What Should You Eat to Help Strengthen Your Immune System?

18 March, 2020 ,

Learn how to better manage your stress

Physical activity is a great way to manage stress and it can even improve our immune response. Prioritize moderate-intensity endurance sports as opposed to high-intensity, body-draining exercises that seem to have the opposite detrimental effect, especially if performed competitively.

We also encourage you to meditate. In effect, studies suggest that, in addition to improving stress management, meditation could strengthen our immune system.

Make sure to respect the following hygienic measures:

In order to slow the spread of infections, these rules must be observed:

  • Eliminate pathogenic microorganisms from your hands by washing them frequently with soap and water, or by using an alcohol-based disinfectant. Click here to find out how to wash your hands the right way.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as this can allow pathogenic microorganisms to enter the main infiltration channels in the body.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. Then immediately throw away the tissue used.
  • Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Stay at home if you are sick so that you do not infect others.

In conclusion

In order to put your body in the best possible conditions to confront the pathogenic microorganisms in our environment, we recommend that you adopt a healthy lifestyle which includes: being physically active, making sure to get enough sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, excluding tobacco and paying special attention to what you put on your plates and into your body.

In order to help you follow these tips on a daily basis without the stress of doing so, and to prevent the risk of deficiencies that could weaken your immune responses, we have developed the Immune System Meal Plan, which includes tasty and immune-boosting recipes.

It is important to know that our immune system weakens with age. As a result, people over the age of 65 are more vulnerable, and need to pay close attention to their diet.


References

  • Wolowczuk, Isabelle, et al. “Feeding our immune system: impact on metabolism.” Clinical and Developmental Immunology 2008 (2008).
  • Extenso, Renforcez votre système immunitaire, consulté le 13 mars 2020. https://extenso.org/article/renforcez-votre-systeme-immunitaire/
  • La nutrition, les aliments qui stimulent l’immunité, consulté le 13 mars 2020. https://www.lanutrition.fr/les-aliments-qui-stimulent-limmunite
  • Le Floc’h, Nathalie, Delphine Melchior, and Christiane Obled. “Modifications of protein and amino acid metabolism during inflammation and immune system activation.” Livestock Production Science 87.1 (2004): 37-45.
  • Kelley, D. S., and P. A. Daudu. “Fat intake and immune response.” Progress in food & nutrition science 17.1 (1993): 41-63.
  • Marti, Amelia, Ascensión Marcos, and José Alfredo Martinez. “Obesity and immune function relationships.” Obesity reviews 2.2 (2001): 131-140.
  • Baeke, Femke, et al. “Vitamin D: modulator of the immune system.” Current opinion in pharmacology 10.4 (2010): 482-496.
  • Maynard, Craig L., et al. “Reciprocal interactions of the intestinal microbiota and immune system.” Nature 489.7415 (2012): 231.
  • Extenso, le microbiote: ce nouvel organe. Consulté le 13 mars 2020. https://extenso.org/blogue/le-microbiote-ce-nouvel-organe/52/
  • Miller, Larry E., Liisa Lehtoranta, and Markus J. Lehtinen. “The effect of Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis HN019 on cellular immune function in healthy elderly subjects: systematic review and meta-analysis.” Nutrients 9.3 (2017): 191.
  • Shephard, R. J., and P. N. Shek. “Potential impact of physical activity and sport on the immune system–a brief review.” British journal of sports medicine 28.4 (1994): 247-255.
  • Black, David S., and George M. Slavich. “Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1373.1 (2016): 13.
  • Mayo Clinic, Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress, consulté le 13 mars 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858

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Author

Jennifer Morzier

Jennifer Morzier

Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian graduated from the University of Montreal in December 2018 and is a member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec (OPDQ). She believes that the quality of our food choices has a direct impact on our health and energy level. Her goal? To help people improve the quality of what they put in their plates, for their better well-being and greater pleasure.

2 Responses to “What Should You Eat to Help Strengthen Your Immune System?”

March 20, 2020 at 8:40 am, Elke Sengmueller said:

Can you please share your reference that one needs to limit one’s fat intake to 30% to avoid reducing the effectiveness of the immune response? Thank you.

March 20, 2020 at 12:12 pm, Jennifer Morzier said:

Hello Elke,
Thanks for your question. According to the following study: Kelley, DS, and PA Daudu. “Fat intake and immune response.” Progress in food & nutrition science 17.1 (1993), a high fat diet would reduce the effectiveness of your immune response. The 30% of calories from lipids comes from the official Health Canada recommandations https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/migration/hc-sc/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/nutrition/dri_tables-eng.pdf

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