The cold season has us under control and with it the cold wave. Whether and how strong the nose runs, the head is buzzing and the irritating cough robs us of sleep also depends on the immune system. We can support his work with our diet. The human immune system protects the body against, among other things, invading bacteria, viruses and parasites. But it is not a lone fighter, but is subject to various internal and external factors.
So that all metabolic processes that are crucial for the defense can take place, the immune system is dependent on the adequate supply of essential nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals. Essential means that the body can not produce it or not in sufficient quantities itself and they must therefore be supplied from the outside.
Secondary plant substances (SPS)
In addition to the essential nutrients, some phytochemicals - natural ingredients of fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals - can immunomodulatory, so strengthening the immune system act. They are just as important to our health as vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Phytochemicals have numerous beneficial properties and important protective functions. Thus, some SPS show an antimicrobial effect, thus reducing the number and activity of pathogenic microorganisms. The SPSs include carotenoids and flavonoids.
Power to bite
Especially with colds, a diet that is rich in vitamins and phytochemicals, strengthen the immune system. The initial phase of infections is also a good time for the use of antimicrobial food ingredients. Since an infection is often not consciously perceived at this time, it is advisable to give fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products generally the most space on our plates. So our body is prepared for the emergency.