacteria. It further triggers low-grade inflammation in the body and also increases the mass. This can contribute to diseases that are chronic in nature, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- Salt: Taking too much salt with your food is perhaps not that great an idea for the body as well as the immune system. Too much salt intake can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension), which increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. It has also resulted in increased glucocorticoid levels. This on the other hand inhibits the function of granulocytes, the most common type of immune cell in the blood.
- Not eating fruits and vegetables: Vitamins and minerals are capable of nutritionally boosting immunity. Consumption of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, green tea, honey, herbs, nuts and seeds can enhance the body’s defence against infections and diseases. Similarly, citrus fruits have a high concentration of Vitamin C which can be equally effective on the immune system. So, not taking an ample amount of fruits and vegetables can highly affect the immune system.
- Alcoholic Beverages: Alcohol compromises the immune system by reducing the cells that fight infection. Additionally, any type of intoxication can affect your immune system. A goblet of wine can be a healthy way to get through the crisis but excessive alcohol consumption, even short-term, can alter your immune system in ways that are particularly important for every individual.
- Processed foods: More processed foods can be harmful to your overall health. Continuous taking in refined foods weakens the immunity. Refined foods can also cause imbalances in intestinal microorganisms and important collagen bacteria. Reducing refined foods such as maida, white bread, sugar etc. are better for the immune system.
Thus, nutrition plays a critical role in determining immune health. So, eating a well-balanced and healthy diet plays a critical role in supporting our immune system, which protects us from a wide array of disease-causing pathogens.
Over to you:
Our immune system is essential to our survival. Keep it staunch and chances are you’ll live a long, healthy life. Let it weaken and future could be riddled with sickness.