We’ve all heard that an apple a day can keep the doctor away. It turns out that this saying has some truth behind it. Eating nutrient-rich foods that are high in certain vitamins and minerals can help strengthen your immune system to fight off illness and recover from injury. Here are a few of the best vitamins to boost your immune system and help keep your body as healthy as possible.
1. Vitamin C
One of the most well-known vitamins to boost your immune system is vitamin C. Research suggests that people with a vitamin C deficiency are more prone to getting sick. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re consuming enough of this vitamin. Consuming sufficient amounts of vitamin C before getting sick may shorten the duration of colds and flu so you can feel better faster. Because your body can’t produce vitamin C on its own, you need to make sure your diet includes vitamin C-rich foods. Some of the foods most commonly associated with vitamin C are citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit. Other great sources of vitamin C include melons, berries, kiwi, broccoli, bell peppers, and tomatoes. If you’re not getting enough vitamin C in your diet, a vitamin C supplement may be necessary.
Zinc is another one of the essential vitamins to boost your immune system. Zinc is a mineral that is key for immune system function. This mineral acts as both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and it’s necessary for immune cell development and communication. Zinc also plays a role in protecting tissue barriers in the body to help prevent pathogens from getting in. Research suggests that a zinc deficiency can result in an increased risk of infection and disease. Taking a zinc supplement while you’re sick may decrease the duration of colds. Your body can also absorb zinc from certain foods you eat, such as beef, seafood, beans, nuts, and tofu.
3. Vitamin B6
If you are looking for vitamins to boost your immune system, you should consider vitamin B6. This vitamin plays a significant role in the production of white blood cells and T-cells. These are the immune cells in your body that fight off invading pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. Even though there are so many foods that contain vitamin B6, many adults are deficient in it, which can negatively affect immune health and the ability to fight off disease. Some foods that are high in vitamin B6 include chickpeas, beef, fish like tuna and salmon, poultry, potatoes, bananas, and fortified breakfast cereals. If you’re not able to consume sufficient amounts of this vitamin through food alone, a vitamin B6 supplement may be necessary to support your immune health.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another key vitamin to boost your immune system. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that helps your body produce T-cells and keeps them working at optimal performance to fight illness-causing pathogens. This is necessary for an effective immune response. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E also provide protection against free radicals and other toxins in the body. Vitamin E is best absorbed from the foods you eat. A few great sources of vitamin E include seeds, nuts, spinach, kiwi, broccoli, tomatoes, and mangoes. If you’re not able to get enough vitamin E from food alone, you may need to take a vitamin E supplement.
When searching for vitamins to boost your immune system, you may want to consider selenium. Research suggests that selenium may enhance your body’s ability to fight viruses like the flu. This mineral activates your immune system when a threat is present and also tells it when to slow down. This keeps your immune system from becoming overactive and protects you from chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. There are a number of foods that contain selenium, including nuts, fish, lean meats, brown rice, eggs, oatmeal, dairy products, seeds, peas, and lentils. You can also increase your intake of this mineral with a selenium supplement.
Boost Your Immune System with Immune Support Supplements
These are some of the best vitamins to boost your immune system. If you’re looking to strengthen your immune response and help your body stay healthy, we offer a number of immune support products that can help boost your body’s ability to fight off infection and disease.
If you’re interested in learning more about ways to improve your health and well-being through natural therapies, schedule an appointment with the Institute for Progressive Medicine and we’ll be happy to talk with you about healing your body to achieve optimal health!