With cases rising rapidly and there being no definite cure for COVID-19, it is important for us to take preventive measures and build our immunity. The food we eat determines our overall health and immunity. Immunity being our body’s first line of defense is much more needed now than ever. While a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle is the need of the hour, few nutrients play a very special role when it comes to boosting our immunity. Among different nutrients, today we will discuss the most potent vitamins to boost immunity.
Essential Vitamins To Boost Immunity
1. Vitamin C
Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is water-soluble. It helps kick start the action of our immune system by encouraging the production of lymphocytes & phagocytes, thus, helping the body protect itself from infections. The body cannot store this vitamin and being water-soluble, it’s easily lost through bodily fluids. Hence, it is important to consume foods rich in Vitamin C on a daily basis. Being heat sensitive, this vitamin is destroyed on heating, so it is better to get it from raw foods.
Food sources: Citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberry, amla, papaya, bell peppers, leafy greens, broccoli, black currants & tomato.
2. Vitamin D:
This is definitely one of the most essential vitamins to boost immunity. It is fat-soluble and hence, can be stored in our fat cells. Which means that your body can mobilize its own reserves if your daily intake falters temporarily. Deficiency of this vitamin is highly associated with increased susceptibility to infections. Not widely available in vegetarian foods, it is hard to get enough of it. For most people, the best way to take this vitamin is through supplements.
Food sources: Cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, fortified orange juice, fortified cereals, egg yolk, dairy and plant milk fortified with Vit D, Sardines, swordfish and certain mushrooms.
3. Vitamin E:
This fat-soluble vitamin is a potent antioxidant and helps reduce cell-damaging oxidative stress in our body. It has the ability to modulate immune functions at the cellular level which usually decreases with age. It helps in the rapid increase of the infection-fighting cells and boosts their infection-fighting capacity too.
Food sources: Sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, vegetable oils, spinach, broccoli, avocados, wheat germ oil, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds
PLEASE NOTE: Though these vitamins play a crucial role in the functioning of our immune system, a balanced diet and attention to other aspects of good health like exercise, sleep and staying stress-free is also very important. You must take most of your nutrition from natural foods as much as possible rather than being dependent on supplements. Before you switch to any foods you have not consumed before, please consult your doctor or nutritionist in case you have any allergies.
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Stay home, eat healthy and #BeTheForce