How to boost your immunity - GulfToday

How to boost your immunity

Abeer Majed Al Kusayer

Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Al Qassimi Hospital – Ministry of Health and Prevention

Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Al Qassimi Hospital – Ministry of Health and Prevention


Illustrative image.

Good amounts of vitamin C can be obtained by adding citrus fruits to the diet and vitamin C, or the so-called ascorbic acid, is a necessary element to stimulate the immune system to increase its strength, and it also has an important role in combating infections, viruses, and bacteria.

Broccoli: is a rich source of vitamin C, and it also contains a group of powerful antioxidants, such as sulforaphane, and therefore eating it regularly as part of a healthy diet is a good option to support the health of the immune system.

Spinach is a rich source of vitamin C, in addition to containing beta-carotene, and many antioxidants, so eating it can help increase the ability of the immune system to fight infection. Spinach is one of the best dietary sources of magnesium, an element necessary for energy metabolism, maintenance of muscle and nerve function, regular heart rate, a healthy immune system, and normal blood pressure.

Turmeric has strong antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, thus reducing the ability of microbes and viruses to multiply, while increasing the ability of the immune system to fight infection and boost the body’s immunity. The compound that gives turmeric its yellow or orange colour is a powerful immunomodulatory that can modulate the activation of T cells, B cells, macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells. Dendritic cells can also help reduce the forehead expression of some types of inflammatory cytokines, while enhancing the antibody response within the body.

Garlic has the effect of reducing inflammation and enhancing bowel functions by stimulating some types of immune cells such as phagocytes, lymphocytes, and natural killer cells that produce antibodies, and modulating the shape of the cytokine and others.

Kiwi contains good amounts of vitamin C, carotenoids, polyphenols, and dietary fibre which are all necessary and beneficial elements for the immune system. It can enhance signs of innate and acquired immunity and help to enhance the responses of the gut mucosa, antibodies, and the cytokine Interferon-γ, with significant activity of natural killer cells.

Cocoa is one of the foods relatively rich in polyphenols, which makes it a powerful antioxidant. It also positively affects the immune system, particularly the innate inflammatory response, and the overall and intestinal adaptive immune response.

The antioxidants and other nutrients present in ginger can help reduce or mitigate the risk of infections and various types of infections. Also, volatile oil of ginger affects both cell-mediated immunity and the non-specific proliferation of T lymphocytes, and may have beneficial effects in many health conditions, such as chronic infections and autoimmune diseases.

General tips to strengthen the immune system:

Choosing a healthy lifestyle and following healthy living strategies are the best steps to maintaining the strength and health of the immune system. The following points show general tips for strengthening the immune system.

- Quit Smoking.

- Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.

- Avoiding foods and drinks rich in sugar as it lowers the immune cells that attack bacteria for at least a few hours after taking it.

- Regular exercise for 30 minutes, which helps the immune system to fight infection and improve sleep.

- Maintain a healthy weight.

- Get enough sleep, which ranges between seven to nine hours for adults. Not getting enough sleep can cause high levels of stress hormones and inflammation in the body.

- Reduce stress that causes high stress and stress hormones, and a decrease in the body’s immune responses.

- Wash hands regularly and cook meat thoroughly to avoid infection.

- Stay away from drinking alcohol.

Photo: TNS

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