The Covid-19 pandemic is a serious threat all over the world. To fight viruses, it is essential to achieve and maintain a healthy nutritional status. Age, sex, health status, lifestyle, and medications all have an impact on an individual’s nutritional status. Individuals’ nutritional status has been employed as a destabilisation barrier during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because optimal nutrition and dietary nutrient intake have an impact on the immune system, strengthening the immune system is the only long-term method to live in the current environment. At this point, people turn to foods that are high in Vitamin C for protection.
Citrus fruits, chicken soup, and honeyed tea are just a few examples of foods high in vitamin C. However, our immune system is intricately designed and influenced by a perfect balance of numerous elements, not simply by nutrition, and certainly not by any single food or vitamin. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, combined with healthy lifestyle variables such as appropriate sleep, exercise, and low stress, primes the body to fight infection and disease the most efficiently.
What Is Our Immune System & How Does It Work?
We are frequently exposed to potentially infectious agents of various types daily. Our immune system, which is made up of a complex network of stages and pathways in the body, defends us from both harmful bacteria and diseases. It detects and eliminates external invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Innate and adaptive immunity are two types of immunity that humans have.
Innate immunity, which is acquired through protective barriers, is a first-line defence against viruses that try to enter our bodies. A system that learns to recognise a disease is known as adaptive or acquired immunity. The spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and lymph nodes are among the cells and organs that regulate it. When a foreign substance enters the body, these cells and organs produce antibodies, which cause immune cells (including many types of white blood cells) to multiply and fight and kill the harmful substance. Our immune system adjusts by remembering the foreign substance so that if it resurfaces, these antibodies and cells will be much more effective and swifter to eliminate it.
Is There Such a Thing as an Immune System-Boosting Diet?
All cells, including immune cells, require sufficient nutrients as part of a diversified diet for health and function. Certain dietary patterns may help the body better prepare for microbial attacks and inflammation, but individual items are unlikely to provide more protection. Many micronutrients are required for each stage of the immunological response in the body. Vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron, and protein are some of the nutrients that have been identified as essential for immune cell growth and function (including the amino acid glutamine). They can be found in some foods, both plant and animal. Diets that are deficient in diversity and nutrients, such as those that consist mostly of ultra-processed meals and lack minimally processed items, can harm a healthy immune system. It’s also thought that a Western diet that is high in refined sugar and red meat and low in fruits and vegetables might cause disruptions in beneficial intestinal microbes, leading to persistent gut inflammation and immune suppression.
The microbiome is a trillion of bacteria or microbes that reside in the human body, primarily in the intestines. Scientists are discovering that the microbiome plays a vital role in immune function, and this is an area of intense and active research. The gut is a primary location of immunological activation and antimicrobial protein synthesis. The microbes that reside in our intestines are mostly determined by our food. The growth and maintenance of beneficial bacteria appear to be aided by a high-fibre plant-rich diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Fibres are broken down into short-chain fatty acids by certain beneficial microorganisms, which have been found to increase immune cell activation. Because they feed bacteria, these fibres are commonly referred to as prebiotics. As a result, a probiotic and prebiotic-rich diet may be advantageous. Prebiotic meals contain fibre and oligosaccharides that feed and sustain healthy bacteria colonies, while probiotic foods contain live beneficial bacteria.
Kefir, yoghurt with live active organisms, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha tea, kimchi, and miso are all probiotic foods while garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, bananas, and seaweed are all prebiotic foods. For dietary prebiotics, however, a more general approach is to eat a range of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
Are Vitamin Supplements Beneficial for your Immune System?
A single dietary deficiency can impact the immunological response of the body. Deficits in zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E have been shown in animal studies to alter immunological responses. These nutrients aid the immune system in a variety of ways, including acting as an antioxidant to protect healthy cells, promoting immune cell growth and activity, and creating antibodies. According to epidemiological studies, individuals who are malnourished are more susceptible to bacterial, viral, and other diseases.
Deficits in these nutrients can be avoided by eating a high-quality diet. However, there are some situations and backgrounds where eating a range of nutritious foods is not always possible. Vitamin and mineral supplements may be useful in these situations to help replace dietary gaps. Vitamin supplements have been demonstrated to improve immunological responses in these populations in studies. Groups at risk include low-income households, pregnant and lactating women, infants and toddlers, and the critically ill.
The elderly are a highly vulnerable demographic. As the number and quality of immune cells decrease with age, the immune response generally deteriorates. If the elderly suffer chronic or acute disorders, this increases the chance of bad outcomes. Multiple drugs that can interfere with nutrient absorption and appetite; malabsorption due to intestinal difficulties; and higher nutrient demands due to hypermetabolic states with acute or chronic disorders are some of the reasons the elderly are vulnerable. Budget constraints or a lack of interest in cooking for one person, poor dentition, mental impairment, or a lack of transportation and community resources to buy healthy food may further limit diet variety.
Unless otherwise prescribed by a physician, a generic multivitamin/mineral supplement that provides the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) may be used in certain instances. Vitamin supplements should not be used as a substitute for a healthy diet because no supplement can provide all of the advantages of whole foods
Health Immune Boosting Juice Recipes
The recipe is for 4 servings
Love your Greens Juice
- 6 cups of spinach or kale
- 1 large cucumber
- 2 green apples quartered
- 2 pears quartered
- 1 juice of a lemon
The Rays of Sunshine Juice
- 5 carrots
- 3 oranges peeled
- 1 juice of a lemon
- 1 small knob of ginger
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric
Each juicer or blender will be slightly different — Use yours per the instructions. Fresh juice is best used within 48 hours, although it can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Within the first 48 hours of production, the flavour and nutrients are at their highest.
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