A healthy, balanced diet can protect you from infection and other diseases!
With the current COVID-19 situation in the country, we should be at most vigilant for our health. And one way to do this, the most obvious, is to eat healthily and boost our immune system. A healthy immune system can defeat invading pathogens or, at most, hasten your recovery after an illness.
A healthy immune system needs proper, regular nourishment. Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals play an essential role in maintaining an efficient immune response. About 30 vitamins and minerals required by humans should be provided through a healthy diet as our body cannot manufacture it in sufficient amounts.
These are what we call “essential micronutrients.” For example, sailors learned that months without fruits and vegetables would lead to a disease called ‘scurvy,’ characterized by bleeding gums and falling-off of teeth. The primary medication for scurvy is Vitamin C, an essential micronutrient, which can be found in fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Zinc are needed in maintaining immune functions. Thus, here is the list of its food sources:
– found in chicken, fish, fortified cereals, egg, papaya, banana, orange, and dark leafy vegetables.
– can easily be found in many foods; good sources are fruits (e.g., oranges, lime, calamansi, guava, tomatoes) and vegetables such as red bell peppers and green vegetables.
– can be found in plant-based cooking oils, nuts, seeds, and fortified cereals.
– widely found in fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, seeds, nuts, seafood, milk.
– can be found in eggs, meats, nuts, seafood, seeds, whole-grain.
So how can you make sure you’re getting enough of these nutrients? Well, the best to get vitamins and minerals is from a well-rounded, balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein, nuts, and legumes. Aside from having a healthy diet, one should stay away from vices (e.g., alcohol and cigarettes), get enough sleep, practice good personal hygiene, exercise regularly, and minimize stress.
But remember that we respond to each recommendation differently. While some people age healthily, many scientific studies conclude that older people are more likely to contract and severely affected.
Following general good-health guidelines is the best step you can take in keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies. Furthermore, think of others too. We need to keep a community of healthy individuals who can fight away diseases to prevent it from spreading.
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