But this flight has a third leg. What about enhancing the body’s general health and defenses, strengthening the immune system more generally, and strengthening it against various infectious threats? Weight gain, stress control, and good general health are undoubtedly key to this, but diet also plays an important role. It’s one of the most relevant and immediately applicable areas of , but it’s also one of the most difficult, simply because you can’t do things like it’s controlled. Experiments that allow the establishment of causal relationships that are the basis of the scientific method. Therefore, there is always uncertainty about the findings in this area and the extent to which they apply to specific individuals and their health. It is important to consult your doctor or other health care provider before making any regimen changes.
That being said, from the scientific and medical literature, it’s helpful to strengthen the immune system, or at least improve health maintenance and promote the body’s ability to strengthen both innate and adaptive immunity. There is some evidence for food. Read on for some key examples. — Wes Ulm, MD, PhD is a physician, researcher, musician (J. Wes Ulm and Kant’s Konundrum), novelist, and M.D. from Harvard Medical School. MIT. He is part of the Heroes of the COVID Crisis series in connection with his ongoing work in drug discovery and public health.
Citrus fruits in general are probably best known in the public consciousness for their ability to boost immunity.In fact, there is evidence from various studies to support this. This is likely because the fruit provides the water-soluble vitamin ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, and among the citrus members, oranges are a particularly good source of this essential nutrient. The role of the acid (ascorbic acid) is multifaceted and still not fully understood, but it has various functions such as contribution to immune regulation, antioxidant activity in the skin and mucous membranes, and support for bacterial growth. It covers. Critically important white blood cells (especially lymphocytes such as natural killer cells, central to innate immunity, and T and B cells that are the basis of adaptive immunity), strengthening connective tissue barriers (especially due to their role in cross-linking and reinforcing collagen) ) protein), as well as direct antibacterial (and especially antiviral) effects. Both the juice and the fruit itself are great sources, but since many orange juice products have added sugar, consuming a refreshing orange slice regularly is probably the healthiest form. Additionally, solid oranges, along with carotenoids (such as lycopene), flavonoids (such as hesperidin), and vitamin A (retinol and related compounds), are another factor that may help boost your immune system, a healthy It also provides a generous amount of fiber. Similarly, many studies have associated it with antioxidant activity and immune enhancement.
lemon and lime
Citrus fruits rich in ascorbic acid, such as lemons and limes, boost immunity for similar reasons as oranges. That’s because a supply of lime aboard sailboats has been found to help ward off the dreaded disease of scurvy, a connective tissue disorder caused by vitamin C deficiency. Like oranges, these fruits are rich in other antioxidants and immune-boosting substances such as vitamin A, flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin B complex. Additionally, both lemons and limes are versatile fruits that can be easily incorporated into a variety of diets. Just by squeezing here and there in your main dish or salad, you can boost your immunity.
Garlic has been associated with immune enhancement and protection for centuries.Like ginger (bottom), it contains allicin, an organosulfur compound commonly utilized by the garlic plant itself as a form of natural pesticide. It appears to boast antibacterial and antiviral properties associated with its presence.
Like citrus fruits, blueberries are particularly rich in flavonoids such as hesperidin, which can help prevent and prevent various infections. In addition to its antibacterial properties, hesperidin has been shown to have many other health benefits. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that reduce inflammation in the body and help relieve symptoms such as arthritis and asthma.
Brussels sprouts and broccoli
Cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli, are also good sources of vitamin C and may have immune-boosting antibacterial and antioxidant effects, among other contributions to good health. There are some indications that this may be related to another organosulfur compound called sulforaphane, but the evidence for its role in this currently remains unknown.
kale and spinach
Green leafy vegetables are generally another staple of healthy eating and wellness-focused regimens. As well as help strengthen the immune system.
Carrots are a particularly rich source of carotenoids such as beta-carotene, which are converted in the body to vitamin A (retinol and related compounds), a fat-soluble vitamin. Primarily by contributing to the proliferation and preparation of white blood cells. In particular, it assists in the body’s production of lymphocytes, particularly T and B cells, which are the mainstays of the adaptive immune system, and are responsible for specific antigens, namely bacteria, viruses, and others. Responds to and targets molecular fingerprints on the surface of pathogens. Allows the body to distinguish between self and non-self.
Ginger, also in its various forms (tea, shots, or fresh preparations from ginger root), has been associated with immune enhancement in the general public mind, and there is some evidence for this as well. Although details are not clear, ginger’s antioxidant capacity may play a role and may have direct antibacterial and antiviral properties. are still accumulating, but there are more solid findings that indicate that ginger may serve as an anti-inflammatory compound in combating harmful chronic inflammation in several autoimmune diseases.
Like citrus fruits, apples are a great source of ascorbic acid and flavonoids, which boosts the immune system for similar reasons. avoiding
Green tea may have immune-enhancing properties, in part, thanks to two specific classes of compounds it contains: theanine, an amino acid analogue with evidence of immunomodulatory capacity, and a class of flavonoids (organic (within the polyphenol family of compounds) called catechins. Among the latter group, green tea is particularly rich in the powerful antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, also known as EGCG.
Finally, it’s helpful to remember that these foods provide the best immune-boosting pep in combination with an overall solid health and wellness regimen, including plenty of exercise, sleep, and stress management. Proper nutrition is best understood in the context of systems biology. This is a kind of perpetual frontier in biomedical research, as in essence physiology is contributed by phenomena and relationships that become apparent only in complex interactions, at higher levels or organizations. And the pathways we’re adding to our knowledge base forever. Therefore, none of the above superfoods should be considered “magic bullets” for boosting the immune system. They are essential elements of a much larger physiological tapestry that helps ensure optimal immunity and general health.