IMMUNITY BOOSTERS TO FIGHT INFECTIONS & DISEASES
Keeping our immune system healthy year-round is the key to prevent infection and diseases. Making healthy lifestyle choices by consuming nutritious foods and getting enough sleep and exercise are the most important ways to bolster our immune system.
Vitamins are essential constituents of our diet that have long been known to influence the immune system. The nutrients that seem to relate to immunity include vitamins A, C, D, and E, and the minerals zinc, selenium, and magnesium
In our article we will discuss our understanding of the essential roles of vitamins in modulating a broad range of immune processes.
Vitamin D: One of the most important vitamins and plays a crucial role in the activation of our immunity system whenever there’s an exposure to pathogen-like viruses or bacteria. The best source of this vitamin is when exposed to sunlight. The UV rays induce the body to manufacture Vitamin D from cholesterol present in our bodies. The amount of sunlight needed ranges from about five to 20 minutes twice a week. Healthy levels of Vitamin D may help lower risk of respiratory infections.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is what makes our immune system strong. Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a potent anti-oxidant and co-factors many enzymes in our body. It holds a reputation as an immune system booster. This nutrient may reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold. Fruits like oranges, papaya, kiwi, and guava are rich in vitamin C and should be included in diet. Moreover, some vegetables like eggplant, bell peppers, beetroots, spinach, and cauliflower are known to be quite rich in vitamin C and are good for immunity. Green vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, and even kale are a few immunity boosters that one can include in the diet.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps our body fight off infections too. Soaked almonds, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, and even hazelnuts should be consumed to get the daily dose of vitamin E. Vitamin E functions primarily as an un‐specific, chain‐breaking antioxidant that bans the spread of lipid per-oxidation.
Magnesium and zinc: Along with vitamin D and C, magnesium and zinc are minerals which play a crucial role in carrying out the enzymatic processes in our body. Magnesium helps in converting vitamin D into its active usable form and zinc has an anti-inflammatory action in our body. This protects our body and responds to immune damage. In fact, even chocolates contain a good dose of magnesium and release feel-good hormones. Supplementing with zinc may help protect against respiratory tract infections and reduce the duration of these infections. Foods that contain Zinc include red meat and shellfish and foods rich in magnesium are dark chocolate, black beans, avocados, and whole grains
Selenium: Selenium seems to have a powerful effect on the immune system, including the potential to slow the body’s over-active responses to certain aggressive forms of cancer.
HERBS: Some of the immunity‐boosting herbs are garlic, black cumin, and liquorice. Include them in the diet in the form for tea or by adding them in their food. This will not only enhance immunity but improve our gut as well.
While vitamins and minerals won’t immediately turn one into a virus-fighting superhero but consuming them is extremely beneficial for your body and overall health. Eating a diet of fresh, whole foods in reasonable amounts is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamins, including the healthy antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. So be healthy and safe and keep reading….