A good hygiene routine can help keep bacteria from entering our body, but what happens when a pesky virus manages to find its way in?
The immune system is the best defense mechanism in the case of fighting off cold or flu viruses. In order for this complex network to operate at maximum potential, it needs the best fuel it can get. Here’s how to eat your way to a strong immune system.
Immune system basics
The immune system is able to go up against infections and viruses thanks to a complex network of proteins and cells. It also has an impressive memory, as the immune system keeps a record of every microbe it has ever fought in order to quickly defeat it upon future visits.
Unfortunately, cold and flu viruses tend to mutate. When the memory cell doesn’t recognize a new virus, the immune system is put at a disadvantage and our risk for infection increases.
In addition to antioxidants and potassium, blueberries provide us with vitamins C, B6 and B9 (folate).
Signs of a weak immune system
When our immune system is weak we are more susceptible to infections and viruses. As well, our body has a harder time getting rid of these disruptors.
Symptoms of a weak immune system include but are not limited to: autoimmune disorders (caused by an overactive immune, the body attacks its own healthy cells); inflammation of internal organs; blood disorders (such as anemia); as well as delayed growth or development of a child.
Avocados, for example, are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and macronutrients.
Food is power
According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1997), “Nutrition is a critical determinant of immune responses and malnutrition the most common cause of immunodeficiency worldwide.” In other words, we need to make sure that we are eating enough, and that the calories we consume are high in nutrition.
Foods that are truly healthy (that benefit our body rather than deprive or oversaturate) are comprised of some of the following elements: macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fat); essential vitamins (A, C, D, E, K and the eight B vitamins) and minerals; as well as essential amino and fatty acids.
To ensure these quality nutrients become part of our diet and that our immune system reaps the benefits, it’s important to consume a variety of all-natural produce each day. Avocados, for example, are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and macronutrients. In addition to antioxidants and potassium, blueberries provide us with vitamins C, B6 and B9 (folate).
We need to make sure that we are eating enough, and that the calories we consume are high in nutrition.
Other ways to boost your immune system
A healthy lifestyle and diet go hand in hand. Along with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you can boost your immune system by: exercising daily, avoiding smoking or heavy drinking, washing your hands and getting enough sleep. Little by little, incorporate these habits into your lifestyle. Afterall, a healthy immune system is important to have all year round.
Visit our recipe collection to find ideas to how to eat your way to a strong immune system.