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Nutritional Health|11 March 2022

5 immunity nutrients and where to get them.

Written by Rasika Thakur Parab
H.O.D. The Nutrition Therapy Department at Fortis Mulund with more than 11 years of experience in dietetics and clinical nutrition | Post Graduate in Dietetics, Healthcare Operations Management.

Imagine you are suddenly sick and have an upset stomach. Why did it happen? You remember all the junk food you ate this week. You enjoyed it but it might affect your health.

Food plays an important role in our lives as we intake nutrients from it that helps boost our immunity. Hence, all of us must be aware of these 5 immunity nutrients and where we can get them from. But first, do you know why you need immunity nutrients? 

Many micronutrients are required for each stage of the positive responses in our body. Our diet changes are influenced by socioeconomic level, cultural traditions, population increase, and agriculture. Therefore, the right amount of knowledge is to be gained with the help of the resolution of several important global health issues. Therefore, immunity nutrients do not impact only humans in one nation but humans all around the globe.

Human nutrition comprises the gut microbiota that carries an effect on the immune system. So, good nutrition in increasing immunity must begin right when one is a toddler, as it’s essential for kids, too. 

So, how do immunity nutrients help a child? These are essential for children’s physical growth, brain development, motor actions, and chronic disease prevention. But here’s a question. How would a child intake all the immunity nutrients? Here comes the main factor once again, which is food.

Food plays a significant role in everyone’s life. Several nutrients are found in the food that we have daily. Let’s take a look at how the food we eat daily helps a child and an adult intake all the necessary nutrients.

1.   Carbohydrates – A good thumb rule is to inculcate the right amount of carbohydrates in our daily meals. The foods that offer the right carbohydrates can be cereals, whole grain loaves of bread, fruits instead of only juice, potatoes instead of beans, etc. If we add these to your everyday meal, you can start your way towards healthy eating.

2.   Proteins – Do you know? Proteins are large biomolecules and macromolecules made up of one or more long amino acid chains. Proteins are divided into globular, fibrous, and membrane proteins based on their tertiary structures. Seafood, white-meat poultry, milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, beans, pork tenderloin, soy, and lean beef are among the protein-rich foods.

3.   Oils and fats – Yes! Oils and fats are also crucial in our daily meals. Not too much nor too less, just the right amount should do. You may experience dry rashes, hair loss, a weakened immune system, and vitamin shortages if you don’t receive enough fat in your diet. Monounsaturated or unsaturated fats should make up most of your fat intake to help you stay healthy.

4.    Fiber – Fiber is essential in our daily diet as it helps one have a healthy digestive system. You might be thinking, how is that possible? Well, dietary fiber softens and increases the weight and size of your stool. Constipation is less likely with a thick stool since it is simpler to pass. Fiber that absorbs water and provides volume to the stool may help solidify it if you have loose, watery stools. Hence, helping in the maintenance of intestinal health.

5.   Water – Last but not least, it is crucial to keep our body hydrated. Water not only quenches our thirst and soothes a dry throat, but it also provides several other advantages, including transporting nutrients and oxygen to your cells, eliminating bacteria from your bladder, assisting digestion, reducing constipation, regulating blood pressure, and stabilising the heartbeat. So how often do you drink water?

Wasn’t it interesting to know about the benefits of immunity nutrients and where one can get it from? Remember, every time you eat your food, be aware of what you are eating and make others aware of it.


References:

  • Human nutrition, the gut microbiome and the immune system, Andrew L. Kau, Philip P. Ahern, Nicholas W. Griffin, Andrew L. Goodman & Jeffrey I. Gordon
  • Song et al, 2019; Patel et al 2012 and Gombart et al 2020, and Cohen 2017
  • hsph.harvard.edu
  • The role of nutrition in the Immune System I Part I of II, Breda Gavin-Smith
  • Walsh NP, Gleeson M, Pyne DB, et al. Position statement. Part two: maintaining immune health. Exerc Immunol Rev. 2011;17:64–103.

The views expressed are that of the expert alone.