How Nutrition Affects the Immune System

Nutrition plays a lead role in orchestrating the performance of our immune system. For those navigating the challenges of Gaucher disease, where the immune system tends to be overactive, understanding the profound connection between nutrition and immunity becomes paramount.

Adekemi Adejare: A Beacon of Nutritional Wisdom

Adekemi Adejare, MS, RDN, the founder of Comfort Nutrition Services, emphasizes the pivotal role of food in immune health. Together with her team, they guide individuals and families toward their health goals using personalized, highly supportive blueprints.

The Crucial Link Between Nutrition and the Immune System

Our bodies face a daily onslaught of potential invaders, and the immune system stands as the vigilant defender. While various tools aid the immune system, nutrition emerges as a potent influencer—one we can actively control.

The Nutrient Arsenal

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin C, D, A: Guardians of Growth – These vitamins are crucial for the growth and function of immune cells.

Zinc, Selenium, Folate, Iron: The Mighty Minerals – Found in various plant and animal foods, these minerals fortify immune responses.


Nature’s Allies: Abundant in fruits, vegetables, and nuts, antioxidants combat free radicals, bolstering immune strength.

Navigating an Overactive Immune System

Living with a disease like Gaucher involves managing a chronic stimulation of the immune system. Here, the deficiency in the enzyme glucocerebrosidase leads to the accumulation of abnormal lipids in immune cells, resulting in systemic inflammation, joint pain, and fatigue.

Inflammation’s Relationship with the Immune System

In Gaucher and similar conditions, chronic inflammation intertwines with the immune system. Adekemi underscores the critical role of the gut in this interplay, where an overstimulated immune system might react to harmless substances, including food.

The Cytokine Connection

Balancing Act: Cytokines, signaling molecules in the immune system, can trigger either beneficial responses or harmful inflammation.

Cytokine Storms: The Gaucher community often encounters the term “cytokine storm,” reflecting an overwhelming inflammatory response.

Foods That Weaken the Immune System

Certain foods can exacerbate inflammation, a concern for those with Gaucher disease. Adekemi highlights a list of culprits that weaken the immune system.

1. Sugar

The Sweet Saboteur: Sugar dramatically impairs the immune system. Alternatives like raw honey and natural sweeteners offer healthier options.

2. Highly Refined Oils

Trans Fat Trouble: Margarine and hydrogenated oils intensify inflammation. Opt for healthier choices like olive oil and grass-fed butter.

3. Cured Meats with Nitrates

Inflammatory Culprits: Nitrates in processed meats provoke immune-busting inflammation. Seek uncured alternatives.

4. Refined Carbohydrates

White Peril: Highly refined carbohydrates lack essential fiber. Opt for whole grains and legumes to support gut health.

5. Conventional Dairy

Dairy Dilemma: Conventional dairy can be inflammatory. Choose quality options or explore plant-based alternatives.

How Long to Give Up Inflammatory Foods?

Individual responses vary, Adekemi notes. While some may witness results in three months, others might require a longer commitment. The goal extends beyond avoidance; it involves repairing the gut through prebiotics, probiotics, supplements, and herbs.

Foods That Boost Your Immune System

Despite challenges, incorporating immune-boosting foods is crucial. Here is a vibrant list of foods to fortify health.

1. Fruits and Vegetables

Colorful Healing: Each hue represents unique healing compounds. Aim for a daily spectrum of five colors.

2. Nuts and Seeds

Antioxidant Powerhouses: Nuts and seeds offer anti-inflammatory antioxidants and healthy fats.

3. Fatty Fish

Omega-3 Emissaries: Salmon, sardines, and anchovies reduce inflammatory proteins. Choose wild-caught options.

4. Herbs and Spices

Spice of Life: Ginger and turmeric, with known anti-inflammatory effects, enhance both flavor and health.

Expert Guidance at Comfort Nutrition Services

The journey isn’t solitary. Comfort Nutrition Services, with its expert guidance, becomes a vital companion. Personalized counseling empowers individuals to make choices aligned with their unique health needs, fostering resilience.

Additional Steps for Immune Boosting

For persistent inflammatory symptoms, collaborating with a nutritionist becomes invaluable. Specialized testing, including stool or organic acid tests, can provide targeted insights. An elimination diet, overseen by professionals, offers a strategic approach.


As we navigate the complex interplay of nutrition and the immune system, the importance of informed choices becomes evident. Whether managing Gaucher disease or pursuing overall well-being, let nutrition be the compass guiding a resilient and vibrant life.

Leave a Comment