The immune system is the most extensive defense system we have in our body, through which we can repel viruses and bacteria and fight them once they have infiltrated the body. Having a weak immune system makes it easier for harmful external agents to get into the body, and as a consequence, we suffer from different conditions. We cannot act on some internal factors, while internal facets are highly dependent on us. For this reason, in this FastlyHealarticle, we want to introduce you to those foods to strengthen the immune system and make sure that your body has optimal defenses.
The importance of the immune system
Our body is provided with different mechanisms that help us to enjoy good health and that we can fight against the other external agents that can be harmful. The immune system is responsible for combating specific threats, and without it, we would be constantly exposed to toxic agents. When we have an altered immune system, we can experience different symptoms that alert us to this lack of defenses:
- Mouth sores
- Wounds that take time to heal.
- Muscle aches are not a consequence of physical exercises.
- Weak hair
These are some of the symptoms that may appear, and the causes can be mainly two:
- Innate immunodeficiency. It can cause an inherited disorder in the person, so the immune system is damaged.
- Acquired Immune Deficiency. It occurs when the person contracts a disease that alters the immune system, such as leukemia or AIDS.
Respecting the food pyramid is essential to maintaining a correct immune system.
Foods rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients responsible for fighting free radicals that accumulate in the body and have harmful effects on it if they are present in a high quantity. Beta carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc, and selenium are some of the best-known antioxidants we can acquire through food.
- Vitamin C: spinach, broccoli, cabbage, kiwi, strawberries, and citrus fruits.
- Vitamin E: fish oils, fortified cereals, nuts, seeds.
- Beta-carotene: egg yolk, milk, butter, liver, carrot, broccoli, spinach, and tomato.
- Selenium: red meat, poultry, garlic, and seafood.
High carbohydrate foods
Carbohydrates are the base of the food pyramid, and they are essential for having enough energy and for our body to produce white blood cells. The body can synthesize proteins and lipids and improve bacterial intestinal flora and other functions thanks to carbohydrates. Without carbohydrates, the immune system could not perform its functions properly. Some of the carbohydrate-rich foods are:
- Loaves of bread and cereals.
- Integral rice.
Foods rich in unsaturated fats
Unsaturated fats are found in foods that contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated acids and are known as good fats. If consumed in moderation, these have positive effects, such as reducing harmful cholesterol levels and raising good cholesterol. In this article, we inform you about foods rich in good fats. Correct consumption of healthy fats will help strengthen the immune system. Some of these foods are:
This article answers whether olive oil makes you fat, another product with unsaturated fats that is very healthy if consumed in moderation.
High protein foods
Proteins are essential nutrients involved in the formation and repair of muscle tissues and can be found in some foods to strengthen the immune system. Protein is necessary and constantly renewed, so it must be consumed regularly for good health. In this article, we reveal those foods rich in protein. Protein is the most critical component of white blood cells, and it can be obtained through fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy.
What damages our immune system?
Just as some foods strengthen the immune system, habits have the opposite effect, causing free radicals to increase and accumulate, damaging the immune system.
- Snuff. Tobacco contains several harmful substances that stimulate the proliferation of free radicals in the body that weaken the immune system.
- Do not exercise. Exercise facilitates the elimination of toxins through sweat and allows you to maintain good cardiovascular health. A sedentary life reduces the accumulation of free radicals and a weaker immune system.
- I was not drinking enough water. Drinking water frequently is essential to promote the elimination of toxins through the urine. Therefore, to eliminate free radicals and other harmful substances, it is necessary to stay well hydrated.
- I was drinking alcohol. Alcohol, like tobacco, exerts a toxic effect on the body when consumed in large quantities, favoring the accumulation of free radicals. However, consuming some alcoholic beverages in moderation, such as wine, can benefit your health.
- Not sleep. Sleep is essential since, during sleep, the body makes necessary changes, both for our physical and mental health. Therefore, a lack of sleep or irregular or insufficient sleep can affect the health of our immune system.
- Poor hygiene. Taking the proper precautions beyond showering is essential for the immune system’s health. Washing your hands with soap and water, brushing your teeth, and other forms of hygiene are vital to get rid of germs and bacteria that accumulate on the skin and fight with our defenses.
- Stress. In addition to the mental wear and tear it implies, the strain also involves physical wear. Habitual stress negatively affects the functions of the immune system.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.