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4 Ways Diet Boosts Your Immune System

Mounting a strong defense against harmful microbes depends on a well balanced

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Mounting a strong defense against harmful microbes depends on a well balanced diet. Why is a well balanced diet important? As with all cells in your body, your immune system needs certain amount of specific nutrients to function. Different foods contain different types of nutrients, so eating a wide variety of foods helps ensure your immune system has the right “ingredients” in the proper proportions. Good nutrition allows you to get and stay healthy in many ways:

  1. Some nutrients act as antioxidants. Antioxidants may stop or slow cell damage, helping to prevent disease. Antioxidants include: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-carotene, Lycopene, Selenium, Lutein. Many fruits and vegetables are particularly good source of these nutrients.
  2. Promotes the growth of cells. Protein plays many important roles, one of which is formation and vitality of immune cells. Protein is a key to the growth and normal functioning of immune cells. Eggs, fish, beans, poultry, tofu, and nuts are often healthy sources of protein.
  3. Transports oxygen to immune cells: Iron is a building block of hemoglobin, which is an essential part of red blood cells. When people don’t have enough iron, they can’t produce enough red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to the cells that need it. Foods high in iron include Chicken, turkey, beans, Red meat, clams, and oysters.
  4. Maintaining Your Microbiome: Did you know that 70% of your immune system is located in your gut? Humans live in harmony with trillions of bacteria and fungi critical to our immune health. Recent studies have revealed a number of ways that these microbes benefit our immune system. These tiny secret weapons of our immune system need an adequate supply of carbohydrates and dietary fiber to thrive. Reliable sources of these nutrients include apples, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and zucchini.

To learn more, see: Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center , The Nutrition Source

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