Our body has an immune system that protects it from toxins and infections. The system is a network of biological processes that act as protection from organisms that cause diseases. It detects pathogens and responds by distinguishing them from the body’s own healthy tissues.
An immune system will be healthy if we ensure that our diet is healthy all the time. Other lifestyle practices like good sleep and regular exercise can help to maintain a body’s health.
The Need to Eat Healthy
When you eat healthy, your body gets all the vitamins and minerals that it needs to keep the immune system in the best condition. The best way of doing this is to eat food and other natural substances that will provide all the needed minerals and vitamins, instead of depending on supplements that make up for any deficiency.
Vitamins Are Important
Vitamins are at the top of the list when you are talking of natural substances that will help the immune system health.
Vitamin C helps not only in preventing infection but also shortens the time it will remain in your body. Citrus foods are a good source of Vitamin C. It is also there in many foods, and if these are regularly part of your diet you will never need supplements. These are spinach, bell peppers, papaya, kale, Brussels sprouts, and strawberries among others.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps in the fighting of infection. It is critical for your immune body function and nearly 200 biochemical reactions. You will find this vitamin in almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, hazel nuts and sunflower, soybean and safflower oils.
Vitamin A is an infection fighter that can be found in fish, meat, and dairy, as well as in carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe and butternut squash.
Vitamin D, or the sunshine vitamin, is an important nutrient for the immune system. Spend some time outdoors everyday for this vitamin, which you can also find in salmon, tuna, mackerel, and orange juice, milk, and cereals that have been fortified with Vitamin D
Folic Acid Gives Health Benefits
Folate is the natural form of this while folic acid is its synthetic form. You can get your proper share of this natural substance if you add more beans and lentils to your regular diet. Leafy vegetables also have this folate. Among fruits, avocado is rich in folate. Enriched pasta, bread ad rice also contains folic acid in their makeup.
Iron Helps the Immune System
Iron is the element that is needed in your body for carrying oxygen to the cells, and thus plays an important part in many of the processes of the immune system. The iron is held in a heme, which is an organic ring-shaped molecule.
Heme also interacts with iron to give blood its red color. The body absorbs this heme iron from animal products like red meat, chicken, oysters, clams, turkey, and canned sardines and tuna. Iron is also fund in broccoli, kale, tofu, soybeans, lentils, and many other beans and peas.
Selenium is another natural substance that plays a very important part in the immune system for the prevention of infection. The best foods for this mineral are animal foods, though Brazil nuts give you more than your daily need in just one or two nuts. You will also find selenium in cottage cheese, poultry, meat, liver and some seafood.
Zinc and the Immune System
For the production of new immune cells, it is important that you body is provided with sources of zinc. You will find zinc in animal products like lean meat, poultry, oyster and crab, while vegetarians will find them in their yogurt, chickpeas and baked beans.
The Role of Spices in Food
Spices play a large part in many forms of cooking all over the world. Ginger is a part of most cuisines and adds zing to your food. It is of great value in fighting infections and has immune boosting properties that comes from the sulfur containing compounds in it. It is a spice that also helps to slow down the hardening or arteries and has been known to reduce blood pressure.
Ginger helps to decrease inflammation, reduce sore throats, prevent nausea, and chronic pain. It is a spice that is also used in tea to cause a warm feeling in the digestive system, that can help in the digestion of food.
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Turmeric is a key ingredient in curries and has been shown to be an immune booster. It is also used to treat arthritis and other inflammatory diseases through external applications of poultices containing turmeric.
Natural substances are always absorbed and assimilated by the body quite easily, and this makes it important to ensure that your diet always includes them in every meal. Proper attention and planning to what you eat can go a long way in developing your immune system so that you are always protected from infections and diseases.