The pandemic caused by the coronavirus is acute during this period. Given that health systems around the world have not yet found an effective vaccine or treatment for this disease, the only thing left for us to do is to rely on our immunity.
The immune system is our defense mechanism against all unwanted infectious diseases (caused by various microorganisms), but also a little more general. It is our defense system that should keep the organism in a so-called state of balance.
The question arises, can we with our actions, ie with our lifestyle, to “help” the immunity in its proper functioning.
What can we do about it?
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Nutrition as a factor for optimal immune system function
In addition to good lifestyle habits such as regular physical activity, not smoking, minimizing and controlling stress, not consuming alcohol, perhaps the most important is a proper and healthy diet. There are long debates about what is meant by the term healthy and proper nutrition. We will talk about that later.
10 foods that can help our immune system function properly.
This type of fruit includes lemon, orange, tangerines, grapefruit, etc.
Vitamin C is considered to be the most important component of these fruits that contributes to the proper function of the immune system. This vitamin is associated with increased production of white blood cells which are key in fighting all infections. Citrus fruits are especially rich in vitamin C.
The body is not able to produce this vitamin, so it is very important to consume these fruits. Also, peppers and some other vegetables are especially rich in vitamin C.
Broccoli is considered a super-food. It is a rich source of micronutrients of various kinds. It is full of vitamins C, A, E, as well as an array of antioxidants and fiber. The less cooked, the better.
Garlic is present in all world cuisines. Its positive effects on health are numerous. Several scientific studies suggest that garlic has the power to lower blood pressure and slow down the hardening of arteries. Allicin, along with other sulfur-containing components of garlic, has a powerful immunostimulatory effect. Some studies also suggest its antibacterial action.
The wise people have been using ginger for a long time because of the positive effects they have experienced. Today, several of its positive effects have been proven, such as: reducing inflammation, alleviating the urge to vomit, and reducing chronic pain. Some animal studies also suggest that it has a positive effect on lowering blood cholesterol.
Apart from being a rich source of vitamin C whose importance we have mentioned, spinach is also rich in various antioxidants, beta carotene, etc. These components can help in the anti-inflammatory processes that the immune system handles. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthier when it is less cooked.
Almonds are nuts that are rich in healthy fats, but also with numerous micronutrients. It is rich in calcium, a range of antioxidants, and a large amount of vitamin E. Vitamin E is considered to be one of the key nutrients for the immune system. One meal with about 50 grams of almonds completely satisfies the daily needs of vitamin E.
Regular drinking of this tea is in the culture of the peoples of the Far East. Lately, it is more and more present in our country as well. Its positive effect on immunity and our health, in general, is a result of its rich antioxidant composition. Contains flavonoids and epigallocatechin gallate – powerful antioxidants. Green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine. This amino acid can help increase the production of immune cells called T cells, which are responsible for fighting various microorganisms that cause various infections.
Sunflower is rich in vitamin E. We mentioned the importance of vitamin E as an antioxidant in almonds. In addition to this vitamin, sunflower is rich in minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, and B vitamins.
In addition to the significant percentage of vitamin C that they can provide us, the presence of essential nutrients such as folate, potassium, vitamin K is also important. Vitamin C is most important for the immune system, while other nutrients are important for other important functions in the body.
An Australian study proves the immunostimulatory effect of several types of commercial mushrooms: shiitake, reishi, and maitake. The immunostimulatory effect of mushrooms is due to beta-glucans (a type of carbohydrate) that are part of their composition. These components are also present in oats.
When ingested, the immune system sees beta-glucans as “foreign elements” stimulating an increased response, which reflects on pathogens that may be present. Australian scientists have also found a positive effect of beta-glucans in lowering high cholesterol, and thus the risk of cardiovascular disease.