10 Essential Vitamins and Nutrients to Support Your Immune System

Vitamins B6, C and E are known for their immune-boosting properties. You can get all of these vitamins from a well-balanced diet, so you won't need supplements. Some foods rich in these vitamins are eggs, peppers, spinach and almonds. Since humans cannot manufacture vitamin C and do not store it in the body, it needs to be constantly replenished.

Studies have found that supplemental vitamin C reduces the severity and duration of a cold and, in early studies, may reduce the severity of symptoms in hospitalized patients with Covid. I suggest starting with 1,000 to 2,000 international units per day, taken with a meal. The World Health Organization reports that between 17 and 30% of the world's population has a zinc deficiency, which could affect health outcomes. Zinc is found at higher levels in oysters, beef and crab, and in lower amounts in legumes, tofu, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, and other nuts and seeds.

I recommend adding 15 to 30 milligrams of zinc a day, especially during the fall and winter months and at the first signs of a cold or flu. In fact, there are more than 120 human clinical trials showing the efficacy of curcumin in treating diseases ranging from autoimmunity to Alzheimer's disease. It also improves the health of our gut bacteria, contributing to our overall immune health. Because curcumin is not well absorbed and you would need to eat large amounts of turmeric root for significant benefits, I recommend supplementing 1,000 milligrams per day with food.

Zinc, elderberry and vitamins C and D are just a few of the substances that have been investigated for their potential to improve the immune system. As we continue to monitor COVID-19 and its new strains, now is a good time to strengthen our immune system and fight the virus. He also recommended eating foods rich in vitamin C. These foods include classic orange and orange juices, as well as other citrus fruits and vegetables such as grapefruits, strawberries, tomatoes and blueberries.

In fact, studies have begun to show that people with vitamin D deficiencies are at greater risk of becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus. Now is the time to act. Palacios recommended that adults take a vitamin D3 supplement of 1000 international units (IU) once or twice a day, consumed during meals. Palacios recommended that adults incorporate several other nutrients into their diet through food.

Although the following nutrients have not been shown to help in the fight against COVID-19, they do boost the immune system in general, so consuming them through food is best. Vitamin B9 (folate and folic acid): Studies have shown that this vitamin can prevent respiratory infections in children, Palacios said. You can consume folate foods in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and folic acid in fortified foods, such as pasta and bread. There is no such thing as an “immune” diet, but consuming a variety of vitamins and minerals can help prevent nutrient deficiencies that can cause decreased immune function.

If you want to keep your immune health in top shape, try incorporating these 10 essential vitamins and nutrients into your diet: Protein; Vitamin C; Vitamin D; Vitamin E; Zinc; Iron; Probiotics; Selenium; Astragalus; Garlic; Curcumin; Echinacea. Protein is often associated with developing muscles and maintaining a feeling of fullness between meals, but it also plays an important role in wound healing, recovery and cell formation. Here are some examples of whole foods that are high in protein: eggs; beef; chicken; fish; tofu; legumes; nuts; seeds. You've probably heard that vitamin C is important for immune function and for shortening the duration of an annoying cold, but it actually does much more. Vitamin C also plays a huge role in wound healing, which is an important part of maintaining the immune system by keeping the skin barrier intact. While orange juice may seem like the best source of vitamin C, Simon also recommends eating the following foods for satiety: grapefruits; strawberries; tomatoes; blueberries. If you live in a colder climate or can't expose yourself to the sun on a regular basis, it's important to take supplements through food.

Foods that are high in vitamin D include: salmon; tuna; mackerel; sardines; egg yolks. Vitamin E is another fat-soluble vitamin with powerful antioxidant properties that help support immune cell production. Add these vitamin E foods to your plate to help improve immune health: sunflower seeds; almonds; hazelnuts; peanuts. Think of zinc as an immunity superstar. Not only does it play an important role in wound healing but it also helps immune cell development by affecting T-cell growth. And while some studies show that zinc can help shorten the duration of a common cold there's no need to overdo your intake of zinc.

You'll find zinc in many of the foods you're probably already eating including: oysters; beef; crab; legumes; tofu; pumpkin seeds. Iron is also an important component of hemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body), so significant bleeding can cause iron levels to drop. Because of this research suggests that it's especially important for menstruating women to maintain iron levels and eat iron-rich foods such as: spinach; lentils; beans. You've probably heard that probiotics are good bacteria in the digestive system but they also play a role in immune health Simon says. Probiotic-rich foods include: yogurt; kefir; kimchi. In addition research has shown that supplementing with certain vitamins minerals herbs and other substances can help improve the immune response and potentially protect against diseases. However many professionals in the scientific and health community argue that vitamin D supplementation is generally safe and may help protect people from the virus (1).

Selenium acts as a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation in the body and studies show that it promotes heart health optimizes immune function and may even help prevent cancer. Astragalus garlic curcumin and echinacea are just a few of the supplements that may offer immune-boosting properties. Not only is there little clinical research showing that vitamin E supplements are beneficial to health but they can also be harmful in some situations. It's also important to know that a strong immune system develops by maintaining healthy eating habits over time. In fact recent research suggests that taking this approach may be more effective than relying on supplements alone.

Ben Liebhardt
Ben Liebhardt

Amateur travel fanatic. General web buff. Certified travel junkie. Twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble web practitioner. Certified beer nerd.

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