The Covid-19 outbreak is currently the leading problem of humanity worldwide. It is imperative to implement and maintain a nutrition program that will keep our immunity strong to fight coronavirus.
Nutrition; It is affected by a variety of factors such as age, gender, health condition, lifestyle, and medications. As in all of our lives, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the foods we consume daily and our diet affect the immune system, so in the current context the only sustainable way to survive is to strengthen the immune system.
Apart from Vitamins C, which is one of the fastest and best known ways to improve the immune system, a proper daily diet can keep the body resilient to defeat the virus.
More than 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates said: “Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.”
Both food intake and incidence of the disease affect nutritional status, especially in developing countries where everyone is striving for food.
Currently, the COVID-19 outbreak is the leading challenge worldwide. Scientists and researchers are trying to create special vaccines for this virus, but so far, vaccination methods have not yet become widespread. Healthy nutrition is our most important support to provide a strong immune system against coronavirus.
So how do we do this?
Our body is attacked by a large number of microbes around it, and these organisms struggle to enter our body. A healthy body usually copes with the disease factors and foreign substances it encounters “without notice”. We also get sick when we cannot deal with microbes. The task of the immune system is also; primarily to prevent these organisms from entering the body, or if they do, swallow them where they enter the body, prevent or delay their spread. The immune system maintains these functions throughout life, but may need help under certain conditions.
Our Immune System can recognize and distinguish millions of enemies
The immune system also has a similar structure to the neurological system. One of its most important features is that it has the ability to recognize and distinguish millions of different enemies, foreign to itself. Thanks to this feature, all cells involved in the immune system see the first stranger they encounter, save them in their memory, and then remember them when they see them. The secret behind its success in defending our body is that it has a detailed and dynamic communication network within our body.
How should we be fed?
It is reported that six million children die every year around the world due to infections caused by the collapse of the immune system as a result of malnutrition. For this, we should pay attention to getting enough protein in our diet to help strengthen our immune system and to consume proteins such as milk, dairy products and eggs with high biological value.
1) Take vitamin C and E
Free radicals are essential to our lives, even though they call it “bad boys”. However, it is dangerous when it is found in excess. Micronutrients called antioxidants can provide our protection from free radicals. Vitamins C and E are our first line of defense against free radicals. Lemon, orange, tangerine, bell pepper, parsley, kiwi and grapefruit plenty of vitamin C; Sunflower oil, almond, walnut and peanut types are also rich in vitamin E.
2) Beta carotene is important
Beta-carotene, which is abundant in orange, red and green vegetables and fruits, also significantly increases the number of immune system cells. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body and provides indirect benefits. Vitamin A is found in potatoes, carrots, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, liver, lettuce, apricot, melon and tomato.
3) Avoid consuming too much fat, meat and sugar
All the nutrients we take to fight against free radicals are important, but if we plan to eat defensively to support the immune system, fat and cholesterol consumption, protein intake and dietary fiber are just as important as the variety of foods we take. At this point, it is necessary to avoid fatty and abundant tomato paste and excessive sugar consumption.
4) Drink water without getting thirsty
It is beneficial to drink at least 2-3 liters of water or mineral water and fruit juice daily in order for the cells that make up the immune system to continue their movements in the organism.
5) Not without Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids, which are not produced in our body and are found in abundance in fish, and arginine amino acids, which we get from protein foods, are important food sources for our immune system.
6) Take vitamin supplements
Vitamins and minerals; They must be taken with food, as they cannot be produced by the body itself. However, factors such as climate, soil, raw or mature product, transportation and storage can cause vitamin loss. We can take vitamins necessary for a strong immune system from outside by consulting a doctor.
Why is immunity weakened?
At the point where our immune system is disrupted or destroyed, the defense gates of our body remain open to the end. As a result, we may encounter situations where many diseases such as allergies, arthritis, infections or viruses are on the agenda.
Incomplete nutrition: Nutrition can affect the body’s resistance and microbes. Excessive fatigue, traumas, burns cause protein breakdown in the body and thus decrease resistance. Protein and energy inadequate and malnutrition play a major role in diseases and deaths, especially in childhood. Deficient nutrition predisposes to infections and their complications.
Insomnia: While our body and brain are resting during sleep, the immune system does not rest. On the contrary, it prepares against invading organisms. If not well rested, the immune system can be impaired.
Alcohol: Alcohol is included in our daily life as a pleasurable substance. It has been proven that alcohol, especially chronic alcohol abuse, has negative effects on the immune defense of the organism.
Other: Apart from the factors mentioned above, some drug therapies, fatigue, excessive exercise, seasonal and hormonal changes are also factors that weaken our immune system.
Advantages of a strong immune system
- It relieves the severity of infections. In this way, it reduces the risk of infectious diseases, especially in babies whose defense cells are not yet fully developed, school-age children who have more contact with other children with germs, and the elderly as immunity begins to decrease.
- It reduces the chances of getting colds, flu and other infections.
- It maximizes the destruction of cancer cells.
- It increases energy levels by preventing the build-up of toxic chemicals that reduce vitality.
- It protects the body from the surrounding radiation and dirt.
- It slows down the aging process.