You might need more than just an apple a day to keep the doctor away these days. We took a closer look at the vitamins your body needs to boost your immunity to keep you healthy especially during times like this.
There is a “catch 22” with vitamins. Vitamins and minerals play important roles in our body. Our bodies need them to properly function but you can only get them through the foods you eat. So, if you do not eat a well balanced whole food diet, you may need to think about supplementing with an alternative.
There are a few important vitamins you need to boost your immune system so you can fight off infections, viruses or any other illnesses.
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the production of white blood cells which are essential in order for your immune system to function properly. Lacking B12 can lower your immune system. Eating foods high in B12 like clams, sardines, animal liver, beef, fortified cereal, tuna, salmon, eggs and dairy products. If you are a vegan, you will need to supplement your B12 with a vitamin supplement.
Vitamin C is one of the most popular and best ways to boost your immunity. Lacking vitamin C can make you more susceptible to getting sick. Eating foods high in vitamin C like oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale, and broccoli can help increase your immune system. You need to consume vitamin C every day because your body can not store it.
Vitamin E is a very powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection. Being deficient in vitamin D has shown to impair the immune system from properly functioning. However, this can easily be reversed by eating foods that contain vitamin D like seeds, spinach, and nuts or taking a vitamin E supplement.
What else do I need to know about staying well?
Along with these vitamins, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the most important way to keep your immune system strong so it can defend your body against illnesses and diseases.
You’ve probably been hearing a lot of things about coronavirus lately and how it seems to have the worst effects on people with weaker immune systems. Besides lacking the right vitamins, what makes one person’s immune system “weaker” than others? There are many factors that have been found to determine how well your body fights off pathogens such as the coronavirus.
- Do you smoke? Smoking isn’t good for you at all. Smoking weakens your lungs and suppresses your immune system making smokers more susceptible to having pneumonia.
- Do you eat fruits and vegetables? Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. The better you eat and give your body the nutrients it needs, the better your immune system can be.
- Do you exercise regularly? You should challenge yourself to exercise a few days a week.
- Are you a healthy weight? Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and wellness.
- Do you drink alcohol? You should only drink alcohol in moderation. Excessive amounts of alcohol can interfere with how the immune system functions.
- Do you get enough sleep? Getting enough sleep will help you stay healthy. Studies show that important immune responses happen during the different stages while you sleep.
- Are you stressed? Try to minimize stress. Stress can do harm to your body mentally and physically which suppresses the immune system. If you feel stressed, try finding ways to relax and have fun.
- Are you older? Elderly people have weaker immune systems as well as other medical conditions that make it hard to fight off infections. This gives the virus more time to grow and lead to life-threatening symptoms.
A combination of all of the suggestions in this article over time can strengthen your immune system and help your body work at 100%. Just remember, consistency is key. Making this your daily focus and making small changes that will create a healthier lifestyle is important to an optimal immune system.
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