Don’t be afraid of the flu and cold virus, just be protected!!
Pandemics have become a big topic recently. Not against all viral diseases vaccines are available and it has become very important more than ever to support your immune system.
Supplements like vitamin D3 or zinc already support your immune system and should be a part of your daily routine – but eating the right vegetables and fruits will help you to stay healthy and strong additional.
On the surface of your white blood cells, who defend your body against infection and disease there are vitamin d receptors and activating enzymes. By binding to its receptor, it regulates the expression of various genes and affects the behaviour of different cell types within the immune system.
Vitamin D works like a light switch in your body, who turns on or off genes and processes that your body needs to maintain health. Active Vitamin D is sent to many areas of the body, including bones, intestines, brain, and immune cells, which all have receptors for vitamin D. The active vitamin D binds with the receptors and promotes vitamin D responsive genes.
Low levels of vitamin d3 are associated with frequent colds and influenza (https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/low-vitamin-d-levels-associated-colds-flu).
In 2017 analyses of prospective clinical trials showed that taking vitamin D reduces the chances of developing a respiratory infection by 42% in people with low baseline levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL, et al. Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data).
Zinc is a big multiplayer in our body – it helps with muscle growth and repair, plays a role in hormone balance and has anti-inflammatory properties. New studies suggests that zinc helps to control infections by gently tapping the brakes on the immune response in a way that prevents out-of-control inflammation that can be damaging.
Zinc administered within 24 hours of onset of symptoms reduces the duration and severity of the common cold in healthy people (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21328251)
Besides supplements like vitamin d3 which you can not absorb in sufficient levels from food , you can promote your immune system by adding nutrient and vitamin rich vegetables, fruits or nuts to your daily diet – here are our top natural immune boosters:
Vitamin C containing fruits and vegetables – if has a red, orange or yellow color just grab and eat to boost your immune system. Citrus fruits, red or yellow bell peppers are some good examples for the food of choice with high vitamin C levels. Because our body can´t produce or store it, vitamin C is highly recommended in your daily diet. A small red bell pepper (100g) has already 140 mg of Vitamin C and fills your daily need (recommended daily intake for an adult= 100g). If you´re not a fan of pepper you can stick to citrus fruits – 100 grams of orange contain 50 mg of vitamin C, 100 grams of grapefruit contain 30 mg of vitamin c.
Garlic – is not only tasty but boosts your immune system due to its high concentration of sulfur-containing compounds. Additionally, it may also help to lower blood pressure and fights against hardening of the arteries.
Garlic contains a compound called alliin, and if garlic is crushed or chewed, alliin turns into allicin which is the main active ingredient in garlic .
Allicin is unstable, so it converts to sulphur-containing compounds, who have been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses, such as the ones that cause the common cold. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25961060).
Broccoli – is full of the vitamins A, C and E and contains antioxidants and fiber. Make sure you don´t overcook it to keep all the mighty ingredients intact!
100 grams raw broccoli contain 94 mg vitamin C, 0.14 mg vitamin A and 0.61 mg vitamin E.
Ginger – is mainly used to reduce a sore throat and may lower inflammations in your body.
Ginger can be consumed in many different ways. Sliced ginger roots can be eaten raw, cooked or used as powder.
In traditional Chinese medicine, ginger has been used in for centuries. Ginger is a natural antihistamine, who works by dilating constricted bronchial. Ginger is has powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties (gingerols, paradols, sesquiterpenes, shogaols, and zingerone) who have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/)
Nuts – they are full of antioxidants and a good source for vitamin E, who strengthens the body’s natural defence against illness and infection (the immune system).
The recommended daily intake for vitamin E is 11-13 mg for women and 12-15 mg for men, which can be covered by eating 60 grams of hazelnuts or almonds.