There’s no question that your diet can play a major role in keeping your immune system healthy and functioning normally. Your body is much better able to stave off infection when you make good nutritional decisions, and include the right types of food and supplements in your diet. A good deal of research has discovered that proper nutrition will stimulate the cells of the immune system and inhibit the development of chronic diseases. Additionally, keeping a healthy immune system is key to treating back pain, neck pain, and other injuries. Here are some other ways that diet can play a key role in maintaining a properly functioning immune system.
Fighting inflammation through nutrition
Your immune system has a natural inflammatory response when it gets activated to fight infection. It requires more energy from current food intake and from stored nutrition, and the immune cells will actually navigate to whatever infection has begun, and cause inflammation to be triggered. One of the best ways of fighting this inflammatory response is by maintaining a diet which is heavy in long chain omega-3 fatty acids which are polyunsaturated.
Many people living in Western civilization ingest foods which are rich in lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and these will be responded to by your immune cells with its natural inflammation capability. By eating the right kinds of foods and the proper amount of them, you can help to avoid inflammation, as well as the tendency to become obese, which will trigger a whole catalog of other undesirable medical conditions.
The ideal diet
You have probably heard your whole life about how fresh fruits and vegetables are the best foods you can possibly eat, because they’re so healthy and because they contain so many of the ingredients your body needs. All those announcements and claims are in fact genuine, because fruits and vegetables are generally extremely high in bioactive compounds which are capable of reducing the risk of chronic inflammation and other unpleasant conditions.
One of the most prominent of these conditions is cardiovascular disease, although cancer and Alzheimer’s disease are also closely associated with chronic inflammation. People who live in the countries around the Mediterranean Sea generally have diets which are rich in fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, and numerous studies have shown how these people have far less incidence of cardiovascular disease than residents of other areas of the world.
The vitamins and minerals which are most strongly associated with a healthy immune system include zinc, copper, iron, folic acid, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Other food items known for boosting the immune system include spinach, poultry, shellfish, almonds, ginger, turmeric, green tea, sunflower seeds, kiwi, papaya, broccoli, citrus fruits, garlic, and yogurt.
To increase your body’s ability to fight infection, you should elevate the count of white blood cells your body has by taking in foods which are rich in vitamin C. These kinds of foods include lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges. Red bell peppers are also a terrific source of several vitamins, and they actually contain twice as much vitamin C as you would normally find in any citrus fruit.
If you haven’t been a fan of red bell peppers up till now, you should consider working more of them into your diet. If you don’t eat foods which are naturally rich in these minerals and nutrients, it would be worth your while to think about taking supplements which contain them.