Nowadays, a significant amount of the population relies on food supplements to support their immune system. Brands, such as Vegetology, are quite famous amongst people for providing a diversity of high-quality products to match their needs.
But have you ever questioned why exactly we take these supplements? It’s because food supplements come packed with nutrition. And that is highly important for powerful immunity.
You see, the immune system is our body’s only defense mechanism. If it’s weak, we cannot recover from even the slightest of papercuts easily. Nobody wants that, right?
Well, today’s post is all about nutrition and the immune system. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and explore the details!
Immunity & Nutrition – The Link
By definition, the immune system refers to the collective network of different cells and structures that protect our body against germs. Whenever our body encounters any germ, this particular system finds and eliminates it for good.
Now, there are two immunity types present in humans:
- Innate Immunity
Innate immunity is the first line of defense that germs come across when trying to enter our bodies. It is a collection of protective barriers, such as skin and mucus. Together, these prevent the pathogen from causing any harm.
- Adaptive Immunity
As the name suggests, adaptive immunity is the type that identifies a pathogen and alters itself to fight more effectively. For example, if pathogen A enters our body, the adaptive immunity will become activated and identify the germ. Once done, it will produce specific antibodies and increase immune cells to kill the pathogen successfully.
Overall, the human immune system comprises tiny living cells that require energy to execute their activities. And, the energy comes from the intake of a healthy and balanced diet, also called nutrition.
Nutrients to Strengthen your Immune System
The human body requires a lot of different nutrients in specific proportions to lead a healthy life. However, today’s fast-paced lifestyle makes it challenging to ensure a balanced diet.
Running to the office with a sandwich in one hand and swallowing glassfuls of sugary soft drinks in stress are only a few examples of how we fulfill our food needs.
Fortunately, you can still support your healthy immune system by focusing on a few micronutrients. These include:
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is one of the essential most nutrients needed by our bodies. It plays a crucial role in white blood cells production that fights against germs. It also protects these cells from damage and enables them to function more effectively.
Moreover, vitamin C strengthens skin that is a protective barrier of the innate immune system. It makes your skin plump and firm, too.
Vitamin D refers to a fat-soluble vitamin that helps regulate the immune system. It boosts specific white blood cells, such as monocytes and lymphocytes.
Although vitamin D is present in several food items, our body can also produce it naturally. Exposure to the sun triggers vitamin D production in the skin. The energy required for the process comes from the synthesis of stored cholesterol in skin cells.
Almost every part of our body requires zinc for proper growth and development. It became an essential nutrient back in 1934 when a study revealed that it was present in all tissues of the body.
Zinc supports the immune system by playing an important part in antibody and lymphocyte production. It also has antioxidant properties that reduce oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines.
Most people refer to vitamin A as the anti-inflammation vitamin due to its integral role in boosting the immune system. It helps in the formation of immune cells and ensures better regulation. It also strengthens the epithelium and mucus linings.
Apart from this, vitamin A enhances human vision. It assists in the conversion of light rays to an electrical signal. So, they can travel to the brain, and we can view the objects accurately.
Selenium is another vital mineral that supports the immune system by identifying harmful foreign substances in our bodies. These include viruses, bacteria, and other kinds of germs.
It is also an anti-oxidant that helps lower oxidative stress and inflammation. Selenium intake brings significant improvement in people suffering from tuberculosis, influenza, and hepatitis C.
Vitamin E helps protect the thymus gland, which is an organ in the upper chest responsible for white blood cell production. It especially ensures the safety and constant production of immune cells when the body is experiencing chronic illness or oxidative stress.
Hence, the immune system can work on the defense without disruption. Vitamin E also improves eye and heart health.
Hopefully, by now, you have understood how nutrition helps support the immune system. We have stated all the essential micro-nutrients that you can take either in the form of food or supplements to strengthen your immunity. Do let us know your thoughts below!
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology, to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.