Immune System Vitamins

Good defense against viruses, bad bacteria and illness-causing pathogens is always better than a counter-attack. That is why you need to boost up your immune system vitamins even though there are no present threats. The food pyramid is full of immune system boosters so stock up on your next grocery trip or get them in supplements.

Here are some immune system vitamins that you shouldn’t forget to take every day.

Vitamin A

According to a paper published in Nature Reviews Immunology last September 2008, vitamins A and D are the main players for the body’s immune system. Both vitamins help in immune response, particularly for lymphocytes (white blood cells that works like defense soldiers). Lymphocytes are responsible for anti-body activation. Vitamin A in particular, has all-trans retinol that is essential in regulating B-cell (makers of anti-bodies) production and separation. With adequate supply of retinoic acid, our body’s are assured that there is enough amount of B-cells and anti-bodies that are ready to protect every tissue or system.

To ensure good supply of vitamin A foods, make sure to include liver, milk, cheese, carrots, spinach, and kale in your vegetable list. For fruits, apricots, mangoes and peaches are good sources of vitamin A and carotenoids.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D on the other hand, handles T-cells, which are the types that detect foreign organisms or foreign objects within our system. When a person has vitamin D deficiency, the T-cells remain stagnant, unable to detect harmful viruses or other pathogens. When that happens, viruses continue to proliferate, increasing the effects of an illness.

Some of the other vitamin D sources are salmon, mushrooms, mackerel or tuna. Cheese and eggs also have good trace amount of vitamin D. You can also get a good dose of vitamin D through sunlight exposure, a short walk early morning at sunrise or at sunset will do the job. (Reminder: Sun exposure at later times of the day when the sun is at a higher angle from the horizon, has excessive UVB and UVA rays that can cause skin damage and cancer. Apply generous amount of sunscreen if you go out during these times.)

Vitamin C

L-Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is known to be an immune system booster. Our body uses up vitamin C when we are sick or under stress. In particular, lymphocytes in our body needs L-ascorbic to regulate chemical reactions within our blood and tissues via inflammation. Inflammation is a good sign that our body is fighting a foreign organism, indicating that our body has good immunity response and defense components. Lack of vitamin C weakens the immune system and increases the frequency of infections.

Good dose of vitamin C can be obtained from citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, pomelos. Fresh green peppers, tomatoes, turnips and broccoli are also good sources of vitamin C . Keep in mind that our body cannot store this type of vitamin since it’s water soluble and any excess will be rejected by your body when you urinate, so one must ensure that adequate doses are included in your diet on a daily basis.

Zinc

Zinc is not a vitamin but a mineral but is however very important for supporting optimum immune functions. Zing  has been proven to help your immune system to fight off colds and sore throats and recover from injury, illness and  surgery. It is important for proper T cell and natural killer cell function and proper lymphocyte activity. Zinc can be hard to find in your diet but here are a few foods with a least some amounts of it. Oysters, pumpkins and squash seeds have the highest zinc content so are ideal sources but the following also have some: shellfish, eggs, meats, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. If your taking it in supplement from than you should aim to only take around 15 to 30mg daily. Zinc can cause toxic reactions in your body if you take too much so be careful! Another important mineral similar to Zinc that you might want to look into are selenium benefits which is another mineral with trace elements in certain foods such as nuts.

So make sure to include these immune system vitamins now instead of waiting to be sick because they will probably not take effect immediately but will definitely help once you do get sick. If you don’t have the time to make sure all of these vitamins are present in your current diet you can go check out online stores such as amazon where you can probably find them all packaged into one big supplement.


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