How does nutrition affect the immune system? If you have ever wondered about the answer to this question, you are not alone. Here are a few things to know.
Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, many people have become more aware of their immune health. People want to protect themselves and others from this terrible disease, so they have been following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization—social distancing, wearing masks in crowded areas, and washing hands regularly, to name a few preventive measures.
Along with these measures, people have also become more curious about how they can help their natural immune system fight off disease and infection. Many strategies exist, such as maintaining a regular exercise regimen, avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking, and getting a healthy amount of sleep.
Another way to keep the immune system functioning properly is to be more conscious of nutrition. How does nutrition affect the immune system and what are some health-promoting foods to try this summer? Here are five.
Melons are a crowd-pleasing favorite for barbecues, picnics, and pool parties, but did you know that they provide lots of nutritional value, too? Watermelons, cantaloupes, and other melon varieties are mostly water, so they are a great way to stay hydrated. They are also full of vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as lycopene and antioxidants.
In recent years, corn has gotten a bad reputation, which is unfortunate because it is so nutritional. Unlike high fructose corn syrup, though, fresh corn is one summer food that you can indulge in without feeling too guilty. Corn has a high sugar content, but it also contains lots of B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron, and protein. Go light on the butter and you can’t go wrong!
Add them to a fresh salad, top your burger with a slice—however you decide to eat tomatoes this summer, you can bet that they are adding some feel-good energy to your diet. With vitamins A, C, and E and potassium and a variety of carotenoids, tomatoes pack a nutritional punch.
How does nutrition affect the immune system? Eat some tomatoes and see for yourself!
As a garnish, garlic adds a lot of flavor to many fresh and cooked summer dishes. The benefits, however, don’t stop there. Garlic also contains a bunch of nutritional value in the form of manganese, selenium, fiber, and several vitamins. As an added benefit, garlic is also good for those who suffer from chronic pain or who are healing from an injury.
Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are some of the most delicious summer fruits around. They are sweet and tart, and they also contain vitamin C and antioxidants that help fight off disease. Eat them on their own or in a fruit salad at your next get-together!