We all know that old saying – "An apple a day keeps the door away," and it might be true. Eating healthy, nourishing foods enriched with vitamins and minerals can be helpful for your immune system and fight off infection and disease.
An actual healthy immune system relies on a healthy and balanced diet. It's more like training and preparing your body for a battle ahead of time, so it can throw a good punch when you encounter infection by bacteria, viruses, or toxins. Other practices like good sleep and regular exercise will better prepare you to fight back.
With some exceptions, it's ideal for getting your vitamins and minerals from a healthy diet than pills and supplements. Here are the top 5 immunity-boosting vitamins.
- Vitamin C
It won’t be wrong to say that vitamin C is one of the top immune system boosters known today. A lack of vitamin C can make you more vulnerable to getting sick. Foods loaded with vitamin C include grapefruits, oranges, strawberries, tangerines, spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, and kale. Daily intake of this vitamin is essential for strong immunity and good health because it is not stored or produced by your body. The best thing is that vitamin C exists in so many foods, and you don't need to take Vitamin C supplements necessarily.
- Vitamin D
This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for better health and the proper functioning of your immune system. It increases the pathogen-fighting effects of macrophages and monocytes, which are the white blood cells crucial for your immune defense – and minimizes inflammation which aids in promoting immune response. Vitamin D is deficient in many people, which can negatively affect the immune system. Low vitamin D levels are linked with a high risk of allergic asthma and influenza; both are upper respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D is famous as the sunshine vitamin and is found in the following food sources:
- Cereals, orange juice, and milk contain Vitamin D fortified
Overall, it's best to gain most of your vitamins from natural foods. However, you should consult your doctor before using vitamin D supplements.
- Vitamin B6 & Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that supports your body in the battle against germs and infections. Vitamin B6 is crucial to support biochemical reactions within the immune system. Like Vitamin C, vitamin E is extremely important for your immune system's proper functionality, and it is part of almost 200 biochemical reactions within your body. For vitamin E, you can eat almonds, hazelnut, peanut butter/peanuts, sunflower seeds, or use oils like soybean, safflower, and sunflower.
Similarly, vitamin B6 is important to keep your immune system in the best condition. Make sure to consume enough vitamin B as a supplement, as a part of your diet (you can easily intake in the form of a multivitamin or from fortified cereals).
Many supplements on the market can be helpful to improve the immune system. Vitamins like B6, E, C & D are just some of the substances that have been acclaimed well for their immunity-boosting potential. Still, although these vitamins and minerals may offer a small-scaled advantage for immune health, they must not be used as a replacement for natural food and a healthy lifestyle. Trying to consume a nutrient-dense balanced diet, engaging in healthy physical activities, getting sufficient sleep, and not smoking are a few significant measures that can help to strengthen your immune system healthy and lower the risks of disease and infection.