For many, their immune response system keeps them healthy and prevents infection. But for some, a weakened, compromised or impaired immune system causes a weak or low immune response. This too often leads to chronic disease or infection. The immune system is the key to fighting every kind of insult to the body, from that little shaving scratch to the gigantic amount of viruses the constantly try to invade our bodies.
A weak immune system can be caused by physical and emotional stress, loss of sleep, athletic overtraining, common bacterial or viral infections, certain drug therapies and surgery. Diets that contain excessive fat, alcohol or refined sugar can also lead to a weak immune system. As can a diet that doesn't have enough protein, vitamin or mineral intake.
Problems for the Immune System Occasionally, a weakened immune system is caused by illness, lifestyle habits, or environmental factors. We also often find that certain times of the year and seasonal changes bring with them a wave of catchy illnesses or allergies that makes the immune system more vulnerable that usual.
Since prevention is always better than cure, it makes sense to support the immune system to guard against potential further health concerns, from the common cold to more serious illnesses like cancer. Drug treatments often rely on antibiotics, which do the work of our immune system for us.
The extended use of antibiotics can actually cause them to stop working effectively and can contribute to a weakened immune system. Since our immune system has relied on their assistance for so long, it has become weak itself, and therefore unable to fight off infections.
For our immune systems to flourish, we need to ensure that we care for both our physical and emotional health. Therefore it is essential that we adopt the necessary lifestyle, nutritional, and hygiene changes that help our bodies to function at optimal levels. Strengthening the immune system requires the food enrichment with various nutrients supplements.
The most powerful antioxidant is vitamin C. It has multiple effects - creates a resistance to stress; provides the absorption of iron; strengthens connective tissue, bones and teeth; and reduces inflammation. Weakness, fatigue, slow healing of wounds, bleeding gums and anemia indicate its deficit. Lemon, orange, kiwi, apples, raspberries, blueberries, kale, peppers and cabbage are inexhaustible sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin E is another irreplaceable antioxidant, effective in the fight against the aging. It restores suppleness and rejuvenates the skin, protects it from burns and prevents the occurrence of tumors. It is recommended to smokers, diabetics and heart patients. It is found in olive oil, walnuts, almonds, butter and green vegetables.
Carotenoids are a large group of yellow, red and orange pigments present in the leaves, fruits and flowers of fruit and vegetables, egg yolk, and in some animal species. They contribute significantly to human health reducing the risk of cataracts, coronary artery disease, lung, breast, stomach, prostate, colon, ovary, endometrium, pancreas and bladder cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Selenium is an element essential for the proper functioning of enzyme systems. It protects red blood cells and cell membranes. It is also essential for the functioning of the defense system and thyroid gland. Together with other antioxidants it protects the heart, helps in depression, fatigue and excessive nervousness. Selen also reduces the amount of harmful substances which cause the occurrence of rheumatic inflammation. Foods richest in selenium include: wheat, unprocessed rice, oats, melon seeds, half-fated milk, lean meat and fish.
Lack of iron in the blood can cause anemia, which further weaken the immune system. Therefore it is necessary to ensure the required daily intake of this ingredient to help defend the body against infection. Iron-rich foods are pork, chicken, beef liver, oysters, boiled beans and peas, lentils, and pumpkin seeds.
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