Correlation Between Nutrition And Immunity.
Nutrition and immunity place a significant role in having a healthy body and mind. Some people know that when you’re eating the right foods, you’ll be able to take good care of your body, especially your immune system. However, the correlation between a person’s nutrition and immunity is not very clear to other people.
If you’re one of those people who seek answers, then you’ll be able to understand the relationship between nutrition and immunity correctly if you keep on reading. To understand it clearly, we will define nutrition and immunity separately, and then from there, we will go in-depth to its correlation.
What Is Nutrition?
Nutrition is to carry out various bodily functions necessary for organism survival. Nutrients are substances that provide the energy and biomolecules needed for the body’s different parts. Nutrients are essential for the proper functioning and development of all living organisms. There are two types of nutrition.
- The first one is autotrophic nutrition. In the autotrophic process, species synthesize food independently using simple inorganic matter such as water and carbon dioxide in the presence of light and chlorophyll. Simply put, photosynthesis is converting light energy into food, such as glucose.
- While the second one is called heterotrophic nutrition, which refers to when species depend on other organisms to survive. Heterotrophic organisms need to consume all of the organic compounds they need to live.
What Is Immunity?
Immunity refers to the body’s capacity to resist pathogen invasion. People are constantly exposed to pathogens, which are foreign disease-causing agents such as bacteria and viruses. Antigens are proteins that are bound to pathogens’ surfaces and cause an immune response in the body.
Furthermore, the immune system is the body’s protective system for fighting antigens and protecting itself. There are different forms of immunity, such as innate immunity, passive, and acquired immunity.
- Innate immunity is a term generally for the physical barriers (skin, body hair), protective mechanisms (saliva, gastric acid), and general immune responses that a person is born with (inflammation).
- Passive immunity is the body’s ability to fight infections by borrowing antibodies from other people. The most common form of passive immunity is from a mother to her child. In the last one to two months of pregnancy, antibodies are transported through the placenta. Passive immunity is helpful, but it is only temporary until the body has not developed them.
- Acquired immunity is a form of immunity that develops as a result of immunological memory. When an individual is exposed to an infection and gains immunity, this is known as acquired immunity. Acquired immunity may also be achieved by vaccination, in which the vaccine imitates a specific disease and causes an immune reaction in the vaccinated person without making them sick.
Nutrition and Immunity
We all know that what we eat always reflects our bodies; that alone speaks volumes about how nutrition affects our bodies. Nutrition and immunity are intertwined in a dynamic relationship. However, consuming the right foods to improve immune function is backed by evidence.
The most direct connection between nutrition and immunity is nutrients, such as proteins and other vitamins. People also search out special foods or vitamin supplements that are supposed to improve immunity during flu season or different periods of illness. Citrus fruits, chicken broth, and honey-infused tea are all excellent sources of vitamin C.
On the other hand, our immune system is complicated and affected by a perfect combination of several factors, not just diet, and particularly not by any single food or nutrient. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, combined with healthy lifestyle factors such as adequate sleep, exercise, and low stress, primes the body to combat infection and disease effectively.
How Food Choices Affect Your Immune System?
When you eat foods with a steady supply of critical nutrients, the immune system is ready to fight viruses. Diets rich in whole plant foods, in particular, tend to boost the function of natural killer cells. Here are some foods that you can add to your meal to boost your immune system.
Fruit and Vegetables
It is no surprise that fruits and vegetables are included in this list because they are the healthiest foods. If you wish to boost your immune system, we suggest choosing the vibrant ones.
Mushrooms, particularly button mushrooms, have selenium as well as the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin. It aids you in a variety of ways. You could be more susceptible to serious flu if you’re deficient in selenium. Riboflavin and niacin are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system.
Zinc is in oysters, and it appears to have antiviral properties. It is likely because zinc aids in forming and activating white blood cells involved in the immune response. It also aids the immune system in activities like wound healing.
Probiotics, which are in yoghurts and other fermented foods, have been shown to reduce the intensity of colds. Look for vitamin D supplements as well. According to research, low vitamin D levels linked to an increased risk of colds and flu.
Sunflower seeds are high in phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamins B-6 and E ( is essential for immune system regulation and maintenance). Also, it has a lot of selenium in them. One ounce contains approximately half of the selenium needed by the average adult daily.
It is essential to eat a balanced diet to maintain better immune function.
A diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, fish, and legumes, which are low in ultra-processed foods, protects against chronic disease risk and promotes a balanced immune response.
The best way to strengthen the immune system and reduce disease risk is to eat a balanced diet and live a healthy lifestyle that involves stress reduction strategies, restful sleep, regular physical activity, and other healthy behaviours.