22 Giu How to support your immune system with nutrition?
The immune system is the body way of defending himself against infection. It is made up of a network of cells, molecules, tissues, and organs working together to fight different viruses and microorganisms that are trying to cause an infection in the body.
As the Coronavirus continues to spread, having a healthy diet is important to build up your defences from the inside and in this way strengthen your immune function. There are several nutrients that play a key role in our immune system. These nutrients include vitamins A and C and minerals like zinc and selenium, which could be naturally obtained by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (especially the coloured ones), nuts and seeds.
Vitamin D is also essential in supporting our immune function overcoming foreign invaders. But Vitamin D can mainly be obtained via exposure to sunlight, so you should try to spend 15-20 minutes each day on your balcony or garden and enjoy the sun, if you can!
Good health in the digestive system and in particular in the gut helps your immune system. Did you know that 70% of your immune system is located within the gut? There are trillions of bacteria in the gut which do interact with the immune cells and contribute to a healthy immune response. To feed your gut flora, you should include in your diet lots of high-fibre foods, as for example garlic, onion, leeks, chicories, asparagus, broccoli, legumes. Also, food containing probiotics, that is fermented food (yogurt, kimchi, sauakernath) and drinks like kefir and kombucha can enrich your gut with good bacteria.
In addition to healthy eating, a bit of exercise, reducing stress and getting enough sleep will also help support normal immune functioning.
And don’t forget to drink water!! The usual recommendation is eight glasses per day of fluid, including tea, coffee and milk. As we are less active during this time of lockdowns, and may not feel as thirsty, you could set regular reminders to ensure you keep drinking!