The immune system acts as a barrier that protects the body against external factors and prevents viruses, bacteria and microbes from entering the body; it is the key to a healthy and quality life.Immunity is the body's defense system that protects the body against diseases and recognizes harmful cells. We can be resistant to diseases only through a strong immune system. The body needs specific vitamins and minerals for a strong immune system, perfect functioning and protection of the body against diseases.
Immune system may be weakened due to stress, weather pollution, malnutrition, seasonal changes, disruptions in sleep patterns and similar factors. A weakened immune system means that the body is much more vulnerable and less resistant to allergic diseases and infections. So, we need to avoid factors that weaken the immune system, particularly in autumn and winter, and make sure that we take the necessary actions to boost the immune system. Let's take a detailed look at the answer to the question of how to boost the immune system.
How to Boost the Immune System?
A healthy and balanced diet plays an important role in boosting the immune system. The immune system functions properly as long as adequate carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamin and mineral intake is ensured. On the other hand, poor and unbalanced nutrition disrupts functioning of the body, causes hormonal imbalance and increases the risk of getting diseases and prolongs the recovery time.
Vitamin and mineral intake alone is not enough to ensure a healthy diet. Adequate protein intake must also be ensured. So, it is very important to take required amount of all the food groups. It is known that natural herbal teas and teas made from plants with healing effect are also effective in boosting the immune system. You can find recipes to increase your resistance in our article "5 Different Winter Teas That Boost the Immunity”.
What is the Role of Diet in the Immune System?
For healthy functioning of the immune system, consumption of foods with complex carbohydrates such as fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, lean meats and dried nuts and fruits instead of ready-made and packaged foods with high calorie, excessive salt, refined sugar and flour, as well as eating fresh sea fish 2 times a week, turning a balanced diet into a lifestyle and regular exercising, are extremely important. Let's take a look at the vitamins and minerals necessary for a boosted immune system.
Vitamin B2: Having been proven to increase the resistance of the body, Vitamin B2 is abundantly contained in foods such as red meat, eggs, cheese, almonds, mushrooms and sesame.
Vitamin A: The risk of getting infectious diseases increases in case of inadequate intake of Vitamin A, one of the essential vitamins for a boosted immune system. Foods such as spinach, green leafy vegetables, fish, eggs, yogurt, black cabbage, carrots and milk are strong sources of Vitamin A.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 can be found in foods such as garlic, sage, pine nuts, hot pepper powder, brown rice and tarragon.
Vitamin C: It is one of the essential vitamins that protect and boost the immune system. Vitamin C intake is very important especially in the winter when cold and flu outbreaks are the most common. With antiviral and antibacterial effects, Vitamin C is mainly found in vegetables and fruits such as citrus fruits, green pepper, tomatoes, parsley, kiwi and cherries.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is known to have an antimicrobial effect against some diseases and is found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, tuna and mackerel; it is also abundantly contained in egg yolk, shrimp, chicken, red meat, and some types of mushrooms. For vitamin D absorption in the body, exposure to sunlight at certain times of the day is required.
Vitamin E: Supporting inactivation of free radicals, Vitamin E is also a very important vitamin for the immune system. Soy, sesame, walnut, almond, peanut and similar oil seeds are one of the best sources of Vitamin E.