The Top Foods To Boost Your Pregnancy Immune System
With cold and flu season soon approaching, now is the perfect time to start building up your immune system. And as a mum-to-be, strengthening your bodys defences can help build up your babys too so everyone wins!
Nobody looks forward to catching winter coughs and colds but for pregnant mums, its even more important to start strengthening your defences early.
‘Pregnancy suppresses the bodys immune system which means your body is less able to fight off infection and illnesses, making it more susceptible to colds and flu,’ says leading UK nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Getting Pregnant Faster.
While regular exercise and getting a good nights sleep can help boost your immunity, what you eat can make a big difference too. In addition to taking prenatal supplements pregnant women are advised to eat plenty of fruit and veg – and getting your five a day is even more important as winter approaches. ‘Fresh fruit and vegetables are the best source of powerful antioxidant vitamins and minerals, which help boost the bodys natural defences against infections,’ says Dr Glenville.
If the idea of comfort food and puddings are more appealing than salads and fruit, get creative with warming vegetable soups and stews. You can still enjoy hearty warming dishes just make sure to pack them full of colourful fruit and veg.
Zinc Boosts The Immune System
One of the most popular uses of zinc supplements is to shorten the duration of a head cold. At the first sign of a few extra sneezes or a scratchy throat, you should consider taking a zinc supplement just as the cold is about to develop. If you catch a virus in time, you may be able to shorten the overall length of its unwanted stay by a day or two. One of the easiest and most flavorful ways to take the powerful supplement is in a chewable gummy form. Zinc supplements are also available in the form of tablets, nasal sprays, lozenges and liquid form for quick absorption.
How Can I Boost My Immune System Fast
Your immune system helps your body fight against infections. For an immune system to be healthy, various components of your body like the cells in your skin, blood, bone marrow, and organs need to be working optimally. This is the only way it can stop disease-causing microbes from entering your body.
Although scientists have proposed theories about how an immune system functions properly, theyre still unsure about what exactly strengthens it. Since the immune system and its processes are incredibly complex and intricate, researchers are still investigating how it works.
There is no one way to boost your immune system quickly. A strong immune system isnt built in a day or two its built over time as you put in daily, consistent effort to maintain healthy habits.
Here are 7 tips to help you build up your immune system and keep disease at bay.
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Ways To Boost Your Immune System When Pregnant
1. The lifestyle choices you make when pregnant will have a significant impact on the health of your immune system. You should avoid smoking, limit alcohol and try to avoid toxins that may be in your surroundings.
2. Eating healthy and nutritious foods to ensure you are getting your required prenatal nutrients and vitamins.
3. Exercise when pregnant is extremely important now more than ever to boost your immune system.
4. Get plenty of sleep.
Yes, I know that it is very difficult at times to get a good night sleep when pregnant. But I want you to implement the required strategies to ensuring you are getting rest when needed.
5. Manage your stress levels. We all experience stress in our life. But it is the uncontrollable, excessively high levels of stress that can weaken our immune system. My relaxation audio and video will help you to de-stress.
The Immune System In Babies
Antibodies are passed from mother to baby through the placenta during the third trimester . This gives the baby some protection when they are born. The type and amount of antibodies passed to the baby depends on the mothers own level of immunity.
During birth, bacteria from the mothers vagina is passed on to the baby. This helps to build the colony of bacteria in the gut that contributes to their immunity.
After birth, more antibodies are passed on to the baby in colostrum and in breast milk. But babies immune systems are still not as strong as adults. Premature babies are at greater risk of infection because their immune systems are even more immature and they havent had as many antibodies passed to them from their mothers.
Babies produce their own antibodies every time they are exposed to a virus or germ, but it takes time for this immunity to fully develop.
The passive immunity passed on from the mother at birth also doesn’t last long and will start to decrease in the first few weeks and months after birth.
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Eat A Varied And Healthy Diet
The foods we eat have an effect on every part of our body. Boost your immunity by getting plenty of different nutrients into your diet. Take a multivitamin designed for pregnancy to make sure youre covering all the essentials. You can also incorporate immunity-boosting foods such as garlic, turmeric, broccoli and ginger. Vitamin C is also important for your immune system so include plenty of citrus fruits and bell peppers.
Number 4 Switch To Green Tea
Now, this ones a little controversial as I recommend that you limit caffeine intake during pregnancy, and green tea DOES contain caffeine, but theres some good evidence that green tea may be beneficial for immunity. Green tea contains compounds known as catechins and theanine, which are thought to play a role in preventing influenza by improving the functioning of the immune system. In fact, one study found that 13% of healthcare workers caught influenza throughout a 5-month period, whereas only 4% of the group consuming green tea compounds caught it. Now in this study, the subjects were consuming much higher doses than Id want you to take, and theres not yet enough evidence to suggest whether lower doses are just as effective, but given the benefits of the green tea compounds, if youre drinking coffee or black tea anyway, Id recommend switching over to green tea instead.
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Are Pregnant Women More Susceptible To Infectious Disease Threats
The concept that pregnancy is associated with immune suppression has created a myth of pregnancy as a state of immunological weakness and therefore of increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. To discuss this question we will first review some fundamental concepts associated with the immune system and pregnancy.
More recently, Collins et al. demonstrate that uDC association with T cell responses to the fetal allograft starkly contrast with their prominent role in organ transplant rejection. These data further support the idea that the fetalmaternal immune interaction is more complex than the comparison to transplant allograft.
Consequently, the presence of immune cells at the implantation site is not associated with a response to the foreign fetus but to facilitate and protect the pregnancy. Therefore, the immune system at the implantation site is not suppressed, on the contrary it is active, functional and is carefully controlled.
This unique behavior explains why pregnant women respond differently to the presence of microorganisms or its products. Therefore, pregnancy should not imply more susceptibility to infectious diseases, instead there is a modulation of the immune system which leads to differential responses depending not only on the microorganisms, but on the stages of the pregnancy.
Tips To Naturally Boost Your Immunity During Pregnancy
Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to illness during pregnancy because of their compromised immune system. The stress that pregnancy puts on a pregnant body is intense, which means you need to be proactive about keeping your immune system strong. Fortunately, there are many ways to step up your immune systems functioning while pregnant. Here are nine all-natural ways to stay healthy and vibrant during pregnancy.
Stay hydrated to keep your bodys systems in top shape. A pregnant woman needs about 2.5 liters of water of day to stay properly hydrated. When your body is hydrated, it means that your cells are getting the oxygen they need to perform well. Water also flushes toxins from your system and helps produce lymph, which circulates white blood cells and nutrients throughout your body.
Go back to basics and remind yourself to wash your hands. Everyone always remembers to wash their hands, right? Whether or not you do, now is the time to be vigilant about hand-washing. Washing with soap and water will help remove the bacteria and germs that accumulate on your hands as you go about your day. Always wash after using the bathroom, preparing foods, eating meals, and moving through public spaces where youre touching the same surfaces other people touch . If youre on top of proper washing, you can ditch antibacterial soaps and harsh sanitizers.
Vitamin C is another superstar for immune health.
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New Study Provides Detailed Insights
With their new study, Dr. Gaudilliere and his colleagues add to the existing body of knowledge about which of the diverse populations of immune cells are present during pregnancy.
The study involved 18 women who had normal pregnancies and donated blood samples during each of the trimesters, as well as 6 weeks after giving birth.
Using a technique called mass cytometry, the researchers were able to gain a whole host of information from these samples, including which cells were present in the blood, how these reacted to compounds similar to viruses and bacteria, and which signaling pathways were most active.
Next on the list is a comparable study using blood samples from women who gave birth prematurely to see whether this is accompanied by consistent changes in the immune system.
The team hopes to use this knowledge to develop a blood test that can indicate the risk of a mother going into preterm labor.
Were especially interested in understanding more precisely what is happening very early and very late in pregnancy, Dr. Gaudilliere explains. Wed like to see if there is really a switch we can catch, a sweet spot where deviation from the norm would be maximal with pathology.
Citrus For Your Cells And Healing
Your body does not produce vitamin C, which means you need to get it daily to have enough to create healthy collagen . Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient found in leafy greens and citrus, especially grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and clementines. It acts as an antioxidant that contributes to the normal function of the immune system.
How much do you need a day: The recommended daily amount to shoot for is 65 to 90 milligrams a day, which is the equivalent of one small glass of orange juice or eating a whole grapefruit. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it’s easy to get your fill.
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Immune System In Flux
To allow the developing embryo to implant, some of its cells actively invade the wombs lining. This leads to an inflammatory cascade, similar to the events that occur during wound healing.
If inflammation is prevented from occurring, implantation cannot proceed, highlighting the importance of inflammatory molecules and cells in this process.
This pro-inflammatory environment dominates the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. During the following 15 weeks, the developing fetus is in a state of rapid growth and development. Anti-inflammatory cells and molecules prevail.
Some fetal cells express cell surface markers, or antigens, that originate from the father. Under normal circumstances, the mothers immune system would recognize these as foreign and attack the cells.
Regulatory T cells , which are a specialized form of white blood cell that promote an anti-inflammatory environment, actively protect such fetal cells.
Low levels of Tregs have been linked to miscarriage.
During the final stage of pregnancy, the immune system switches back to a pro-inflammatory state. Without this, the mother cannot go into labor. Preterm labor, in turn, may be associated with abnormal immune responses.
A host of factors influence how the immune system behaves during pregnancy, and increasingly, scientists believe that the mothers microbiome has a part to play.
Can Prenatal Vitamins Help With Immune Defense
A strong immune system is the first defense against illness. Its crucial to support your immune health, especially when pregnant or TTC. In this article, well discuss what vitamins support immune function and how many of them you might already be taking.
By fertility expert and OBGYN Dr. Kenosha Gleaton
If theres anything weve learned from living through a pandemic, its how to prevent the transmission of illnesses. Wash your hands frequently, dont touch your face, and keep your distance from others, to name a few. Fortunately, our bodies already have a system in place to keep us healthyour immune systems. Lets talk about how immune defense works and what supplements you should take to support it.
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Zinc And The Immune System
Zinc is an essential mineral that helps keep your body healthy. It works with your immune system to help fight off colds, viruses and flus. While zinc is found in many foods, you may need a boost every so often to help your immune system ward off bacteria by promoting cell growth.
Heres a look at who should take a zinc supplement, how it can help you if you are experiencing a deficiency and how much is needed to boost your immune system.
Immunity Boosters For Pregnant Women
Pregnant women are more susceptible to sickness and infection.
So in the bodys effort to protect the baby, pregnant women have to deal with a weakened immune system. Fortunately, you can help give your immune system a boost with few healthy foods, exercise, and supplements.
Here are some of the best immune-boosting foods for expectant mothers:
Protein: You can never get enough protein when youre pregnant. Your body needs it not only for energy and strength, but also for your babys brain development. Were not only talking meats and eggs, but also nuts and leafy greens. Almonds, in particular, have been shown to prevent and fight off viruses by nourishing the immune system.
Fresh garlic and citrus: It may seem odd to put these two together, but they actually share a connection. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and citrus fruits are known for their cleansing abilities, which mainly come from the phytochemicals present in them that can fight off sickness and disease.
Fruits and veggies: These are your go-to for all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs during pregnancy to keep your immune system strong. Pack any and all types of fruits and veggies into your meals whenever you can. The more colourful the better!
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Does Being Cold Give You A Weak Immune System
Almost every mother has said it: “Wear a jacket or you’ll catch a cold!” Is she right? Probably not, exposure to moderate cold temperatures doesn’t increase your susceptibility to infection. There are two reasons why winter is “cold and flu season.” In the winter, people spend more time indoors, in closer contact with other people who can pass on their germs. Also the influenza virus stays airborne longer when air is cold and less humid.
But researchers remain interested in this question in different populations. Some experiments with mice suggest that cold exposure might reduce the ability to cope with infection. But what about humans? Scientists have performed experiments in which volunteers were briefly dunked in cold water or spent short periods of time naked in subfreezing temperatures. They’ve studied people who lived in Antarctica and those on expeditions in the Canadian Rockies. The results have been mixed. For example, researchers documented an increase in upper respiratory infections in competitive cross-country skiers who exercise vigorously in the cold, but whether these infections are due to the cold or other factors such as the intense exercise or the dryness of the air is not known.
Turmeric To Fight Inflammation
If you ever feel healthier for eating curry, it is probably because of the Turmeric, which is an ingredient that gives it its burnt orange colour. But this highly pigmented spice is known for its anti-inflammatory qualities. The ingredient curcumin has been found to decrease muscle soreness after a hard workout. How it helps immunity? decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.
Turmeric bolsters the immune system by stimulating antibody formation and people with auto-immune diseases are told by their doctors to take 500 mg of curcumin daily to reduce inflammation and stave off soreness.
How much should you eat in a day: Try adding extra Turmeric to your diet during periods of stress or during flu season. Or take 500-2,000 mg of curcumin to help fight inflammation and power up your immune system.
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What Happens To My Immune System When I’m Pregnant
Your immune system is in an altered state throughout pregnancy, going through some extreme changes to help you get and stay pregnant, and then deliver your baby. Initially, it was thought the immune system initially weakens in pregnant women to stop it from attacking the fetus. However, recent research by Dr. Brice Gaudilliere* has shown that it’s instead an aggressive immune system that’s responsible for an embryo implanting itself into a woman’s uterus. And that the changes her immune system goes through as her pregnancy continues to term are, in fact, beautifully timed to accommodate the health of the baby and mama-to-be. These changes can, however, leave you feeling run-down. A then more likely to get sick with illnesses such as colds, flu, food poisoning, and urinary infections during your pregnancy. So how can I best improve my immune system and make it less likely I’ll get sick? As well as reduce the possibility of complications for my baby during my pregnancy?