With blooming flowers, longer days and warmer evenings, changing of seasons from cold to warm often brings with it a sense of excitement and happiness for all that new. But we still need to ensure that we continue to support the functioning of your immune system 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 fibre-rich food
Your digestive system is playing an important role in, housing trillions of bacteria with vital functions such as helping digest fibre, producing vitamin K and B12 and protecting the gut from harmful bacteria. Some fibres that are in our diet can be fermented by gut bacteria. Fermentable fibre is converted into metabolites like short-chain fatty acids . On the other hand, fibres like oat grain fibre contributes to an increase in faecal 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.
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. Fetissov, S.O., Role of the gut microbiota in host appetite control: bacterial growth to animal feeding behaviour. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 2017. 13(1): p. 11.