The Best Foods & Vitamins To Boost Immunity
| LAST UPDATE 02/22/2022
We already know that certain foods have specific nutrients that are beneficial to our bodies - but knowing exactly which vitamins are in which food and understanding the best way we absorb them is crucial for getting all the positive effects. The most important ones for our immune system are vitamin A, zinc, vitamin C, copper, selenium, and vitamin D. Here's your guide to understanding these key vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin A is an important player when it comes to sustaining our body's mucus membranes. It also modulates our macrophages and neutrophil systems, a.k.a the cells that respond to a pathogen. Essentially vitamin A, which comes in the forms of retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid, is needed for good vision, growth, and cell division. Eating foods with a large number of beta-carotene will ensure you get the right amount of it needed. Look for vegetables in the color yellow or red - such as carrots, mango, and pumpkins. Bell peppers also have vitamin C in them, which is an antioxidant that regulates many of our immune system functions. From healthy skin to healthy white cell production, this vitamin is very important to implement into our diets. Try to also eat more raw fruits and veggies!
Next up on the list? We have Vitamin D, which supports the hormones in our bodies, which is essential for immune function. Unfortunately, a lack of it may lead to autoimmune conditions or respiratory tract infections. To avoid these outcomes, get as much sunlight as possible, and consider adding a supplement of Vitamin D into your wellness routine. There are also foods like salmon, tuna, and swordfish that have traces of vitamin D.
Lastly, let's talk minerals. Zinc supports our immune system, skim, and mucus membrane, the thing that keeps pathogens away. Meat and seafood, along with legumes, nuts, and seeds, will provide you with a good amount of zinc. So, of course, this trace mineral is a key component in boosting our immune system. Lastly, copper is the mineral that helps fight off any harmful reactive oxygen species. A lack of copper has been associated with damaged immune system function. It can be found in shiitake mushrooms, quinoa, spirulina, and dark chocolate. (Psst, this Goop chocolate truffle recipe is delicious and nutritious.) Overall, make sure to eat a variety of different types of food.