What is the immune system?
Immunity refers to the body’s resistance to harmful organisms and toxins. The level of immunity is different in every person. If the level of immunity is sufficient, the body can protect itself even if it encounters a harmful organism and as a result, no disease or infection occurs.
What are the types of immunity?
- Natural Immunity: It is the immunity that naturally exists in our body. We do not have to have an infection to gain this. Factors such as human genetic structure, age, nutritional habits, and hormonal balance provide natural immunity.
- Acquired immunity: It is the type of immunity that develops as a result of our body encountering any infection or factors belonging to that infection. We gain this type of immunity naturally by encountering diseases. As a result of the artificial application of the infection of disease to our body with the vaccine method, we again become immune to that disease. Immunity gained by vaccination is called artificial active immunity.
Why is the Immune System Weak?
The immune system can always be weakened if not taken care of. The immune system weakens due to stress, unbalanced nutrition, insufficient vitamin and mineral intake, excessive weight and obesity, cold weather, fatigue, little use of sunlight, alcohol, smoking, drugs, and insomnia. Therefore, we can say that our immune system is actually very fragile. It can be damaged and begins to fight with the organs of our body instead of germs. This shows us that our immune system is impaired.
What are the effects of weakened immunity on the body?
- Weight loss
- Not being able to overcome diseases easily
- Getting sick often
- Cold sores
- Chronic, recurrent infections
- Cardiovascular diseases
What foods should be consumed to strengthen immunity?
A balanced diet plays a vital role in staying healthy. The following foods can help boost the immune system:
Blueberries help strengthen the immune system because they contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin that has antioxidant properties. Researchers have found that those who eat foods rich in flavonoids are less likely to have an upper respiratory tract infection or a cold.
Dark chocolate contains substances called theobromine that is beneficial for the body. Theobromines are antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from harmful waste called free radicals. Free radicals can damage the body’s cells and cause various diseases to occur. Despite its potential benefits, dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat, so choose dark chocolate without sugar and should be consumed in small amounts.
Turmeric is a yellow-colored spice that many people use in cooking. According to one review, turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects thanks to the curcumin it contains. Therefore, consuming turmeric can increase a person’s immune response. When consuming turmeric, it is necessary to use black pepper and olive oil to increase the effectiveness of curcumin.
Broccoli is an important source of vitamin C. It also contains powerful antioxidants like sulforaphane. Broccoli can be boiled and consumed in the form of a salad or soup.
Although 1 medium sweet potato contains about 100 calories, it meets 120% of the person’s vitamin A needs and 30% of the daily vitamin C needs. The more orange a sweet potato, the more beta carotene it contains. Beta carotenes also help keep the skin healthy and can protect against skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Since spinach contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants, including flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, it can be preferred for strengthening the immune system. Apart from that, spinach helps cell division and DNA repair with the nutrients it contains.
Ginger can be consumed as a spice in various dishes, and can also be used in desserts or as tea. Studies show that ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties that help prevent disease.
Garlic has been used extensively since time immemorial for the prevention of colds and other illnesses. It can be easily added to meals and consumed.
Like blueberries, green tea contains flavonoids that can reduce the risk of colds.
Kefir helps strengthen immunity as it contains live bacteria cultures that are beneficial for health. Studies show that regular consumption of kefir can help fight bacteria, reduce inflammation and increase antioxidant activity.
Since sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, which fights free radicals like other antioxidants, it improves immune function. You can consume sunflower seeds as a snack or add them to salads or breakfast cereals.
Like sunflower seeds, almonds contain plenty of vitamin E. It is also rich in manganese, magnesium, and fiber. A small handful of almonds is a healthy snack that can benefit the immune system.
Orange and Acidic Fruits
Acid fruits such as oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and kiwi are good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is thought to have an important role in fighting these viruses, as it has been observed that the amount of vitamin C in the body is greatly reduced in colds. As a result, vitamin C can reduce the duration of common cold symptoms and improve the function of the human immune system.
Red gin pepper is an alternative source of vitamin C for those who do not consume fruit sugar. You can increase your vitamin C intake by including a salad prepared with red pepper on your table.
- Rich in Vitamin A Yoghurt, milk, fish oil, egg
- Meat, chicken, fish containing Vitamin B12
- Walnut, peanut, almond, sesame, oilseeds, soybean containing vitamin D
- Red meat, eggs, legumes, green leafy vegetables with iron
- Zinc containing shrimp, oysters, fish, meat, liver, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, whole grains, walnuts, almonds, eggs
- Echinacea, Ginseng herb, Parsley
- Seafood such as oysters, lobsters, crabs, which contain a lot of selenium
- It helps us protect against diseases, infections, and viruses by strengthening our immune system with the vitamins and minerals they contain.
10 Things to Do for Strong Immunity
- You should consume at least 5 servings of various vegetables and fruits a day.
- Oilseeds (walnuts, almonds, etc.) should be consumed in 1-2 portions a day in terms of vitamin E intake.
- You can get healthy yogurt at home by fermenting daily or long-life milk with probiotic yogurts. You should consume 1 glass of kefir every day.
- Fish should be consumed twice a week.
- You should consume at least 5-6 servings of whole grains (whole wheat, etc.) a day.
- Water is required for most reactions occurring in the body. For this reason, you should consume 2-2.5 liters of water daily.
- You can consume vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower as a meal or as a meat garnish. In fact, you can benefit from the antioxidant effect of two vegetables by consuming them together with garlic.
- You should increase your consumption of citrus fruits rather than their juice.
- You can consume fruit salads to combine various antioxidants during the winter months.
- Dry legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.) should be consumed 2-3 times a week. You can consume it as a soup, especially in winter. You can obtain different flavors by using it in salads and thus increase consumption.