Nutritional Immunology is a science that studies the link between nutrition and the immune system. A healthy immune system can prevent diseases and help the body stay healthy. However, when deprived of sufficient nutrients, the immune system becomes weak and unable to defend against cancer and other diseases. The human body requires a constant supply of nutrients. When one is healthy, balanced nutrition can help prevent illness; when ill, adequate nourishment aids in recovery. The relationship between nutrition and immune response forms the basis of Nutritional Immunology.
Can you recall when you last ate a balanced diet or actively avoided greasy, high-cholesterol food and alcoholic beverages, opting instead for fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods? The truth is many people only do so when they fall sick, with the hope that a healthy diet will help them recover faster.
Most of us only pay attention to proper nutrition when we are sick. Few actually take precautionary measures that could have prevented the illness altogether. Research shows that about two thirds of American adults tend to eat more foods high in fats and refined sugars instead of plant foods. This leads to an insufficient intake of essential nutrients needed to maintain health. Given that a diet high in fat and sugar increases the risk of cancer, it is no surprise that more than a million Americans get cancer each year.
Simply put, Nutritional Immunology advocates prevention over cure. It helps us to discern what proper nutrition is in a world of myriad food choices. Therefore, it is essential to understand why Nutritional Immunology plays a vital role in our daily lives.