Nutrients to improve immune system
The immune system is composed of protein, cells, and tissue. It is a wide network including respiratory organ gastrointestinal tract, skin, etc. Our immune system helps to provide protection against disease-causing microorganisms, toxins, and infections. It also responds in trauma or injuries and helps in better recovery from illness.
Good nutrition is very important to keep the immune system healthy. A strong immune system has a balance between all elements.
Malnutrition and immunity
Many types of research show that malnutrition is the most common cause of compromised immunity. A single nutrient deficiency can also result in an altered immune response.for being healthy it is important to nourish our bodies. Malnutrition is the common cause of immunodeficiency.
macronutrients and immunity
Carbohydrate is the main source of energy. in place of simple or refined carbohydrate choose complex carbohydrate as it provides more nutrients along with good amount of fiber which is good for gut and a healthy gut improve immune function. Whole wheat, corn, maize, oats, barley, leafy vegetables, and fruits are good sources of complex carbs. Limit intake of sugar, sweets, refined flour, highly processed food, bakery products, carbonated beverages, and confectionaries.
Protein is an important part of daily diet as it is building block of our body, helps in growth maintenance of cells and tissues, fight against infection as it helps to form immunoglobulin. Protein also takes part in various other body functions. Glutamine and arginine are well-known amino acids of nutrition therapy in pre and post-surgery patients for better immune response, helps in recovery from chronic illness, cancer, and intestinal injury, etc.
Deficiency of protein weakens our immunity so include protein-rich food in daily diet. Sources of protein are egg meat fish poultry chicken milk and milk products, pulses and legumes nuts and seeds, soybean cereals and millets vegetables. Quality of protein can be improved by soaking, germination, and by using combinations like dal and rice, curd or milk rice.
Fats are important for the absorption of vitamin A, D, E and K, a good source of Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, dense source of energy decrease cellular inflammatory activity
Ideally, we should use bled of oils SFA:MUFA: PUFA for better health, it is important to keep oil intake on the lower side especially saturated fat and avoid trans fats.
Omega 3 fatty acids are an Essential fatty acid body cannot make them needs to be taken from the food it is found in fish vegetable oil nuts flaxseed etc. it lowers blood pressure. It also takes part in a cellular immune response
micronutrients and immunity
Some micronutrient deficiencies like vitaminC, E, A, B1, zinc, folic acid selenium have a great influence on the immune response. To prevent nutritional deficiency it is important to take a balanced diet with adequate hydration.
Vitamin C is the most popular antioxidant that protects from free radical damage, it strengthens the body’s natural defence by increasing the production of white blood cells. It helps to kill pathogens, Increase iron absorption from the diet; decrease inflammation, and increase collagen formation which is good for the skin. sources of Vitamin C Fresh fruits and vegetables, alma, guava, lemon, lime musubi), papaya, orange, pineapple, tomato, strawberry, Malta, green chilli, capsicum, drumstick, coriander leaves drumstick leaves, cabbage amaranth, etc
Vitamins E is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant fight against oxidation and infections. it has the ability to modulate the immune function of the host. It prevents from forming clots. sources arealmond hazelnut sunflower seed spinach cabbage etc.
Vitamin A is a well known powerful antioxidant, protect cells from free radical damage. It is also needed for the formation of epithelial tissues. In plants, it is found in the form of carotene which gets converted into vitamin A in the body.
Carotenoid is a strong pigment found in many fruits and vegetables like beetroot, tomatoes, carrots green leafy vegetables, pomegranate, pumpkin, papaya, and mango, etc.
Zinc, Minerals also help in improving immunity like Zinc is an essential nutrient that helps in the production of immune cells and it reduces inflammation. It is found in the oyster, crab, lean meat, poultry, baked beans, yoghurt, and chickpeas.
Selenium lowers oxidative stress and reduces inflammation and improves immunity. Selenium protects from chronic illness like cancer and heart disease. For getting benefits of selenium we can include garlic, broccoli, sardines, tuna, Brazil nut and barley etc in our diet.