Fears around coronavirus are rising – and there seems to be little we’re advised to do in-between washing our hands regularly, and self-isolating. But another way we can help put ourselves in the best position to avoid the virus – and any other cold and flu viruses – is through our diet.
Our immune system remains something of a mystery to scientists. But we do know that it’s a complex, interconnected system that incorporates many organs and functions.
The immune system consists of two parts. First, the innate immune system, which is what viruses first come up against when they invade our bodies. This system flushing out the invading cells, before the second system, the adaptive system, targets pathogens the body has already had contact with to create memory cells of new ones, so the body can fight them off if they dare to return in future.
This explains why most of us will only contract chicken pox once. Unfortunately for us, many viruses, such as flu viruses and the common cold, mutate and adapt, confusing memory cells and successful infecting us. Thankfully, both our lifestyle habits and diets are known to affect the strength of our immune systems via several mechanisms.
There is evidence to suggest that nutritional deficiencies can weaken our immune system and make us more vulnerable to infections. First – we need to make sure we’re eating enough; our immune systems need energy – and the right nutrients – to work to their potential.
Our immune systems need enough energy to make immune cells, which act as building blocks, and our enzymes, which need vitamins and minerals to work effectively. This means we need to make sure we’re eating all of our body’s requirements for macronutrients, vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and D, as well as B6, B12 and folate, zinc, copper, iron and selenium, as well as essential amino and essential fatty acids.
This are some of the foods that you can eat to boost your immune system.
Garlic, Mushrooms, Oysters, Kefir, Sunflower seeds, Guava, Yogurt, Ginger, Asparagus, Elderberries, Lentils.