How to Strengthen Your Immune System and Fight Off Disease
The human body is equipped with an incredible first defense: the immune system. Our immune systems do the crucial job of defending all of us against disease-causing germs present in our everyday life that can make us sick. Building immunity naturally works best when you focus on keeping the whole system healthy, starting with what you put in your body.
The immune system is a multi-faceted system that is built of many factors. To function well, it requires balance.
When wondering how to boost our immune systems naturally, one great place to start is with a healthy diet. Wild and all-natural seafood is an excellent choice, due to its nutrient density. Nutrient-dense foods contain more nutrients per calorie.
Eating healthy food helps us acquire immunity to the common cold, flu and other everyday illnesses. Read on to discover how fish can naturally support your overall immune system.
How Does Fish Naturally Boost Your Immune System?
All seafood have different levels, or densities, of nutrients and you’ll find something good in all of the products at Wild for Salmon, from scallops to salmon.
Some seafood species are more dense in one nutrient than the other, meaning some seafood options will do more to specifically boost your immune system.
Three fish that have notable nutritional aspects and would be great candidates to include in your regular diet for immune support:
These three species, when caught wild, carry high-levels of Omega 3s, Magnesium, Selenium, and Vitamins A, B and D.
What does that mean? How can quality seafood boost our levels of key nutrients and vitamins? And how does this process help our health?
Each of these nutrients serve unique purposes and benefits when it comes to building a strong immune system. We explain more about each of these important nutrients below.
Supporting our immune system is a lifelong task that requires daily attention and multiple factors - of which seafood can be a core component. Wild for Salmon is here to support you with a collection of easy, wild seafood recipes to make at home.
Omega-3s and the Immune System
Omega-3s are fatty acids that support healthy human physiology and can only be obtained through diet. Studies show that Omega-3s may help to reduce inflammation, prevent heart disease, and increase your body’s ability to ward off illnesses. Good news - both types of Omega-3s (DHA and EPA) are found in wild-caught salmon! The reduction of inflammation supports your immune system and overall health.
More and more experts are also agreeing that these types of nutrients also support mental health. In late 2019, we spoke with Dr. Annie Fenn from Brain Health Kitchen about this topic - examining the connections between seafood and brain health. Thankfully, wild salmon and tuna are great sources of Omega-3s and can be found in the quality seafood offered by Wild for Salmon.
Magnesium and the Immune System
Magnesium is a mineral that helps the body keep blood pressure normal, reduce inflammation and supports our overall health. Because magnesium plays an important role in the process of immune cell development and activation, magnesium is a nutrient that is essential to strong acquired immunity and overall immune health. Magnesium also aids in the process regulating immune cell development, known as homeostasis.
The average adult should take in 300-400mg of magnesium a day, and many experts believe most adults are not getting quite enough. As a wild and fatty (good fats!) fish, salmon is a great source of magnesium that you can incorporate into your diet naturally. Why supplement with pills or droplets when you can boost your levels with a delicious meal?
Selenium and the Immune System
Also present in wild salmon is the antioxidant selenium. Selenium helps to lower oxidative stress levels in the body, which supports overall cell health and thus your immune system. The white blood cells do the immune system’s heavy lifting; we want to support them! Selenium seems to have a powerful effect on our immunity, being important for preventing infections. Humans only need a small amount of selenium for it to provide antioxidant-related health benefits, and thankfully it is especially present in wild salmon as well as wild tuna and halibut.
Vitamins A, B and D
Seafood is a nutrient-packed food that reduces inflammation - thanks, in part, to the presence of Vitamins A, B and D. Most of us have heard that carrots are our main option for upping our Vitamin A, but what if you don’t love carrots? Good news - you can access the preformed version of Vitamin A in many seafoods, especially tuna. Vitamin A is an infection-fighting nutrient, and research shows that proper Vitamin A intake can help prevent longer-term diseases like cancer and macular degeneration.
The B Vitamins help to boost the body’s defense system and do the very important work of keeping energy levels up and balanced. This latter is key to maintaining a healthy immune system. When we are functioning at a lower energy, our bodies are more vulnerable to the negative effects of germs and bacteria. This is also an important reason for getting enough sleep! Salmon, halibut and tuna are great sources of all kinds B Vitamins, including Vitamin B12.
Vitamin D is a much-needed supplement for folks living in North America. It is known for being a vitamin you get from sunshine, something much of the continent lacks during the winter time. Thankfully, both salmon and tuna are great sources of Vitamin D. It is one of the most important and powerful nutrients for supporting the immune system. Recent research has shown that a deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to an increased susceptibility of infection. As always, good nutrients start with a good product, and when it comes to Vitamin D levels in salmon, it is important to eat wild, quality seafood.