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Foods that boost your immune system and help ward off infections


cold, flu, COVID the season is coming readiness to secure That many of us get sick. While vaccinations, masking, and other precautions are essential to staying healthy, the foods we eat also help prevent infection.

According to research, 70% and 80% of our immune cells intestineDr. Selvi Rajagopal, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, explains: “And we’re learning that the more we can support a healthy bacterial environment in our gut, the more likely we are to avoid many inflammatory processes.”

Food may not be medicine, but optimal nutrition is essential for healthy immune function.intestine microbiomerefers to the trillions of bacteria that live symbiotically in the digestive tract, which relies on a diet rich in vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and seafood. cells effectively respond to pathogens, Compile responses as quickly as possible to avoid chronic inflammation.

“In many ways, the gut is one of the first lines of defense against intruders,” says Tim Harlan, Ph.D., professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and director of the GW Culinary Medicine Program.

Strengthen your immune system by reaching for foods rich in these essential nutrients.


Red grapes, berries, tree nuts, onions, broccoli, apples, beans and legumes are good sources of polyphenols. anti-inflammatory agent When Helps initiate an immune responseexplains Clara Di Vincenzo, R.D.N., UT Health Austin’s Digestive Health Institute.

prebiotics and probiotics

Prebiotics and probiotics work together to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, with the former acting as fuel for the latter to do their job. Garlic, onions, dandelion leaves, bananas, flaxseed, cocoa You can get prebiotics by eating asparagus, or by eating asparagus.For prebiotics and probiotics anti-inflammatory effectthat too.


Brazil nuts, eggs, turkey, brown rice and fortified foods provide selenium. overreaction to pathogens It can cause autoimmunity and chronic inflammation. (If you eat Brazil nuts, limit them to 1-3 per day.) Zinc, which supports immune cell growth, comes from eating poultry, beans, nuts, shellfish, and dairy. Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish and chia seeds help the body produce cytokines and help immune cells communicate with each other.

Vitamin A

Green leafy vegetables such as collard greens and kale provide vitamin A, which is essential for the immune system. Scientists don’t fully understand whyVitamin C, found in citrus fruits, red peppers, kiwis, strawberries, broccoli and melons, acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from damage. Vitamin D regulates immune cell activity, stimulates antiviral responses, and reduces inflammation. You can get it from fatty fish and fortified foods, but experts recommend talking to your doctor about supplementing because many people find it difficult to get enough from diet alone. Most of the food fiberIt also helps promote cellular processes and nourish the environment needed to support optimal health.

Should You Choose a Supplement?

Supplements can help in certain situations. Animal studies show that deficiencies in these key nutrients can adversely affect immune responses.Research also shows that malnourished people are at increased risk of bacterial and viral infections. . For more than 54 million Americans living under food In apartheid and food deserts, workarounds such as supplements are essential.

“It’s not that supplements aren’t recommended, but these foods have been shown to be more beneficial, so before jumping on magic pills and supplements, you’ll want to consider foods rich in these nutrients. “And not just one supplement or magic potion is needed, but a healthy diet that supports immune health.”

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