Healthy Immune System biomarkers & food choices
Let’s look at some of the biomarkers you can focus on for a healthy immune system, and how foods interact with each one.
Cortisol levels rise due to stress – whether that is physical, emotional or mental.
- Studies show that rising cortisol levels can actually depress your immune response, however, so you need to pay attention to your stress.
- Foods with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, like nuts, seeds, and fatty fish, can help bring your cortisol levels back to normal.
Infections can cause inflammation throughout your body.
- This increases the level of C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in your blood.
- Anti-inflammatory foods like avocado, nuts, and soybeans can help level off your CRP levels and boost your health & system.
Proper electrolyte levels are also necessary for your immune system to function.
- Electrolytes direct water in your body to the cells that need it most. Potassium, magnesium, and sodium are common electrolytes you can make sure you’re getting in your diet.
- Potassium-rich foods include fatty fish, squash and potatoes.
- Magnesium-rich foods include whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Iron is essential for your blood cells.
- White blood cells are the “troops” of your immune system, fighting off infection and mounting defense against future attacks.
However, bacteria also use iron for important functions,
- your body need to tightly regulate blood iron levels. Too little and your immune system becomes weak; too much and the invaders can be strengthened.
The best way to help your immune system is to get your iron from foods instead of supplements.
- Iron-rich foods include red meat (not poultry), beans, and shellfish.
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