For the most part, your immune system is responsible for doing an outstanding job of protecting you against disease-causing microorganisms. However, unfortunately, sometimes it fails: A germ successfully invades and makes you sick.
Ensuring that you are eating a diet which is high in immune-boosting nutrients is one of the ways that you are able to take an active role in keeping up your health and wellness.
Your body utilises and absorbs nutrients more efficiently when these come from whole food sources such as fruits as well as vegetables as opposed to processed foods or supplements. Getting a range of these foods and nutrients in your diet is vital as compared to merely focusing on just one or two in large quantities.
Vitamin C – Citrus Fruits And Greens
Eating foods which are high in vitamin C – such as grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, sweet red pepper, broccoli, strawberries, kale and kiwifruit – are thought to increase white blood cell production. This is key to fighting off infection.
Beta-Carotene – Root Vegetables And Greens
Beta-carotene changes into vitamin A, which is an anti-inflammatory vitamin. This can help your antibodies to respond to toxins, such as a virus.
Carrots, spinach, kale, apricots, sweet potato, squash as well as cantaloupe are all great sources of beta-carotene. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. What this means is that consuming foods with healthy fats will help in its absorption. A wonderful immune-boosting combination would be carrots with tried-and-trusted hummus or a spinach salad with avocado or olive oil in the dressing.
Vitamin E – Nuts, Seeds And Greens
Vitamin E happens to be a fat-soluble vitamin that is key in regulating as well as supporting immune system functioning. Foods which are rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds, avocado, and spinach.
As we get older, our immune response capability reduces. This, in turn, contributes to more infections as well as more cancer. Because the life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the prevalence of age-related conditions.
While some individuals age healthily, the conclusion that has been reached in many studies is that – compared with younger people – the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases. More significantly, they are more likely to die from them.
Respiratory infections, including, influenza and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65 all across the globe. No one knows for certain why this takes place, but some scientists observe that this increased risk relates to a decrease in T cells, perhaps from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells in order to fight off infection. Whether this reduction in thymus function explains the decreased number of in T cells or whether other alterations play a role is not fully understood. Other studies are interested in if the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing the stem cells which create the cells of the immune system.
As you can see, consuming a healthy diet can improve immunity. Find out what else healthy foods can do by signing up to Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Specialised Nutrition Course. Read more about it here.