Anxiety Has Left the Building, Vitamin B1 has arrived BUY NOW
  • Home
  • News
  • Nutrition and Immunity: Partners for a Healthy Life
by Health By Principle

Nutrition and Immunity: Partners for a Healthy Life


 Immunity in a Nutshell 

Immunity refers to the body’s ability to protect itself from unwanted germs, pathogens, and visitors. It is the body’s immune system that is responsible for protecting us from disease, sickness, and dangers to our health. The immune system is made up of organs, cells, and chemicals that fight infection. It is primarily composed of white blood cells, antibodies, the complement system, the lymphatic system, the spleen, the thymus, and bone marrow.  

The white blood cells: 

They are created in the bone marrow and live within the lymphatic system. These cells move through blood and tissues, scoping out foreign invaders and potential “villains” that may have entered the body. These could be bacteria, a virus, parasites, or fungi. If a white blood cell spies on one of these invaders, it sounds the alarm and launches an attack in the form of an immune response.  

The antibodies: 

These are the soldiers that respond to the alarm bell of the white blood cells. The antibodies fight microbes or toxins through proteins, cells, and chemicals. Then, they bring in the complement system.  

The complement system: 

It is made up of proteins, and it supports the work of antibodies during an immunity battle. Close by is the lymphatic system.  

The lymphatic system:  

It is a complex and fragile network of tubes in the body. Its primary job is to manage our fluid levels, react to bacteria, deal with any cancer cells, deal with villainous cells that might result in disease, and absorb fats from our diet.  

The spleen:  

Comes into play to filter blood and remove any bad microbes or damaged red blood cells. It also creates more disease-fighting antibodies and white blood cells.  

The bone marrow:  

It is inside our bones. It is a spongy tissue that produces red blood cells which carry oxygen through the body. It also produces the white blood cells that sound the alarm, and the platelets that help the blood clot as needed.  

The thymus:  

Also filters and monitors blood content. It makes sure there are no unwanted intruders and produces more helpful white blood cells.  
A few additional defenses include the skin, lungs, digestive tract, and other things like saliva, skin oil, and tears. As you can see, there are many players in the game for our bodily immunity.  


Immune Strength and Determining Factors 

The immune system relies on various functions and players to function properly. If everything is working as it should, then a person’s immunity is likely to be strong and react appropriately to fight off sickness when it needs to. However, there are some things that can impact immune system performance. Certain immune system disorders may make this process more difficult or complicated. 

Allergies and Allergic Diseases:  

Did you know that food allergies to pollen are classified as immune system disorders? While common, the following types of allergies may hinder the immune system. This can include things like food allergies (peanuts, soy, dairy, etc.), insect stings, hay fever, asthma, and skin issues like dermatitis or eczema.  

Autoimmune Diseases:  

On a different level, there are autoimmune diseases. This is when the body launches an immune (attack/defense) response against what is normally present in the body. This is when there is a false alarm, and the body ends up attacking itself, instead of an actual invader. Examples of autoimmune diseases include multiple sclerosis (MS), celiac disease, thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, and lupus.  


Another challenge that some people experience is immunodeficiency or an underactive immune system. This can be genetic, caused by certain medical treatments (like chemotherapy), or caused by a health issue like certain types of cancer. If someone has immunodeficiency, it can be quite dangerous if they are exposed to an illness, because their body may not respond with the strength it needs to fight it.  
So, now that you have a foundation of what the immune system is and does, you know that it is incredibly helpful. Especially in the recent pandemic, people have been reminded of how important immunity is.  

What Weakens Our Immunity 

There are a few things that challenge the well-being of our immune systems. These items may negatively impact your immune system’s strength and function.  

  • Environmental toxins 
  • Excess weight 
  • Poor diet 
  • Chronic mental stress 
  • Lack of sleep and rest  
  • Lack of exercise 
  • Certain health issues 

Nutrition and Immunity 

The body is strongly influenced by what we put into it and through it. Therefore, nutrition plays a large part in strengthening our immune system and immunity.  

Nutrition is crucial to every aspect of our health and well-being, both physically and mentally. The immune system is no exception to this rule. Nutrition comes from what we eat, drink, and consume, and nutrients are taken from those contents and turned into valuable internal resources.  

The immune system is tied to the microbiome, which is the environment of the gut and gut bacteria. As we mentioned before, the immune system also works with the help of our skin, saliva, and various organs. Considering that there are so many systems involved in overall immunity, it is important to nourish each of them!   

Thankfully, researchers have done the legwork for us, and ascertained certain nutritious elements which are particularly beneficial!  

For the microbiome:

To keep the gut bacteria and immune system relationship strong, consider adding in these foods and nutrients!  

Probiotic Foods:

Probiotic foods contribute to healthy gut bacteria, through live and active bacterial cultures that our guts need to function and digest properly. Certain foods are full of probiotics, and many of them are naturally delicious! 
  • Sauerkraut 
  • Kimchi 
  • Kefir 
  • Yogurt 
  • Tempeh 
  • Kombucha (watch out for sugar in many brands) 
  • Miso 

Prebiotic Foods:

Prebiotic foods are high in fiber, which works alongside the pros to enable healthy digestion by pushing things through and cleansing out waste.  
  • Garlic 
  • Onions 
  • Leeks 
  • Asparagus 
  • Dandelion greens 
  • Bananas 
  • Seaweed 
These are only some of the many healthy food options that will provide nutrition to the gut microbiome, and therefore to the immune system.  
Your Immune System’s Favorite Nutrients 
Other vitamins and minerals that our immune systems need to thrive, include: 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Vitamin E 
  • Vitamin A 
  • Vitamin D 
  • Folate/Folic Acid 
  • Iron 
  • Selenium 
  • Zinc  
Vitamin D is one of the most valuable to our bodies, but particularly to our immunity. In recent years, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to various autoimmune diseases. While this correlation by no means implies causation, it is interesting that people with autoimmune diseases also seem to be deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D has also proven to be beneficial in increasing immunity overall, even in patients without autoimmune diseases.  
Vitamin D is naturally occurring in our body and is one of the few nutrients we can gain by soaking up the sunshine for a while, yet a majority of the population remains deficient in this nutrient. Luckily, there are a few foods that are natural sources of vitamin D, and there are supplemental forms available.  
It is always recommended to maintain a balanced and nutrient-rich diet that can naturally provide you with the nutrients you need. However, if you are a successful health guru and still deficient in this D-lightful nutrient, supplements can be a helpful and convenient solution. Always seek out high-quality supplements from trusted vendors, without fillers, and without mysterious ingredients. A trusted source of vitamins is conveniently right here, at Health by Principle!  
So, to answer the question “does nutrition impact immunity?” Science provides us with a resounding yes!  

Support Your Immune System as it Supports You 

Our immunity is strong but still needs its support by way of proper nutrition. Other things you can do to ensure a strong immune system are good for your body overall. Truly, a win-win situation!  

The overarching rule to maintaining strong immunity is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes proper nutrition, but also exercise, hydration, proper sleep, and more. If you are in doubt about what you can do to share love with your immune system, consult this list. 

  • Keep your lungs clean! Do not smoke or vape. The only thing your lungs are meant to breathe in is air!  
  • Eat a healthy, nutritious diet: We cover this one, but maintain a balanced diet of healthy foods that are filled with nutrients.  
  • Exercise often: Keep your cardiovascular system in tip-top shape, so that those immune-boosting blood cells can be at their best! Walking 30 minutes a day is a great place to start. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Do not let the scale be a stressor but focus on being at a weight where you feel good, strong, and capable of doing what you want to do.  
  • Keep alcohol in moderation: Alcohol can be wonderful, in moderation. Keep your consumption of these beverages to a healthy limit, and you should not have any issues with your immunity. 
  • Get your ZZZs: Sleep. Sleep is your immune system’s best friend! If you must miss some sleep one night, do what you can to make up for it with a nap the next day. Your body needs that time to recharge and heal.  
  • Avoid infection: This is one I know you have heard a lot recently! Wash your hands, and do not touch your face. Keeping germs at bay, when possible, will reduce the germs you are exposed to and give your immune system less to battle with.  
  • De-stress at all costs: Try to minimize stress whenever possible. Stress is profoundly toxic to our health and immunity, so avoid it and eliminate it whenever you can.  
  • Get vaccinated: Vaccines are designed with your immune system in mind. Thanks to vaccines, awful illnesses like polio are outdated. Stay up to date with all the recommended vaccines and let them prime your immune system to fight things off before they take over your body. Vaccines are your immune system’s friend!  

Nutrition and Immunity have a loving and reciprocal relationship. By fueling your body with wholesome nutrition, your immune system can have the fuel and fighters it needs to keep you safe and healthy.  


We use cookies to provide and improve our services. By using our site, you consent to cookies.