How to improve immunity? Products to strengthen the immune system

How to improve immunity? Products to strengthen the immune system

How to improve immunity? Products to strengthen the immune system
How to improve immunity? Products to strengthen the immune system

People with weak immune systems are more at risk of catching a cold. Although there is still no cure for or treatment of coronavirus, boosting immunity naturally makes sense during a pandemic.

In particular, at the end of winter, people are prone to vitamin D deficiency, which affects the functioning of the immune system. Lack of vitamin C also affects the course of colds. According to recent research, this vitamin may also be beneficial for the coronavirus

Immunity is the body's biological defense system against infections. At the same time, immunity reflects the general state of human health - for example, it can not be increased against the background of chronic stress and lack of key vitamins in the daily diet. Keep in mind that the quality of sleep also plays an important role - it is during sleep that the body recovers.

The most important for immunity are the microminerals iodine , zinc, iron and selenium, as well as vitamins A, C, D and E. The lack of even one of them can significantly disrupt the metabolism. For vegetarians, vitamin B12 is added to the list - it is found mainly in animal products, and its chronic deficiency leads to a weakening of the immune system.

However, it is necessary to clearly understand that taking large doses of vitamins in tablets can not increase immunity - we are talking exclusively about getting the necessary daily norms to cover the deficit. Excessive intake of vitamins can lead to hypervitaminosis  , which is characterized by weakening rather than strengthening the immune system.

Immunity - in short:

  • mainly depends on diet and lifestyle
  • the body's ability to fight infections
  • vitamins restore, not increase immunity
  • Excess vitamins can be harmful

Vitamin C for coronavirus

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C  ) is one of the key elements that the immune system needs to function properly. Studies show that taking vitamin C can help relieve colds by shortening the time it takes to heal. The scientific community is now focusing on whether vitamin C helps with coronavirus.

One of the most recent studies, conducted in February 2020 in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, showed that taking large doses of vitamin C - up to 25 grams a day for 7 days - can affect the course of the disease. . It is important that the final data from the study have not yet been published and that the WHO does not consider vitamin C as a treatment or prophylaxis for the coronavirus COVID-19. 

Methods to increase immunity

Between the end of winter, most people in Russia suffer from vitamin D deficiency . Remember that it is produced in the skin when exposed to direct sunlight. Lack of this vitamin impairs the functioning of the immune system, in particular increases the risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure - the key risk factors for the coronavirus COVID-19.

At the same time, vitamin D is not contained in natural foods - to cover its deficiency and protect the immune system, it is necessary to take capsules or artificially fortified products (eg, milk with vitamin D). Other fat-soluble vitamins (A, K and E) also play a role in immune function - they are also found in ordinary foods.

 Vitamins important for immunity:

  • Fat-soluble vitamins D, A, K and E.
  • vitamin C
  • B vitamins

Vitamin A and resistance to infections

Carotene (vitamin A) regulates the processes of healing, renewal and growth of body tissues, being part of the eyes, skin, hair, teeth, muscles and various internal organs. In addition, it is necessary to neutralize the negative effects of free radicals - for example, slow down the growth of cancer cells. Lack of vitamin A leads to a sharp decrease in immunity.

In the form of retinoids, vitamin A is found in most animal foods - fish oil, eggs, butter, milk, beef liver. It is also found in the form of β-carotene in many plant foods - for example in red and yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, rose hips, etc.), as well as in spinach. Complete list of vitamin A in foods.

Immunity that increases nutrition

The daily diet to boost the natural immunity must contain sources of vitamin C - in the first place, citrus fruits, peppers and kiwi. Sources of vitamin A, as mentioned above, are carrots, pumpkin and rose hips. Vitamin E is found in olive oil and sunflower oil, various nuts - abundant in almonds and peanuts.

However, in addition to vitamins for the proper functioning of the immune system, some microminerals are needed - zinc, iron, copper, selenium, magnesium. Iron deficiency impairs the absorption of oxygen from tissues, acting as a direct risk factor for the development of severe complications of coronavirus. In turn, selenium deficiency can be caused by taking drugs to lower cholesterol levels.

//  Minerals to boost immunity:

  • zinc - affects hormones
  • selenium - important for the thyroid gland
  • iron - affects the absorption of oxygen
  • honey - needed for the liver

The most useful products

Remember that pasta and other wheat products contain minimal amounts of vitamins and minerals. The same goes for potatoes and white rice. Instead of pasta, use buckwheat, quinoa or other whole grains (such as brown rice  ) to boost immunity. For breakfast, instead of a sausage sandwich, eat a portion of oatmeal made with vitamin D-fortified milk.

The main source of minerals are nuts - almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pine nuts. Consume at least 20-30 grams of different nuts a day. Vegetables (including frozen vegetables in bags) also contain the nutrients needed for immune function - at least one meal a day should include a large portion of vegetables. Pay special attention to the quality of your oils - use olive oil or canola oil  .

Superfoods:

  • spirulina - a source of iodine  
  • chia seeds - rich in microminerals
  • Buckwheat and quinoa are essential amino acids
  • ginger - helps with colds

***

To increase immunity and increase resistance to infections, it is important to avoid deficiencies in key vitamins and microminerals. First of all, we are talking about vitamins D and C. For vegetarians - B12. Adequate intake of zinc, iron, magnesium and copper is needed to transport oxygen to the tissues, remove toxins and ultimately for the proper functioning of the immune system.

Scientific sources:

  1. Intravenous vitamin C as adjunctive therapy for enterovirus / rhinovirus-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome,  source
  2. Vitamin C infusion for the treatment of severe 2019-CoVid pneumonia infection, source
  3. Nutritional treatment of coronavirus,  pdf