Increase your resistance with food rich in antioxidants

Food rich in antioxidants is essential for increasing your resistance. To keep the body cells healthy and balanced, it is important to eat the right food. Vegetables and most fruit are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are our most important allies in the fight against free radicals. These are highly reactive oxygen compounds that are formed in the body and are caused by influences such as UV radiation, exhaust fumes, medicines and environmental pollution. The harmful effects of this are called oxidative stress. Too much of it causes cell damage, accelerates our aging process and has been blamed for a host of diseases.

Antioxidants: free radical scavengers

Antioxidants are very important for the human body because they act as free radical scavengers. Free radicals in themselves are normal metabolic products that occur in every body and are even necessary. However, if too many of them are formed, they are harmful. They are molecules that contain only one electron. Their constant search for the missing electron makes them very reactive. Unfortunately, they get the electrons they need from other molecular compounds and convert them into free radicals. A chain reaction. They attack important proteins, cell walls or even the hereditary material (DNA). This causes damage to various body cells, from which the body can recover more slowly over the course of life. Antioxidants have protective and health-promoting effects when included in a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Vitamins: the best known antioxidants

The best known antioxidants are vitamins. Especially vitamins C, E and A, as well as beta-carotene (provitamin A). But minerals and trace elements such as zinc, selenium, copper and magnesium, as well as the amino acids L-glutathione, L-cysteine, methionine and taurine, also have an antioxidant effect.

Essential vitamins for our immune system

Vitamins are organic compounds that the organism does not need as an energy source but for other vital functions. But our metabolism is largely unable to synthesize it. They must therefore be consumed with food.
Vitamins can be divided into fat-soluble (lipophilic) and water-soluble (hydrophilic) vitamins:

  • Vitamin C is of course essential for the proper functioning of the human immune system;
  • Vitamin A is strongly antiviral and important for the functioning of the thymus gland. It is found in liver, dairy products, oily fish, cod liver oil and in plant foods in the form of beta-carotene, which the body then converts into vitamin A;
  • The B vitamins are important for phagocyte activity (white blood cells);
  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates antibody production.


Minerals important for optimal defense

Certain minerals are also important. Calcium helps the phagocytes perform their scavenging duties, while selenium is needed for antibody production. Iron increases resistance, and many immune processes, including T-cell maturation, are highly dependent on zinc. Most minerals are found in seeds, nuts and green leafy vegetables.

Proteins also play a key role in our immune system

Protein is essential for good resistance, because it is needed to produce all cells, including the antibodies and enzymes of the immune system. Proteins consist of amino acids, which play a key role in the proper functioning of the immune system. Many people have a protein deficiency. It is important to eat plenty of protein-rich foods, such as beans, legumes, meat and fish.

Fiber, essential for digestion

Another important nutrient is fiber, which is found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system – it keeps the gut clean, prevents the build-up of toxins and helps prevent the overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria. Healthy polyunsaturated fats are also important because they are rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and increase resistance; so eat plenty of nuts, seeds and oily fish.

Foods that have an extra resistance-enhancing effect

In addition to the well-known nutrients, some types of food have special resistance-enhancing properties. Green leafy vegetables, including broccoli and cabbage, contain phytochemicals called glucosinolates, which have strong anti-carcinogenic effects. Watermelon, red grapefruit and tomatoes are rich in lycopene, another cancer-fighting champion, while berries like strawberries and raspberries contain anti-inflammatory anthocyanins as well as ellagic acid, which can help suppress the formation of cancer cells.

Other ways to increase your resistance

In addition to eating healthy food, there are a number of other things you can do to increase your resistance. For example, you can exercise more, which promotes the flow of lymph fluid containing immunity cells through the body. Exercise also stimulates blood circulation, which improves the oxygen supply of the organs in the body. If you are just active and walk briskly for half an hour every day, that is sufficient.
The importance of a positive attitude to life and a good social network should not be underestimated – numerous studies have shown that laughing, being optimistic and having fun with friends can boost the immune system. It’s also important to get plenty of sleep, and daylight is essential to boost both mood and immunity. Yoga and meditation can reduce stress.

Enemies of the immune system

  • Lack of vitamins and minerals
  • Sugar
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Lack of sleep
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