Written by Achiever Foods Nutrition Unit
The foods we eat everyday either make or unmake the immune system. Over 19 million confirmed cases with about 700,000 confirmed deaths have been recorded globally due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (WHO 10,08,20). Most people who have suffered from the impact of the virus have been traced to weak immune system among many others. Because about 70% of the immune cells are produced in the digestive tract, it is important that we consume foods that will boost the strength of the immune system.
The immune system’s main role is to fight against disease causing organisms like fungi, viruses, bacteria, parasites etc, and to remove them from the body.
The kind of foods we eat coupled with the lifestyle we adopt obviously has a greater impact on the effectiveness of the immune system.
Here are some key sources you should always include in your diet plan;
- Consume Fluids
Water is very critical to the overall function of the body. About 70% of the body is full of water. But the body can’t produce water by itself. Water is responsible for regulating body temperature. Water transports nutrients from the foods we eat and oxygen to the cells. It also helps in releasing waste and other toxins from the body.
It is recommended to drink at least 8 ounces (2 litres) of water daily. This will help in boosting the immune system by ensuring efficient oxygenation and nutrient absorption.
Drinking hot fluids has become even more imperative as a result of the current global pandemic. Research has revealed that the novel virus is unable to survive in hot temperatures.
Well, a very pleasurable way of drinking hot fluids is to include Teas into your diet plan. Daliha Immunklin Tea will super support the boosting of your immune system.
Frequent drinking of water and fluids like less-sugary juices and teas to stay hydrated is crucial for the immune system. Include Daliha Juices in your diet plan to supplement your fluid needs. The good news about Daliha Juice is that it contains iron and vitamins that are essential in boosting your immune system.
- Dietary Iron
Iron is a very essential nutrient the body needs but it cannot create. It is responsible for making red blood cells which helps in oxygen transport to body cells and tissues. When the body has enough red blood cells, it helps in building white blood cells.
White blood cells make up the immune system. Hence iron supports the immune system function because most foods on the market are refined. Its quite challenging to always ensure you are eating an iron rich diet.
A lack of iron can cause fatigue and serious health problems like anemia (insufficient red blood cells) and other weak immune system conditions.
This sign even vary from person to person. The amount you need depends on your age, gender, and condition. Pregnant women naturally need more iron. You can get iron-rich foods from turkey berries, lean meat, leafy greens, nuts, seeds and other organic iron-rich food products.
Vitamin A, C, are very essential for a strong immune system.
Vitamin C is the biggest contributor to a strong immune system. It is an essential nutrient the body can’t create. You can only get it through your diet or alternatively taking a Vitamin C supplement. Vitamin C helps in the production of protein which aids in collagen formation and skin health. It helps in boosting the immune system by strengthening the cells and tissues to function more effectively.
Vitamin C from foods may not be harmful in excess, but if you take a supplement, consult your doctor for the right dose. You can get Vitamin C from citrus fruits, berries, ginger, veggies etc.
Vitamin A helps in the development of both regulatory and inflammatory arms of immune responses and establishes nutritional status as a broad regulator of the immune system. They do this by competing with pathogenic bacteria for food and living space thereby killing pathogenic bacteria and enhancing the maturation of immune cells. Food sources of Vitamin A includes potatoes, eggs, cod liver oil, mango, water melon and many more.
- Physical Activity
Exercising frequently is one way to be physically active. Involving oneself in activities that expends energy is very good for health. Physical activity reduces the risk of many diseases like diabetes, hypertension, overweight or obesity, etc.
Some theories (from medlineplus) indicates that exercise causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections”.
Even though science is still researching into the role of exercise and the immune system, it’s already clear that with some exercise, diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure risk can be reduced which will eventually make you less prone to a weak immune system.
- General Practices
There are certain general habits that go a long way to ease off the burden of your immune system’s ability to fight disease causing germs. Some of these include;
a. Washing your hands well with soap and water before and after you handle food. Wash the front and back of your hands as well as in between your fingers and under your nails very well. In cases where there is no water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This method ensures that germs, dirt, and grease in our hands which cannot easily be seen with the naked eye are washed away.
b. Rinsing fruits and vegetables under running water at least two times before using them. If you want to eat fresh vegetables, you have to further use vinegar or salt solution to ensure any available bacteria is washed away. Eating cooked (under low heat) vegetables is always advisable. Always separate cleaned vegetables and fruits from raw foods.
c. Washing fish, meat and poultry under running water before cooking. Harmful bacteria will be killed through cooking. Cooking temperatures should be at least 55°C and above for a minimum of 20 minutes, especially for meats. Clean knives and other utensils completely before and after usage.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Building a strong immune system requires daily efforts which includes a healthy active lifestyle. According to Covid-19 records, the death of hundreds of thousands of people from the pandemic were attributed to weak immune system diseases like diabetes, anaemia and high blood pressure. With so many people who lost their lives due to a weak immune system conditions globally, striving to prevent such a deadly virus is one of the most important things to do now. Boost your immune system today.
If you need some more insights into this subject kindly send us a mail to [email protected] or call our Nutrition Business Unit on +233 24 842 3588.
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