Some people used to say that infections are as inevitable as death and taxes. In fact, your body is exposed to bacteria and germs every single day. Sneezing and sniffling will probably accompany you throughout your entire life.

Nevertheless, lifestyle tends to have a major impact on how often you’ll be caught by infections. If you build your life upon healthy habits (like doing sports, sleeping and eating well and keeping away from cigarettes) your immune system will be better prepared to deal with the various invading agents.

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How can nutrition improve immune system?

Foods contain antioxidants and health-enhancing substances that are absolutely indispensable to support immune system function. Fruits, legumes and vegetables provide white blood cells with the adequate tools to fight germs, bacteria and infections.

If you want to keep colds and flu away from you and be on top of your game, follow these simple nutrition tips:

1) Consume antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E, which help fight harmful microorganisms that invade your body.

Good sources of vitamin E are sunflower seeds, nuts, peanuts and wheat germ. As for vitamin C go for green peppers, citrus fruits (lemon, orange, tangerine, etc), strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, white potatoes, spinach and cantaloupe. The daily recommended dose of vitamin C is 90 mg.

2) Have a cuppa every day. Green tea extract contains polyphenols, which have strong antioxidants activity.

3) Go for Superfoods. Superfoods are foods that deliver precious nutrients that boost the immune system and provide energy. Spirulina, cranberry, pomegranate, acai and mangosteen are examples of superfoods or you can have a supplement containing different superfoods instead.

4) Proteins play an important role for the maintenance of the immune system. Protein contains amino acids necessary for the synthesis of specific proteins that trigger immune response. Make sure you’re eating high-protein foods such as eggs, meat, fish, milk and legumes.

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5) Research suggests that probiotics can benefit not only the digestive system, but also strengthen the immune system. Probiotics can be found in yogurts, fortified cereals and supplements.

6) Vitamin D is best known for its beneficial effects on bone health but can also contribute to a healthy immune system. The best source of vitamin D is natural sunlight. Nutrition-wise vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, oily fish, fortified breakfast cereals and eggs.

7) Zinc is an essential mineral that regulates the production of immune cells. Zinc can be found in red meat, poultry, beans, nuts and supplements. The recommended daily dose of zinc is 11 mg / day.

Conclusion

Hippocrates, considered the father of Medicine, said many years ago “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. After more than two thousand years, this motto still continues to make sense.

Follow the nutrition principles stated above and your energy levels will spike as well as your immune defenses.



Writer and expert