3 Kinds Of Foods To Include For Optimum Immune Health – And Why You Need Them
Almost 3 percent of adults have weakened immune systems, and in the past, studies have linked the typical American diet to immunity damage. For those with signs of a weakened immune system like constant levels of high stress, increased frequency of colds and viruses, or increased fatigue, spending a little more time on keeping your immunity levels on track can be quite simple – but it pays off in great ways.
Don’t Forget To Get That Protein In
A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that a lack of protein could lead to impaired immunity. This is because protein is responsible for building your T cells, which are part of your immune system. It is those cells which fight off infections that enter your bloodstream. It is important to note that eating too much protein and eating too little protein can lead to the same result: fatigue and a weak immune system.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that adults get 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. If you want to increase your protein intake, try including one source of lean protein with each of your meals. Lean pieces of beef or chicken, and seafood, are rich in zinc. Zinc accelerates the production of white blood cells, which fight infections. So in addition to choosing lean sources of protein, be mindful of the way you prepare them so you don’t reduce the nutritional value. For instance, steamed vegetables are generally recommended for high nutritional value, while grilling is recommended for a lower fat, healthier alternative to fried foods. If you are worried about the flavor, marinating your protein in fresh herbs and spices can add incredible flavor. Be mindful of good cooking practices to protect yourself while barbequing outside. To avoid the mishandling food and possible food poisoning, remember to keep your meats separate from your other ingredients.
Grab Some Peppers And Broccoli For Your Vitamin C Fix
Vitamin C is widely known for its immune-boosting abilities. In fact, it is one of the go-to supplements people take to increase immunity during cold and flu season. Vitamin C increases the production of lymphocytes, which help to protect your body against infections. It has also been shown to improve the skin’s natural defense, and reduce the longevity of viruses like the common cold.
However, most experts agree that the key to reaping the benefits that Vitamin C can offer lies in the regular consumption of it. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one cup of red bell peppers includes up to 211 percent of your daily Vitamin C intake. Meanwhile, half of a cup of broccoli with one of your meals will get you 43 percent of your recommended Vitamin C intake.
Don’t Forget Power Boosting Seeds Like Chia And Pumpkin Seeds
Another way to boost your immunity is to include superfood seeds in your daily diet regime. Chia seeds taste delicious on your morning granola, and also contain high levels of antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. For a healthy snack, reach for sunflower or pumpkin seeds. One ounce of sunflower seeds contains 49 percent of your daily recommended dose of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
Remember To Match Your Diet Needs To Your Age
A common mistake people make is not eating for their age. As people get older, their immune systems can change, often becoming slower to respond. Also, older people tend to eat less frequently, which places them at risk for not meeting their nutrient requirements. Therefore, it is important to match your diet to your age requirements.
If you are older and faced with these changes, it is even more important that you fill in those gaps with extra servings of fresh fruits, vegetables, and immunity-boosting foods. If you find it difficult, you can also include a daily multivitamin in your regime. Finally, remember to keep updating your diet as your lifestyle and age changes so that you can ensure your immune system is at its best all the time.