Your immune system helps your body get rid of bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing microorganisms, so it is important for you to boost or strengthen this system. There are some ways for you to do it: exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, stopping smoking and more. However, there is another way that is easier to follow: eating a healthy diet. Making healthy food choices on a daily basis is probably the best thing you can do to protect your immune system.
Here are top vitamins and minerals that you should include in your diet to boost the immune system.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one the most important immune system vitamins. It forces the immune system to work hard to fight off illnesses once and for all. Vitamin C boosts the cells that are responsible for killing germs in your body and protects healthy immune cells through antioxidant activity. It also makes interferon that helps destroy viruses in your body. In addition, vitamin C stimulates the production and function of neutrophils that kills bacteria. Vitamin C can be found in a wide range of sources such as broccoli, berries, citrus fruits and more.
2. Vitamin K
Along with vitamin C, vitamin K is another great vitamin to strengthen your immune system. It helps your body produce proteins for healthy bones and tissues. Besides, excessive bleeding may be a consequence of vitamin K deficiency, so this vitamin is essential in the blood clotting process to keep blood flow functioning normally following injury. Additionally, vitamin K may protect you against heart disease, liver and prostate cancer. Foods that are rich of vitamin K include broccoli, cabbage, kale and more.
Zinc is known to be a good immune system mineral. It works wonders for your immune system by helping to produce infection-fighting white cells. Besides, according to some studies, zinc can reduce the symptoms of colds and flu quickly if taken shortly after the first signs of these illnesses. Especially, it can ease the pain that accompanies a sore throat, a cold or a flu. Zinc is available in foods like nuts, seeds, cereals, shellfish and meats.
4. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help your body develop more white blood cells, which are used to attack any bacteria in your body. So they can actually boost your immune system. You can found omega-3 fatty acids in a wide range of foods such as salmon, tuna, chia seeds, flax-seeds and more.
5. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is the defensive line of your immune system and plays an important role in strengthening it. This vitamin can work wonders to stop germs, bacteria, viruses and infections from getting into the system in the first place. Apart from protecting your eyes, urinary tract, intestines and respiration system, vitamin A produces enzymes that look for and destroy germs that manage to get inside your body. You can get vitamin A in mangoes, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, etc.