Ahealthy, balanced diet is one of the main factors affecting the body’s immunity. The menu, rich in healthy and nutritious ingredients, acts as a natural shield that protects the body against many pathogens. Check what to eat to support the immune system and prevent infection.
Vitamin C – strengthens immunity and supports the fight against the disease
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a secret agent to fight for our immunity. The most important mission of this valuable substance is of course to defend the body against pathogens and to support it in the fight against the disease. How it’s working?
Vitamin C stimulates the activity of white blood cells – thanks to it leukocytes find their way faster to places where the infection develops and are able to fight its inflammation. Ascorbic acid is also very good at dealing with free radicals, which largely contribute to the formation of cancerous changes in the body.
Where can we find the most vitamin C? Rosehip is the record holder, followed by parsley, kale, brassica, broccoli and paprika – regardless of color. A good source of ascorbic acid are also exotic fruits, such as citrus, kiwi and pineapple, as well as Polish seasonal fruits: blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.
Beta-carotene – protects the body against infections and fights free radicals
In terms of merits for our immunity, beta-catotene is in no way inferior to the infamous vitamin C. This valuable substance is transformed in the body into vitamin A, which acts as a natural shield that protects us against pathogens.
Like ascorbic acid, vitamin A improves the process of immune response to disease states, as well as fights free radicals and strengthens the immune system, thus minimizing the risk of infection.
Beta-carotene can be found primarily in fruits and vegetables colored red and orange, such as carrots, fresh and dried apricots, pumpkin, peaches, oranges, peppers and watermelon. When looking for this valuable ingredient, also choose green products, e.g. broccoli, kale or spinach.
Zinc – regulates immunological processes and has anti-inflammatory effects
To ensure immunity, we cannot forget about zinc. This wonderful element plays a key role in the processes of the immune system, which is why it is so important in the daily diet and invaluable in periods of increased morbidity.
Zinc creates a harmonious duo with vitamin A, regulating its concentration in the body. Both components have anti-inflammatory effects, so by joining forces, they work on infections even more effectively.
Sources of zinc are: seafood, fish, meat, liver, eggs, cheese, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, buckwheat and rice, and whole grain bread.
Sulfur – a natural antibiotic that fights bacteria, viruses and fungi
Sulfur is a very important element that can not be missing in a balanced diet. Although it is usually associated with caring for skin health, in fact it also strengthens the immune system.
It is not without reason that our grandmothers treated colds with onions and garlic – the secret of the miraculous action of both vegetables is just sulfur, considered by dieters as a natural antibiotic. Sulfur-rich foods have a bactericidal and fungicidal effect, which is why they should be included in the menu during periods of weakness.
Sulfur can be found not only in onion vegetables. A good source of this element are also: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, horseradish and radish. Sulfur is also found in high-protein animal foods: eggs, meat, milk and its products.
Good bacteria – support the work of the intestines, increase the body’s resistance
The allies in the fight for a good condition of the immune system are also microorganisms inhabiting our digestive tract. It is not for nothing that immunity has its origin in the intestines – it is there that numerous colonies of friendly bacteria exist that guard our health.
During weakening, the balance of bacterial flora in the intestines may be disturbed, so to increase immunity, it is worth including foods in the diet that restore the proper level of good bacteria in the body. A great source of probiotic strains are fermented dairy products, silage, sourdough bread, miso tempeh (fermented soybeans) and kimchi (fermented vegetables – usually cabbage or cucumber).
In turn, prebiotics, i.e. substances supporting the multiplication of beneficial intestinal bacteria, can be found in whole grain products,