The following 4 tips will help you to strengthen your immune system in a simple and practical way:
1. Strengthen the immune system through healthy nutrition
A strong immune system is above all a question of the right diet. Therefore, the first tip for a strong and healthy immune system is: Eat a balanced diet.
Asparagus in spring, strawberries in summer, apples in autumn: eat as seasonally as possible and, above all, “colorful”. Natural foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds also provide micronutrients that can be lost during processing, for example due to heat. Give preference to regional vegetables when shopping.
Ready meals and sweets often contain too many calories, sugar or saturated fatty acids, which put a strain on the metabolism – and thus also on the immune system. The favorite food of your immune system is fresh, as little processed or gently cooked food as possible.
Eating five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day is ideal as per the WHO (World Health Organization) to protect against a lack of essential micronutrients. Particularly healthy are B. Berries and cruciferous vegetables, which includes all collard greens. A varied diet for a strong immune system also includes legumes such as beans and lentils. These are low in calories, rich in nutrients and good suppliers for the daily supply of protein and fiber. Fiber is good for your gut microbiome, which contains bacteria that support your body’s defenses. If you want to build up your immune system, you should also ensure that you consume enough prebiotic foods such as artichokes, chicory or black salsify to provide the intestinal flora with food. A good home remedy is psyllium husk, which can also regulate intestinal activity.
2. Strengthen the immune system with vitamins and minerals
A sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals is important for all body systems – for example for the immune system, the cardiovascular system, the nervous, digestive or reproductive systems. External supply of most vitamins and minerals is mandatory.
The following 4 vitamins and trace elements are of particular importance for the immune system:
Vitamin C: Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to boosting the immune system.
Vitamin D: This vitamin, which is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin, is a true all-rounder among vitamins that is involved in numerous metabolic processes, including those in muscles, bones and the immune system. It is now generally accepted that vitamin D supplementation is essential.
Zinc: If you look at the diverse tasks of zinc in the body, it should actually get a lot more attention in our daily nutrition planning. Some take it for skin, hair, nails, others for fertility reasons. One of its functions is to contribute to the normal functioning of our defense system.
Selenium: Selenium is an extremely exciting trace element that you should take a closer look at. If you don’t deal intensively with your thyroid gland, you rarely deal with selenium, although it has important functions, such as protecting cells from oxidative stress.
Other micronutrients that contribute to the normal functioning of your immune system are: vitamin A, the B vitamins B 6, B 12, folic acid (folate), which also belongs to the B group vitamins, and the trace elements iron and copper.
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3. Boost your immune system with superfoods
Not only exotic fruits like acai or goji berries are superfoods. Superfoods such as kale, blueberries and broccoli also grow on our doorstep. And they are simply great because they provide us with many micronutrients or also contain nutritionally important secondary plant substances, e.g., flavonoids, carotenoids or glucosinolates. To what extent such bioactive plant ingredients can actually strengthen the immune system has yet to be scientifically clarified.
With regard to a good defense, the following superfoods are interesting:
Aronia: The small berries native to North America are increasingly becoming the focus of nutritional research due to special ingredients with immune-modulating, antioxidant and vascular-protecting properties. Aronia berries are particularly rich in anthocyanins. These valuable polyphenols are also responsible for their dark purple to black color.
Cranberry: Cranberries have gained a reputation as a superfood for women in this country, as herbal research focuses mainly on their potential to prevent cystitis. However, the berries, less well known by their German name cranberries, are a great source of micronutrients and vital substances, such as proanthocyanidins, and are therefore equally interesting for women and men.
Acerola: Acerola is an immune system superfood because this stone fruit is an excellent source of natural vitamin C: 100 g of fruit contain 1700 mg of vitamin C. The recommended daily requirement for adult women is 95 mg/day, for men 110 mg/day and for lactating women even at 125 mg/day. Due to their taste, the fresh fruits are less suitable for direct consumption and are also not available in this country. You get acerola as a juice or powder, which you z. B. can mix in muesli.
4. Strengthen the immune system with medicinal plants and herbs
Numerous medicinal plants for the immune system are known in modern phytotherapy. Of particular importance are plants with phytochemicals that have an immune-modulating effect. The so-called immune modulators can, among other things, stimulate the activity of various immune cells such as macrophages or natural killer cells and thus have a positive influence on cellular immunity.
Well-known immunologically effective medicinal plants are the coneflower (botanical: Echinacea), which can activate the body’s own scavenger cells, the husk (botanical: Baptisia). These are the activate antibody production, and the tree of life (botanical: Thuja), and have a direct antiviral effect.
Medicinal plant preparations are available as traditional or herbal medicines in pharmacies and are mainly used therapeutically to treat immune deficiencies with plants or to support the body’s defenses in the case of viral colds.
In addition to the use in the form of medicines, medicinal plants work as home remedies to strengthen the immune system, e.g., in the form of herbal teas and delta 10. For personal use, medicinal herbs, roots or fruits are primarily important as sources of micronutrients. Rosehip or sea buckthorn, for example, are real vitamin C bombs.