Modern medicine as well as alternative medicine both agree when it comes to the role of diet to improve immunity.
Rest and medicine plays a big role,but the role of a well balanced diet cannot be stressed enough.
Food has been a large part of nature’s arsenal to fight various disease from ancient times.
Improving your overall nutrition is a way to fight all the pesky viruses and bacterias which lurk around like villains , waiting for your natural defences to become weakened.
The micronutrients(essential nutrients in your diet which are required in micrograms for normal metabolic functions of your body), in your diet like vitamins ,minerals ,help to improve our body’s defence mechanism.
They help prevent disease as well as heal your body when you fall ill.
Deficiencies of vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients, not only make you susceptible to infections, but also increases the chance of complications.
Micronutrients are critical for your immunity.They help you fight against the microbes and produce an effective immune response.
How nutrients in the flu diet help?
- Interferon production and improves action of phagocytic cells.
- Anti-microbial barriers of skin, mucus membranes, tears, saliva, gastric juice.
- Antibody response and optimized cell-mediated immunity.
- Micronutrients such as vitamin C, A, B-5, B-6, B-12, and folic acid trace elements such as iron, zinc, selenium, copper and others are essential for optimizing white blood cell production and immune function.
Infections in turn make the deficiencies worse by decreasing absorption,assimilation and increasing losses .
So does this mean you will never fall ill if you are having vitamin supplements?
The answer now becomes tricky.
It has been seen that children with malnutrition, often suffer recurrent episodes of cold,stomach problems .They seem to be specially susceptible to all germs that affect people in their immediate environment. Contagious diseases are often spread by touch ,respiratory droplets.In order for our body to fight invasion by germs, the body’s defence mechanism should be sufficiently primed to fight an assault.But when everyday functioning of the body is compromised by nutritional deficiencies ,it becomes difficult to cope during infections. Since prevention in a holistic manner is the goal of modern medicine. A well balanced diet comprising of all the super powerful anti-inflammatory food groups ,will definitely help keep you healthy even during the dreaded flu season.
Top 10 food to fight flu and improve immunity
- Fruits and vegetables, truly these are miracle food.Read my post , Fruits and vegetables..nature’s multivitamins for a quick idea about how they are helping you everyday
- Green Tea or its active ingredient, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), are natural anti-inflammatory molecules,affecting both innate and adaptive immunity
- Almonds:Rich in omega 3 fatty acids,they help in increase the good fat (HDL) in our body and decrease inflammation
- Other sources of omega 3 fatty acids:walnuts,chia seeds,flaxseed,fish
- Drink plenty of water about 4 to 6 litres in warm climates.Water helps to flush the toxins from our system,and is essential for most bodily functions.
- Ginger :popular for its medicinal properties offers relief from congested nose and throat when added to tea, soups etc.
- Garlic:The pungent odour of these helps to clear blocked nose.Add crushed garlic cloves chopped onions in soups,dal for a soothing mouthful when you have a cold.
- Spices from the Indian kitchen like turmeric helps to bolster your immunity.Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is an orange-yellow component of turmeric (Curcuma longa),having anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin has a potent immunomodulatory agent and can modulate the activation of our innate and adaptive immune functions.
- Chicken soup for the cold:old’s wives tale,but true!Chicken soup with crushed garlic, chopped onion and ginger, with black pepper to garnish.Chicken is a popular source of the semi-essential amino acid Cysteine.Cysteine has powerful antioxidant properties.It is a major constituent of glutathione ,the body’s natural antioxidant enzyme ,helping to fight the oxidative damage from diseased condition.
What else can you do to improve immunity
- Boost up your immunity with multivitamin supplements(after consultation with your doctor),when you are feeling low.
- Get plenty of sleep
- Avoid stress
- Think positive
- Pray..the power of prayer is the secret ingredient which makes the doctors work easier.
Take care and stay fit. Reference