Nutrition for Immunity: How Important is it to Include Nutrients in Your Diet?

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

General Physician

4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • It is essential to understand the importance of nutrition in immunity
  • An immunity boost diet for adults improves the immune mechanism
  • Vitamin A, C, E and folate are some of the immunity boosting nutrients

A diet containing essential nutrients helps fight infections, thereby increasing your immunity. With COVID-19 affecting people around the world, the threat to your immune system is high. When the virus attacks your body, cells from your immune system create a memory. While the immune system works to destroy these pathogens, this memory prevents a second invasion. This increases the metabolic activity of your body. Thus, your body may need adequate nutrients for this purpose.

Read on to learn about the importance of nutrition for immunity and the key nutrients to have in any diet to increase immunity.

Additional read: After Recovery from COVID, What to Do and How to Cope? Important Dos and Don’tsNutrition for Immunity

What Are the Components of an Immunity Boost Diet for Adults?

You can improve your defense mechanism by including key nutrients in your diet. They can help you reduce viral and bacterial infections. Key nutrients include the following:

  • Vitamins like A, B12, C, D, E, folate, B6
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Amino acids
  • Minerals like copper, selenium, iron and zinc

Consuming foods rich in these improves your gut microbiome. This includes the number of healthy organisms living inside your digestive system. A healthy microbiome minimizes excess inflammatory responses towards pathogens.

Yet, there is no single immunity boost diet for adults that can prevent you from contracting an infection. Though your defense mechanism plays a vital role by fighting pathogens, you can boost it with the right diet. This in turn forms a healthy gut that helps in improving your immunity [1].

diet to increase immunity

How Do Essential Nutrients Support Your Immune System?

Your diet forms the basic fuel for your immune system to run properly [2]. Eating probiotics, which contain Lactobacillus, can improve your immune function. If you are facing excessive swelling or pain after COVID, include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet to get some relief. While vitamin C prevents infections, vitamin E can help you fight pathogens. Iron plays a vital role by carrying oxygen to different cells.

Zinc and selenium are equally required for preventing infections. You will be amazed to learn that zinc is essential to produce new cells in your immune system. Don’t forget to include natural immunity boosters like gooseberries, ginger and turmeric in your meals. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your cells by destroying free radicals [3]. Their antioxidant properties work like a charm on your body. This is the importance of nutrition in immunity that you need to be aware of!

What Foods Improve Your Immunity Levels After a Covid-19 Infection?

The right diet should include varied foods rich in several immunity boosting nutrients. Minimizing the intake of carbohydrates and eating foods rich in proteins can help in a big way. Few foods that may improve your immunity include the following:

  • Fruits and vegetables rich in beta carotene
  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli
  • Bell pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds
  • Nuts
Additional read: Home Healthy Diet for COVID Survivors: What Foods Boost your Immunity?Nutrition for Immunity

Will Consuming Essential Nutrients Reduce the Risk of Developing Covid-19?

No study has yet proven that an intake of essential nutrients can decrease the risk of COVID-19. However, consuming a wholesome diet can help you to fight pathogens and lower the severity of the disease. The World Health Organization has also put emphasis on the importance of nutrition for immunity. It recommends that we consume 9 vegetable and fruits servings on a daily basis.

When it comes to nutrition, importance needs to be given to those foods that can help protect you against diseases. Often, you may only focus on those that help you lose weight or reduce hair fall. Now that you are aware of the relationship between diet and immune function, follow an immunity boost diet for adults. Apart from a balanced diet, follow a healthy and active lifestyle. Keep yourself hydrated and sleep well at night. These are a few measures you can take for a healthy future. To improve your immune health, schedule an online doctor consultation with doctors on Bajaj Finserv Health. Book an appointment without further delay and address symptoms from the comfort of your home.

Published on 18 Oct 2021Last updated on 5 Apr 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

, MBBS 1


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