How does your diet help your immune system?
At the moment, maintaining a strong immune system is more important than ever. But what does that mean and how do we do it? Our immune system is what defends our body against infections. It is made up from a range of cells, structures & proteins that work in combination to combat diseases.
Leading a healthy and active lifestyle has been shown to support an optimally functioning immune system.
How what you eat supports your immune system
Eating a wide variety of foods will ensure you are meeting the recommended daily intakes for all essential nutrients. These need to be consumed on a daily basis, and if you find yourself deficient in any this could weaken your immune system.
Some of the most important nutrients when concerned with the immune system are:
Vitamin C supports the production & process of different white blood cells that are responsible for destroying bacteria & viruses. You’ve probably heard that vitamin C prevents the common cold, whilst this myth might have been slightly over-egged, consuming at least the RDA is vital to having an efficient immune system.
You can find Vitamin C in: Citrus fruits, Peppers, Strawberries, Broccoli, Blackcurrants & Brussels sprouts.
RDI: 40mg per day
Most cells involved in our immune response have vitamin D receptors. This is why fluctuating levels of Vitamin D affects these cells capacity to do their job.
You can get Vitamin D from: The sun, oily fish (Salmon, Sardines, Herring & Mackerel), red meat, egg yolks, some fortified foods such as fat spreads & breakfast cereals
Vitamin E is one of the primary dietary antioxidants meaning it helps stop cells getting damaged. T-cells (immune cells) coordinate a response to different viral infections.
You can find Vitamin E in: Plant oils, nuts & seeds & wheatgerm – often found in cereals.
RDI: 4mg per day for men, 3mg per day for women.
It’s time to stop looking at protein as a macronutrient that just builds muscle. It’s so important for our immune system. The immune system consists of different proteins & is vital to repair damaged tissue. Remove protein from your immune system & see how quickly your system begins to deteriorate.
Omega-3 is found in oily fish, seeds & walnuts whilst Omega-6 fats are found in nuts, seeds & certain vegetable oils. These all have important effects on our immune system in terms of regulation.
Hydration is so important in supporting our immune system. Our first line of defence is the mucus in the mouth, nose & respiratory tract against infection. Dehydration has been shown to decrease the production of the essential mucus which leads to a weaker initial response. Dehydration can also impair immune function & increase susceptibility to infection.
Suzero and our immune system
All Suzero bars are a great source of essential fats due to the high nut & seed content of the bars. As well as this, they’re a tasty source of protein & vitamin E.
In a nutshell
- A varied diet will help you ensure you're consuming the recommended daily intake for all essential vitamins & minerals.
- Always make sure you are hydrated
- Vitamin C, D, and E, essential fatty acids & protein play a vital role in keeping your immune system working effectively.