Since Covid-19 is still raging across the world, it is important for us to maintain a strong immune system during this special time. The immune system plays a vital role in protecting you and your family from viruses. This blog is going to share some simple ways of boosting your immune system via a healthy diet.
Here are some suggestions on nutrients that can strengthen your immunity.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for humans, and it is well-known for its power to boost immunity. VC is a potent antioxidant that can help to eliminate harmful oxidants in the body, such as free radicals. VC also assists other functions of cells. Without sufficient VC, people may get scurvy.
Food with abundant VC includes kiwis, citrus fruits (lemon, oranges, etc.), strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli. Why not make a sweet and sour fruit salad for dinner tonight?
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Unsaturated fatty acids are important nutrients for the body. They are necessary for a lot of cellular activities. Besides strengthening immunity, they can also lower cholesterol, improve blood circulation, enhance memory, and sharpen your mind.
Fish, especially oil, and nuts contain many unsaturated fatty acids that are hard to find in other foods. Therefore, it is a good idea to mix salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, trout, or tuna into your diet, and have walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, and hazelnuts as snacks.
Zinc is part of many enzymes that regulate the normal functions of the body. It has been confirmed to enhance immunity. It can ensure the growth and vitality of the thymus gland, which is the production center of an immune cell, the T cell. Lacking zinc may cause loss of appetite, imbalance in gut microbiota, underdevelopment of the brain, and low intelligence.
Animal products are usually more abundant in zinc than vegetables. Lean meat, milk, eggs, and animal livers are all great sources of zinc. Shellfish, especially oysters, are rather high in zinc. Vegetables generally have less zinc than animals, but lettuce, cabbage, eggplants, beans, peanuts, walnuts, and chestnuts are possible choices for vegetarians. Surprisingly, dark chocolate contains much zinc too.
Selenium is an extremely useful element. It plays an important role in immunity. Studies have shown that increased blood levels of selenium are associated with enhanced immune response. Selenium is also a component of some antioxidants in the body. It can also reduce the risk of certain cancers and destroy cancer cells. Doctors have used selenium additives to treat cancer. Moreover, selenium can protect your liver, kidney, and brain. For men, it will increase the activities of sperm too. These are just discovered functions of selenium. Its true potential could be more astonishing.
Selenium content in food depends more on where they are grown or raised than which kind of food they are. If the soil is selenium-rich, vegetables grown on it will contain more selenium. However, some foods are likely to accumulate selenium in them. Meat normally carries selenium, so do animal livers. Eggs and dairy products are also good sources of selenium. Some nuts, such as Brazilian nuts and cashews, are rich in selenium. Sunflower seeds, beans, mushrooms, spinach, and bananas are all potential choices for additional selenium.
Other Beneficial Nutrients
Some other nutrients can boost your immune systems too. Lycopene, a red pigment found in tomatoes, watermelons, and pink grapefruit, is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen immunity and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Curcumin is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and antioxidant effects, and it can be easily obtained from ginger. Onions have organic sulfur compounds and quercetin that can counter bacteria and viruses and boost the immune system. Alliin, which turns into Allicin that gives garlic the special odor when it is cut or chewed, is a powerful antibacterial agent and a potent antioxidant that could lower the risk of flu and even cancer.
Food alone is not enough for a strong immune system. A healthy lifestyle and regular exercise are both very imperative. Even your emotions can enhance or weaken your immune system. Some studies have shown regular sex can improve immunity too. No matter how strong your immune system is, you should try to stay away from the crowd and do not let yourself expose to dangerous pathogens. Although your immunity can fight these invaders, victory is not guaranteed. All in all, eat more vegetables.