Food to boost immune system
Having a healthy immune system is no brainer. Ask anyone “what`s the secret of strong immunity?” and most of them probably will say “nutrition”. While it may seem obvious for us, yet few people will answer what sort of nutrition you need to boost your immune system.
In few words, to prevent yourself from getting sick you should eat fewer processed foods, more whole foods. Also it is very important for you to find a balanced dose of minerals and vitamins of all groups. To help you sort out what food plan you should follow, we made a list of all vitamins and minerals you`ll need for keeping a healthy immune system and also common foods where you can find them.
Vitamin A is essential to functioning of many immune cells, some of which is cellular reproduction and generation of antibody. Your skin and mucous membranes receiving the first blow of infections, that is why you need to keep them in perfect health, which is what vitamins of this group are doing. You can find it in orange and yellow vegetables/fruits, such as bell pepper, mango, carrot and pumpkin. Dark greens, such as spinach, kale, collard greens are also rich with vitamin A. If you are meat person, you should look at animal livers, especially turkey. Also it`s the most important vitamin for a good vision. But be careful, it is possible to get overdose of vitamin A (hypervitaminosis).
Vitamin C is easy to remember – C for citrus. It is involved in production of white blood cells and helps to protect cell against the damage. Although citruses are the most famous source, it`s not the only one, and in fact, not the most effective. The leader in vitamin C richness would be Kakadu plum (1000 – 5300 mg/100g), but we bet many of you are hearing about it for the first time. So our suggestion would be to get hands on Rose hip (426 mg/100g), chili/red pepper, parsley, broccoli and kiwi. For animal sources that would be animal livers (calf is richer with vitamin C than beef liver), oysters, cod roe. Also, you can have vitamin C throughout the day easily, since it`s not stored in cells. Excess amount will simply pass through.
That`s your guard. Proteins that are fueled by this vitamin group will break down cell membranes of foul bacteria and strengthen your immunity cells. Lack of these vitamins can result in infection of your body, but overdoing can create risk of autoimmune diseases. So keep balance.
The most common sources are mushrooms, fish (such as tuna and salmon), milk and eggs (it is stored in yolk).
Vitamin E protects your cells not from microorganisms, but rather physical damaging effects of free radicals, molecules with unshared electrons. These free radicals play major factor in cardiovascular diseases and cancer development. So you can understand the importance of protecting against them. Three main sources – oils, seeds and nuts is all what you need to remember. You can choose particular types of oil or nuts for your preference, though the biggest container of vitamin D is wheat oil and sunflower oil/seeds. You can add sunflower seeds to whatever food you prefer – salads or yogurts, for example. It`s delicious and healthy.
Zinc is an extraordinary mineral, which is actually a metal. Ancient Greeks and Romans used it in brass alloys, and we are receiving it in foods as one of the most important minerals which is playing major role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Zinc is very important for cancer prevention measures, because it enhances the function of T cells, responsible for finding and destroying abnormal and infectious cells.
Shellfish in general are the great source of zinc. Oysters, mussels, lobsters, prawn and shrimps – they are rich with zinc and super delicious. As for vegetation, it depends on the soil on which it was growing. With adequate zinc in the soil, the best sources are wheat, different seeds (i.e. sesame and poppy).