One of the best ways to keep a healthy immune system is to provide your body with enough vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are important for a strong immune system because they give the body the nutrients it needs to fight off infections. You can make sure your body gets enough vitamins by eating a balanced, healthy diet or by taking daily multivitamin supplements.
How do you know which vitamins to take first to strengthen your immune system? We listed some below.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps reduce inflammation and makes it easier for the immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses. It’s rich in powerful antioxidants that help increase the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for protecting your body from infection. According to Harvard Health, fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. You can enjoy Vitamin C-rich foods such as:
- Citrus (oranges, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit)
- Bell peppers
- Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts, Brussels, cabbage)
2. Vitamin A
Vitamin A makes white blood cells work better in the body, which protects you from getting sick. It also strengthens the mucous membranes in your eyes, lungs, gut, and genitals, which aid in the trapping of bacteria and other infectious agents. It improves the health of your respiratory system, stomach and intestines, mouth, and eyes. A great source of vitamin A is beta carotene, which can be found in leafy green, orange, and yellow vegetables. You can find Vitamin A in foods such as:
- Leafy greens
3. Vitamin D
Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D can produced by being exposed to sunlight. It’s important for regulating immune cell activity. Studies show that vitamin D helps the immune system work better by making the body make more cytokines and anti-microbial proteins, which help fight off infections. Further studies even showed it can help the immune system fight of tuberculosis. To get adequate amounts of Vitamin D, it is best to get exposure to sunlight or eat food such as:
- Fatty fish
- Beef liver
- Egg yolk
- Cod liver oil
Zinc is an essential mineral that supports the growth and normal functioning of immune cells. It stimulates the production of infection-fighting white blood cells as well as T-Cells, which aid in the detection and elimination of infected cells. According to Harvard Health, adults with zinc-deficiency are more susceptible to infections, such as pneumonia and skin ulcers. To get more zinc in your diet, you can eat the following:
- Red meat
- Dairy products
Boosting the immune system is important for maintaining overall health and wellbeing. Keeping a healthy diet is a big part of boosting your immune system. If you want to eat healthy and stay healthy, you need to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly.