12 February 2021
Understandably in these unprecedented times, interest in nutrition and diet in relation to immunity has increased, but misconceptions and confusion are common.
The immune system is a complex network of cells and chemical compounds that help defend the body against infections. A number of different nutrients, including protein, omega-3 fats and many vitamins and minerals, found in a wide range of foods, are involved in supporting our immune systems to work normally. So having a healthy, varied diet helps us to get the nutrients that are important for your immune system, as well as all the other systems of the body, promoting health and wellbeing.
Wherever possible, vitamin and mineral intakes should come from a nutritionally balanced and diverse diet. It is also essential that taking supplements or certain foods that may be promoted as ‘immune boosting’ are not seen as effective alternatives to recognised measures that help to prevent infections spreading like hand washing and social distancing, or to vaccination.
BNF’s NEW Nutrition and Immunity resources can help you discover which nutrients and the foods they are found in are important at every age to help support a healthy immune system.
Nutrition and Immunity for Children (10 years and younger) – we all want to protect our kids, whether from falls or infections and disease, and to send them to school, clubs and social activities where possible. Find out which foods and nutrients can help support children’s immune systems.
Nutrition and Immunity for Teens and Adults - staying healthy is important for our quality of life – to feel well, to be active and to be productive whether at work, school or university. Find out how we can get the nutrients we need from a variety of foods to look after our immune systems so that they can fend off infections wherever possible.
Nutrition and Immunity for Older Adults - as we get older, our immune system starts to work less effectively. We may also experience loss of interest in food and a poorer appetite as we age, which can make it harder to get the nutrition we need for good health. Find out how to eat well and get the nutrients your body needs through later life to help support the immune system.