Plant-based food is popular globally as people are becoming mindful of their health and wellness. Some of the main advantages of switching to this diet are lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, cancer, better weight management and immunity. Also, physicians are encouraging their patients to include more plant-based products into their diet to improve overall wellbeing. In this article, we will best attempt to answer how to support your immune system with a plant-based diet, read on to know more about it.
Food And Immunity
Our body has mechanisms in place to fend off diseases, and it is called the immune system. Its functioning is affected by various factors, and one of the most important ones is your diet. This is because the food you eat affects the gut microbiome that directly influences immunity. Due to this, micronutrient malnutrition or deficiency can also make you more prone to diseases.
For the optimal functioning of cells in our body, we need essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, iron, boron, and vitamins along with carbs and proteins. However, trending healthy diets like paleo and keto along with the standard diet is heavy on meat and dairy products. Also, they are low on the many essential micronutrients that are required for a healthy immune system. But research has shown that a plant-based diet has higher amounts of these that ensure healthy cell function. For example, pea milk is a protein-rich substitute for dairy milk.
Building A Strong Immune System
The functioning of the immune system is very much determined by the lifestyle of an individual. You can build a strong immunity by eating a plant-based diet that is free of dairy products, exercising regularly, managing stress, avoiding smoking, and getting plenty of sleep. Also, another advantage of eating plant-based food is that they have higher amounts of antioxidants that protect our cells from damages due to oxidative stress.
Plant-Based Food That Supports Immunity
As already mentioned, plant-based food has higher amounts of antioxidants that help to fight inflammation. For example, whole foods have 64 times more of these compared to dairy and meat products. Listed below are plant-based foods that are rich in immunity-boosting antioxidants.
- Berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.
- Leafy greens like chard, kale, collard greens, etc.
- Raw cacao
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans.
Apart from boosting immunity, they have the added benefit of slowing down the aging process. Also, consuming them reduces the chances of developing autoimmune diseases, as well as the development of cancer.
We hope that this post will inspire you and help in your transition to a healthier plant-based diet that has a multitude of health benefits.