7 Ways How Nutrition supports Healthy Immunity & Protection

How Nutrition supports Healthy Immunity & Protection
7 Ways How Nutrition supports Healthy Immunity & Protection

7 Ways How Nutrition supports Healthy Immunity

Protection Against Harmful Viruses

& Other Invaders

One of your most valuable assets is your health. If you want to live a healthy and happy life, it is important that you learn what your body needs to achieve this. As a Naturopath, I believe that diet and nutrition are crucial for supporting a healthy immune system, optimal physical and mental health. In this article, you will learn about 7 ways nutrition supports healthy immunity, the foods to include and how they benefit your immune system.

It’s important to note that when making healthy dietary changes to support your immune system, no single food or nutrient can do this alone. The immune system is complex and intricate with how it functions and is also influenced by other factors, including getting adequate sleep, managing stress in positive, healthy ways, and engaging with healthy lifestyle habits. Nutrition is a great place to start with improving your immune system to protect and prevent disease.

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3 Reasons Why Nutrition is a Great Place to Start!

1: Every one has to eat, so it didn’t detract from the family budget.
2: It was relatively easy to implement simple, yet effective changes.
3: It is effective and supports optimal function of all your body systems.

Nature the Key to a Healthy Immune System

7 Ways: Nutrition supports Healthy Immunity

1: The immune system is the body’s integrated response that provides protection against pathogenic organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and many underlying causative factors of disease). To deal with this array of threats, the immune system has evolved to include a myriad of specialised cell types, communicating molecules and functional responses. Nutrition plays a crucial role with optimal function of these responses.

2: The immune system is always active, carrying out surveillance, but its activity is enhanced if a person becomes infected. This heightened activity is accompanied by an increased rate of metabolism, requiring energy sources, processes for biosynthesis and regulatory molecules, which are all ultimately derived from your diet.

3: A number of essential vitamins such as (A, B6, B12, folate, C, D and E) and trace elements (zinc, copper, selenium, iron) have been found to have key roles in supporting the human body’s immune system and reducing risk of infections.

4: Eat a Rainbow of Colours in your vegetables and fruit and never have a vitamin deficiency in these vitamins. Food sources of A, B. C, E and D vitamins include animal products such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, coconut derived products, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, purple vegetables, citrus fruits, apples, bananas, watermelon, rockmelon, berries, figs, nuts and seeds. 

5: Two key essential nutrients found in the foods are zinc and selenium. Each of the nutrients named above has roles in supporting antibacterial and antiviral defence, but zinc and selenium seem to be particularly important for the latter. It would seem common sense for individuals to consume a minimum of 4 – 5 servings of these foods mentioned per day. This would provide their body with all the essential nutrients to support a healthy immune system.

6: A well-balanced nutritional diet is also referred to as preventative or curative medicine, and food as medicine. The reason being is that it protects and helps the body to heal and deal with invasive microbes and pathogens.

7: The gut microbiota refers to the microorganisms that live in and on our bodies. These microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes. The gut microbiota is the community of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract.

The gut microbiota plays a crucial role in our immune and digestive health by educating and regulating the immune system, optimizing digestion of food, producing vitamins, and supporting our immune system. A healthy gut microbiota is diverse and contains a balance of beneficial bacteria that help keep harmful bacteria in check.

  • Gut dysbiosis is a feature of disease including many infectious diseases and has been described in COVID-19. Dietary approaches to achieve a healthy microbiota can also benefit the immune system. Severe infection of the respiratory epithelium can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), characterised by excessive and damaging host inflammation, termed a cytokine storm. This is seen in cases of severe COVID-19. There is evidence from ARDS in other settings that the cytokine storm can be controlled by n-3 fatty acids, possibly through their metabolism to specialised pro-resolving mediators.

Gut-Friendly-Probiotic-Foods

Here are 11 Foods that you can Eat for a Healthy Gut Microbiota

1; Bananas
2: Sauerkraut
3: Coconut Yoghurt
4: Apple Cider Vinegar
5: Mangoes
6: Wild Salmon
7: Broccoli
8: Coconut Oil
9: Miso
10: Beans
11: Kombucha

Add two to three of these foods per day to your diet for a Healthy Gut

Micronutrient Foods Sources in Summary

  • Iron – Iron is a component of enzymes critical for immune cell function. Sources include lean red meat, sweet potato, spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, beans, nuts, and seeds.
  • Vitamin A -Vitamin A helps protect against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines, and respiratory system healthy. Sources include orange and red fruits, and vegetables like carrots, apricots, and red capsicum.
  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C stimulates the formation of antibodies, and the production, function, and movement of white blood cells. Sources include citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, and capsicum.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D helps regulate antimicrobial proteins that can directly kill pathogens. Sources include sunlight; fatty fish, like salmon; canned tuna and egg yolks.
  • Vitamin E -Vitamin E works as an antioxidant to protect the integrity of cell membranes from damage caused by free radicals. Sources include seeds, nuts, oils such as olive, sunflower, safflower, soybean, almond, apricot, and sesame.
  • Zinc – Zinc is needed for wound healing and supports immune response. Sources include oysters, shellfish, lean red meat, poultry, avocados, whole grains, beans, milk, cheese, yogurt and nuts.

What about Supplements?

Although a diet of fresh, whole foods is sufficient to maintain a strong immune system, certain circumstances that may require additional vitamin and mineral supplements. These can include pregnant woman, the elderly, and people who are critically ill may have increased nutrient needs or may not be able to eat a variety of nutritious foods. It is important to purchase high quality supplements. Speak to your pharmacist or health care professional for advice. It is recommended that the initial source of nutrients should be food rather than supplements, as food contains more health-promoting benefits and there is no fear of overdose.

Never Underestimate the Power of Nature compared to the Power of Science

Except when they both work in conjunction together

It has been with my experience during my 35 years plus, working with supporting people’s return to health. Than to implement Simple, yet effective, natural ways to support the body’s own unique healing mechanisms and functions. Always beginning with Nutrition, Healthy Food as close to Nature as possible. This works for every culture, getting back to the grass roots of health.

Coronavirus: 9 Steps Prevention & Recovery!

Resources: BMJ Journals for Nutrition, Prevention and Health

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