Food - The basis of strengthening the immune system
Adopting a healthy diet is the basis of a balanced immune system. There are no miracle foods but some nutrients can be particularly beneficial for our defences.
It is said that we are what we eat and it is not by chance. By eating the right foods or taking the right supplements we can balance our immune system, a kind of army that our body uses to protect itself from aggression.
Foods that stimulate the immune system
1. Orange, lemon and kiwi
Food sources of vitamin C with antioxidant properties, i.e. they prevent oxidation of the cells of the immune system. Consuming them prevents cell death and allows the organism to be better prepared when exposed to aggressive agents.
Rich in antioxidants and selenium. When the levels of selenium in the body are low we are more susceptible to colds and flu. In addition, mushrooms are also rich in B vitamins, namely niacin (B3) and riboflavin (B2), which strengthen the immune system.
3. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain zinc, a mineral that acts and regulates the function of the cells of the immune system.
Almonds are rich in vitamins E and B3 (niacin). These two vitamins together strengthen the immune system and help combat stress.
Contains bacteria that act on mediators of inflammatory response in the body, helping to fight inflammatory bowel diseases.
It directly combats Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium associated with gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer. In addition, it has in its biochemical constitution substances that stimulate the cellular activity of the immune system.
They have folate which participates in the production of new cells and DNA repair. They are also a good source of fibre, antioxidants and vitamin C.
8. Sweet potato
It has beta-carotene and vitamin A. Its antioxidant activity may be linked to combating ageing and reducing the appearance of certain types of cancer.
Other substances for boosting the immune system
It is a plant with action on the respiratory tract, effective especially in calming complaints, in the throat, pharynx and vocal cords.
It is present in small quantities in honey, making it a difficult and expensive product to collect. It is known as the "natural shield" of the hive. Bees turn it into an insulating substance and cover all the walls of the hive to ensure insulation and solidity, preventing the entry of bacteria or fungi.
It helps stimulate natural defences, acting as a natural shield due to its anti-bacterial properties. It is also ideal for soothing and softening the respiratory tracts.
Watch out for your immune system
A healthy lifestyle, with quality sleep, regular physical activity and a varied and balanced diet, is often the key to balanced immune defences.
If you need to boost your defences resort to the use of supplements which are available in a high quality and variety. Seek advice from your pharmacy.
The Pharmacist and Micronutrient Supplementation
When choosing which supplement to use you should take into account:
- guarantee of the absence of contaminants and prohibited substances.
The analysis of data on the efficacy and safety of food supplements is difficult and complex.
Consumers of this type of supplementation should consult a pharmacist, doctor or nutritionist. Supplementation should only be used after analysis has been carried out and it is verified that the nutritional objectives cannot be achieved with a balanced diet.
Taking food supplements can bring risks to your health, which may be related to the safety of the products, inappropriate use, including indiscriminate mixtures, without considering the advised doses of each substance, or possible interactions. For your safety, talk to a healthcare professional.
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