Academician of European University of Lefke (EUL) Faculty of Health Sciences Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Assist. Prof. Dr. Nazal Bardak Perçinci made statements on “Nutrition and Immune System” and conveyed detailed information.
Perçinci said that “The immune system includes all of the processes that protect the body against diseases, recognize pathogens (bacteria, viruses, etc.) and tumor cells and destroy them. Supporting and strengthening the immune system is the most important point to gain resistance to diseases and to reduce the chance of being affected by colds, flu and cancer. Recurrent or chronic infections occur only when the immune system is weakened”. She went on to say that a weak immune system causes infection, the infection causes damage to the immune system, which further weakens body resistance.
Perçinci: For a strong immune system, healthy nutrition, regular exercise, providing adequate sleep and staying away from stress is very important.
Perçinci stated that “For a strong immune system, healthy nutrition, regular exercise, providing adequate sleep and staying away from stress is very important. Many factors such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, high-fat nutrition and air pollution cause free radicals to form in our body. Free radicals cause diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, flu and cold” and underlined that water has many important functions such as carrying nutrients and metabolic wastes, adjusting body temperature, and being a solvent for vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and other molecules. Perçinci also said that even a 1-2% loss of water from the body causes irregular movements, loss of appetite, slowed digestion, impatience, fatigue, increased heart rate, and added that 8-10 cups of water we drink during the day is one of the biggest supporters of your health.
Perçinci made suggestions saying that you can have a stronger immune system by including the following 9 foods in your diet;
Flax: Flax, known as the best herbal source of Omega 3, is an anti-oxidant. It strengthens your immunity by reducing the damage caused by free radicals. One study has shown that children who drink a spoonful of flaxseed oil daily have fewer respiratory infections than their non-drinking peers.
Coconut: Coconut accelerates metabolism and opens the way to lose weight. Research has shown that coconut oil contains bay acid. When laurel acid comes into contact with saliva, it turns into monolourine (monolaurin). Monolorine, which is also found in breast milk, is very useful for the immune system.
Sweet Potato: Sweet potatoes which is rich in vitamin A, should be included in your diet in order to shield against viruses and bacteria. When we think that our skin is the first cell to come in contact with air containing dirty substances, a nutrient that protects the skin is very important. Sweet potatoes keep the skin healthy and strong. You can prepare delicious raw vegan noodles from fresh sweet potatoes.
Mushroom: Mushrooms are a source of strength for the immune system, as they contain protein, fiber, vitamins B and C, calcium and minerals. They also increase the production of white blood cells that protect the body against infections.
Teas (Black, Green, Indian basil): The amino acid found in black and green tea is responsible for strengthening the immune system. It helps to fight viruses. Green tea is more useful than antioxidants C and E vitamins. Indian basil comes from the basil plant, which is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, and is very useful for health.
Blueberry: Blueberry, which is known to help prevent many health problems, including cancer, has a rich nutritional value. Compared to other fruits, blueberries have higher antioxidant capacity. As the sugar content is lower, it can significantly strengthen the immune system.
Clove and Turmeric: Turmeric is known for its healing properties and is often applied on wounds for faster healing. Due to its antioxidant content, it can also be used as an anti-cancer agent. Cloves are also protective against coughs and colds. It is also good for dental and sore throats.
Cauliflower: With its high antioxidant content, cauliflower strengthens your immune system and improves overall body functioning. At the same time, since it contains choline and glutathione, it keeps all kinds of diseases away and helps to protect the health of digestive system.
Grapefruit: Grapefruit which is rich in Vitamin C is perfect for fighting cold, flu and other similar problems. It also has other nutrients that the body needs for a strong immune system.