2 simple ways to have an effective immune system

2 simple ways to have an effective immune system

As well as the falling leaves, shorter days and cozy evenings, autumn often brings something less enjoyable, too—in the form of coughs and colds. But here’s the good news: you can support the functioning of your immune system in preparation for the colder seasons at every mealtime. How? By including a variety of food types to your everyday diet and leading healthy active lifestyle.

Put simply, the immune system is your body’s built-in ‘army’ that’s ready to protect you by identifying viruses, bacteria or parasites or other threats and springing into action to eliminate the threat via various ways like producing antibodies. To function well, that army needs to be supported by a balanced and varied diet. Here are two simple ways you can support proper functioning of your immune system through diet alone:

Eat micronutrient-rich fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables can contain micronutrients that can function as antioxidants* that help to protect against cell and tissue damage caused by normal, everyday metabolism, and thus they can play a role in our wellbeing. For example, vitamin C and copper can help protect cell against oxidative stress.

Try: Broccoli, tomatoes, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, berries

Support your gut with fiber-rich food

Your digestive system is playing an important role in, housing trillions of bacteria with vital functions such as helping digest fiber, producing vitamin K and B12 and protecting the gut from harmful bacteria. Some fibers that are in our diet can be fermented by gut bacteria. Fermentable fiber is converted into metabolites like short-chain fatty acids [1]. On the other hand, fibers like oat grain fiber contributes to an increase in faucal bulk [2, 3].

Try: whole wheat bread, brown rice, cereals, lentils, apple or flax seeds

See what you can add to your next meal to support your body and proper functioning of your immune system this autumn.

*Vit C, E, Zink, Selenium contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.

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[1]. Sonnenburg & Bäckhed, Diet–microbiota interactions as moderators of human metabolism. Nature, 2016. 535(7610): p. 56-64.

[2]. Koh, A., et al., From dietary fiber to host physiology: short-chain fatty acids as key bacterial metabolites. Cell, 2016. 165(6): p. 1332-1345.

[3]. Fetisov, S.O., Role of the gut microbiota in host appetite control: bacterial growth to animal feeding behavior. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 2017. 13(1): p. 11.