Mental and physical health are directly linked to your diet. The balance of your diet will optimize the functioning of your immune system. Angélique has selected some tips to easily strengthen your immune system using certain foods.
What can weaken the immune system?
Several reasons can come into play, in the majority of cases, the immune system is disrupted due to a genetic susceptibility . But certain hormonal factors can also come into play.
Here are the most famous causes:
Lack of sleep
Numerous studies have shown that a chronic sleep deficit (less than 6 hours per night) can increase people's vulnerability to infections. In fact, by shortening the duration of sleep, the time of deep slow-wave sleep is also shortened. However, this helps in the production of “memory” B lymphocytes which record the characteristics of microbes and will produce specific antibodies in the event of a new attack.
We see that people who experience a period of intense stress are more susceptible to infections and that they last longer . Studies have been carried out by Inserm researchers at the Marseille-Luminy Immunology Center which provide a possible explanation. “We observed that stress hormones stimulated receptors on the surface of certain immune cells, preventing them from producing inflammatory chemicals needed to kill viruses.”
Excessive salt consumption
Excessive salt consumption could weaken our immunity. Indeed, this bad habit was already linked to an increase in high blood pressure. Study subjects who consumed an extra six grams of salt per day (the salt content of two fast food meals) showed pronounced immune deficiencies.
How to increase your immunity naturally?
1. The benefits of probiotics and garlic
Garlic is an ideal ally in the prevention of certain infections. The components of this food act synergistically to help the immune system . Knowing that certain components are very sensitive to heat, it is important not to subject them to high heat. According to research, it is more or less difficult to determine precisely the amount of garlic required for visible action on a daily basis. This is why it is recommended to take it as a food supplement (see our naturopath's article 5 tips to boost your immunity before winter) .
Along with vitamins , probiotics constitute significant assets for maintaining the proper functioning of your immune system. They allow you to re-seed your intestinal flora with good bacteria. But, nothing guarantees this, since the quality of probiotics varies considerably between brands.
2. The benefits of fermented foods and mushrooms
In order to strengthen your immune system , it is advisable to consume fermented foods. Our bacteria grow based on our diet and fermented foods contribute greatly to our well-being . These foods include cheese, pickles, yogurt, olives, soy sauce, Korean kimchi, etc. Honey, vegetables and fruits also contain probiotics capable of facilitating the proliferation of good bacteria in the body . By consuming them regularly, you promote good maintenance of your intestinal flora.
Certain mushrooms can also have very good effects on your immune system. This is the case of the trio shiitake, maiitake, reishi.
3.The benefits of foods rich in iron
This trace element has several virtues. In the event of iron deficiency, the risk is anemia, with a deficit of red blood cells in the body, and therefore a reduction in the effectiveness of the immune system. Iron deficiency is, however, the most widespread nutritional disorder, affecting almost one in 3 people in the world! A diet sufficiently rich in iron is therefore essential for immunity and even more so for health.
You can find it in red meats, offal, seafood (especially mussels and oysters), ginger but also spices such as turmeric.
4. The benefits of foods rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are essential to boost natural defenses. They work by protecting white blood cells from oxidation and increasing their mobility and efficiency.
Where are they found?
- Foods rich in vitamin C: red pepper, parsley, blackcurrant, lemon, orange, kiwi, strawberries, spinach, citrus fruits, broccoli
- Foods rich in vitamin E : fatty fish (such as sardines, herring), sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, butter
- Foods rich in selenium : Brazil nuts, fish, sunflower seeds, egg yolk
- Foods rich in zinc : seafood, seeds, meats, whole grains, cocoa
- Foods rich in polyphenols : fruits and vegetables, wine, tea
There are several solutions to strengthen your immune defenses through diet . It is up to everyone to choose a method to help their body better fight against diseases.
Take the time to fill out our questionnaire and we will help you find the most suitable solution to strengthen your immune system.