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Vitamin D is recognized as being essential for good bone health. What is less known about Vitamin D is that it also has a role to play as a modulator of the immune system. This is why it is recommended to eat foods rich in this vitamin which include: some of the fatty fish (salmon, tuna, swordfish, sardines) and fortified foods.
In the summer, our body is able to produce its own vitamin D thanks to the rays of the sun, but this is not the case in the winter. Small tip: Since it is difficult to reach your vitamin D needs through diet only, it is recommended to take an extra 1000 IU Vitamin D supplement per day during the winter months.
The multitude of bacteria that populate the gut form a natural barrier against the proliferation of infections and help the development and maturation of our immune system. Our microbiota is therefore an excellent ally that is important to nurture by offering it the food that it needs, namely prebiotics which are dietary fibers that selectively promote the growth of good bacteria. Among Prebiotic foods we find: whole grain cereals, legumes, garlic, onions, asparagus, leeks, flaxseed and chia seeds.
It is important to differentiate between prebiotics and probiotics. To understand the difference I invite you to read this article.
Probiotics affect the composition of the gut microbiota and as a result could help strengthen the immune system, especially in the elderly or very young children. It would therefore be interesting to increase your intake of probiotics by regularly consuming yogurt and kefir.
Small tip: It is important to reduce your intake of ultra-processed products and added sugars which are known to deplete the microbiota.
Excessive adiposity, as is the case in obese people, has been shown to be a factor in the imbalance of the immune system. Similarly, a person who is malnourished will have his or her immune system disrupted.
Thus, in order to promote the proper regulation of our immune system, it is important to achieve a healthy weight and maintain it. Click here to find out about your healthy weight. Be careful because BMI alone is not a sufficient enough measure. There are multiple factors to consider such as abdominal adiposity for example. Depending on your situation it may be appropriate to consult with a dietitian.