How my nutrition is helping boost my immunity
What is Immunity?
Immunity is protection from disease. The Immune System protects the body from foreign substances, cells and tissues by producing the immune response or the ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells.
Good immunity is a sign of good health.
Good health allows you to lead a great life.
There is truth in the adage ‘Health is Wealth’ because if you are healthy you can enjoy all the wonderful things life has to offer: food, exercise, travel, dressing up and more.
It is important to get adequate amounts of the following nutrients to support your immune health:
- Protein is needed for the building of antibodies and immune system cells. In addition, some of the amino acids that make up proteins are important fuels for cells in the immune system.
- Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protect the body against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy.
- Vitamin C helps the body build healthy skin and connective tissue, which helps to block the entry of foreign microbes. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that protects cells (e.g., cells of the immune system) from damage caused by free radicals.
- Vitamin E works as an antioxidant, protecting cell membranes from damage due to free radicals. Healthy cell membranes help keep foreign microbes out.
- Vitamin D helps to activate immune cells and properly regulate their function.
- Zinc is needed for wound healing and for cellular reproduction, which is important in the synthesis of new immune system cells.
- Other nutrients, including vitamin B6, folate, selenium, iron, as well as prebiotics, probiotics, also may promote proper immune responses.
So how do I work on attaining good immunity and keeping it up too? The right diet and a fitness regime go hand in hand to achieve this.
- I choose to eat fresh, home-cooked food at least 5 times a week, and try to make healthy choices when I eat out too. Indulgences are few and far in between. Processed food slows down the body’s metabolism, and also has a direct impact on the immune system.
- Some form of exercise 2-3 times a week, if not more. Cardio (in the form of walking, stationary cycling) at least twice a week. I have to add that just so I don’t miss out on my workout and cardio these days I have been exercising at home, yes even walking inside the house with my shoes, music and fitness tracker on.
- I add a reasonable amount of fresh and dried fruits, nuts and seeds to my daily diet.
- At home we also use Amla (Gooseberry) Lemon Juice, Ginger, Garlic, Turmeric in our everyday cooking and Yogurt (an excellent probiotic) at meal times is a must.
- Citrus fruits are my favorite and their high Vitamin C content helps.
- Enjoying the vegetables and fruits of the season, as they are available seasonally for a reason.
- Drink water regularly.
You can also include supplements in your diet like Ensure that has nutrients that will help to not only boost your immune system but also provide the body with a complete and balanced diet.
Most adults are always on the go, some even unable to adhere to proper meal times while other skip meals altogether, making do with junk food instead. This is when nutritional supplements help. They give you the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your body needs, and as you grow older your body needs them more than ever.
While we pay close attention to the nutritional intake of children, we often forget about it once we grow up. Adult nutrition to boost immunity should be given equal importance.
So how do you ensure you’re getting a complete and balanced diet?