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Key Nutrients That Help Immunity And Their Roles

key nutrients that help immunity

As the corona-virus situation gets worse, you might be wondering how you can stay healthy. What foods can help you stay healthy? Is there medication that can keep you from getting sick at all? What are the key nutrients that help with immunity?

First, let’s look at the not-so-good news. There are places on the internet that claims to have magic pills guaranteed to boost your immune system. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that it will protect you against COVID-19 at all.

But there’s good news, too. There are ways to keep your immune system healthy and working great. They can help you stay healthy and feel more in control during this outbreak. Wash your hands, (shouldn’t be telling you this ..right?) eat proper nutritious foods, try to stay active, and get proper sleep. These will help you manage your physical and mental health.

Below is a list of key nutrients that help immunity and the roles they play.

Eat Immune Boosting Foods

Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Your immune system relies on specific nutrients to function the way it should. With a healthy diet, you help your immune system to do its job.

You can also add a few immune boosting vitamins to the mix, but vegetables and fruits will also get the job done. Here are some of the top foods we recommend boosting the health of your immune system.

Beta Carotene

Beta carotene is what your body converts into Vitamin A. It’s essential for a healthy immune system, and it helps antibodies fight off toxins.

Good beta carotene sources include:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Mangoes
  • Apricots
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Squash
  • Cantaloupe

Vitamin C

Vitamin C increases the number of antibodies in your blood. It also helps your system differentiate between white blood cells – the soldiers – and toxins. That way, your body knows what kind of protection you need.

There is some research that suggests high levels of vitamin C could reduce cold symptoms. To increase your levels of vitamin C, you should try eating:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Red and Green peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cooked Cabbage
  • Cauliflower

Vitamin D

According to Dr. Michael Holick, vitamin D helps with the production of a specific protein. This protein targets bacteria and viruses. It also boosts the activity and amount of white blood cells you have.

The sun is one of the main sources of vitamin D – that’s why a lot of people tend to get sick in winter. With less time outside in the sun, your immune system gets weaker, putting you at risk for viral- and respiratory tract infections.

With quarantine in effect, you can bet that even more people will have a vitamin D deficiency. To make up for that, you can eat food that’s rich in Vitamin D. If you don’t get enough of these foods, you can also consider a vitamin D supplement.

  • Fatty Fish
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Eggs
  • Fortified Milk
  • Plant Milk
  • Cheese
  • Fortified Juice
  • Mushrooms

Zinc

Zinc is what helps your immune system grow and learn to differentiate between good and bad, so to speak. One analysis showed that Zinc supplements could shorten the duration of common cold symptoms.

For the best sources of zinc, make sure you fill up on:

  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Fortified Cereals
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Wheat germ
  • Oysters
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Beef
  • Pork chops
  • Dark meat poultry
  • Yogurt

Protein

Protein is crucial for immune cells and antibodies. It plays a major role in helping your immune system do its job. Protein comes from both animals and plants, and there are even some great high protein snacks.

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas

Prebiotic Foods

Pre- and Probiotics can help boost the health of your intestines. In turn, that supports and boosts our immune system. There are several foods that fall into this category.

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Aged Cheese
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Sourdough bread
  • Whole grains
  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Beans

Herbs

Although herbs aren’t dietary staples, they can be helpful when dealing with viral symptoms. One study found that Elderberry reduced upper respiratory symptoms, like cold and flu.

Although using it for COVID-19 symptoms hasn’t been tested, there are doctors who believe that it could help relieve some symptoms. Always check with your doctor before you start using any herbal remedies.

Hydrate

Always remember to stay hydrated. Even mild dehydration can put a lot of stress on your body. Try to drink around 2.7 litres of water if you’re a woman. Men should aim for around 3.7 litres a day.

Ozone – an alternative therapy

We’ve recently done a post on how Ozone therapy can help you strengthen your immune system and fight the coronavirus.

We are open during the lockdown period, as a medical service, and are offering discounted ozone sessions.

If you’re interested in a session, contact us to make a booking. Remember to stay healthy and safe!

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