With all the hysteria surrounding COVID-19, the flu and the common cold, immune health is in the forefront of most peoples’ minds currently, although it should be on your mind normally… not just during times of a pandemic.
You’re only as strong as your immune system. If your immune system is compromised, you're a prime feeding ground for bacterial and viral infections. Whether you’re already sick or trying to prevent it, here are some helpful things important to fighting back and helping your immune system win against infection.
How to strengthen your immune system
- Don’t Smoke
- Eat fruits and veggies
- Take the right vitamins and minerals (especially if you aren’t getting enough fruits and veggies)
- Watch your weight
- Only drink in moderation
- Get proper sleep
- Practice good hygiene - washing hands frequently, use hand sanitizer etc
- Control and minimize your stress levels (don’t panic like everyone else)
How Diet / Supplements affects your immune system
The front line of the immune system is through the stomach. Your immune system's weapons come from proper and regular nourishment.
The immune system army marches through the stomach. Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. “Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases.” 1 What about vitamins and minerals? Evidence also suggests that if your body is deficient in zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E, this can cause poor immune response as well.
What can you do? Most people aren’t getting enough micronutrients from food to begin with and even if you think you are, it’s better to be safe than sorry. A well rounded multivitamin supplement taken daily not only benefits your immune system but also has other beneficial effects on the body. We suggest adding Glutamine to your daily regiment as well. L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and is involved in more metabolic processes than any other amino acid. In particular, it’s the preferred source of fuel for immune cells and the cells that line the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Glutamine's Involvement in Gut Immunity
#1: Glutamine helps T-cells and macrophages do their job! It’s essential for proper GI, immune and muscle function.
#2: Glutamine helps maintain the structural integrity of the intestinal lining by preserving healthy gut mucosa and protecting the villi that line the gastrointestinal tract. In fact, nearly 70% of the immune system is located in the gut.
To carry out its important role in immune function, the gut must be in tip-top shape, however, due to poor diets, the overuse of antibiotics, excessive alcohol consumption, and a myriad of other reasons, many guts are not. The amino acid L-glutamine has the ability to support a healthy gut and healthy immunity. 2
When Does The Body Need More Glutamine?
There are certain stressful situations that cause a decrease in glutamine in our tissues and impair the function of our intestine’s mucosal barrier. Surgery, illness, traumatic injury, viral or bacterial infection, malnutrition, and even chronic stress make it necessary to get enough glutamine.
Additionally, because muscle tissue is the main place where glutamine is produced, people with low muscle mass, such as the elderly or those with muscle wasting diseases, may be at risk for glutamine deficiency. 2
Panic causes higher stress levels and can affect your immune system. With the wide spread panic over the current viral threat, the last thing you want to do is weaken your immune system.
We suggest you take a deep breath and focus on what your body, more specifically your immune system needs right now in order to function at its highest level.
Grab a bottle of our daily multi vitamins: Athletic Multi-Vitamin and a tub of our Glutamine: to make sure you are covering all your bases to get through this viral threat facing us all.
By: Rich Wilkins
Chief Content Officer MAN Sports