The body’s immune system does a great job at fighting off diseases, but giving it extra help with vitamins will make it do its job better. Here are the vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system:
Vitamin C is the most widely known immune booster. It’s a water-soluble vitamin that gets excreted with sweat and urine. This means that the body doesn’t store vitamin C. You need to get vitamin C daily. In fact, lack of vitamin C can get you sick with scurvy.
You can get vitamin C from leafy greens like spinach and kale. Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, too. Citrus fruits like tangerines, grapefruit, and oranges are also good sources. Strawberries and bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant. It also boosts the immune system. It’s also good for keeping skin, hair, and nails supple and healthy.
You can get vitamin E from vegetables like spinach and broccoli and nuts and seeds. Peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts.
Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 is another water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin B6 doesn’t have one major role, but it’s needed in more than a hundred biochemical reactions in the body.
You can get vitamin B6 from chicken meat, tuna, bananas, and chickpeas.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It’s actually a hormone and not a vitamin, because the body naturally produces it after sun exposure. Vitamin D is needed for healthy teeth and bones, and it can also prevent diabetes.
As mentioned, you can get vitamin D from sunlight. But you also get vitamin D from food sources. These include fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon. Egg yolks are also a good source of vitamin D, as well as cheese. Organ meats such as beef liver is also rich in vitamin D. Lastly, mushrooms are also a good source.
A quick and easy way to get extra vitamin D during the winter months is to take convenient vitamin D drops in a liquid form. Often times our sun exposure drops in the winter time, so this is a good time to take a little extra D.
Selenium is a mineral. It’s an antioxidant that regulates the free radicals in the body. It also helps regulate the body’s thyroid function and metabolism. It has also shown to prevent some forms of cancer and heart disease.
You can get selenium from garlic, sardines, broccoli, tuna, and brazil nuts.
Zinc is another mineral that can help the immune system fight infections, particularly the flu. Zinc and vitamin C work better together, which is why they’re both commonly found in children’s vitamins. Aside from fighting off respiratory infections, zinc can also help wounds heal faster.
You can get zinc from yogurt, chickpeas, lean meats, crabs, and oysters.
Eat a healthy and varied diet to make sure you keep your immune system in tip-top shape!