With the COVID-19 pandemic touching every part of the globe, most of us are looking for ways to keep our immune system up.
Even though you can’t control your immune system, there are ways to give it a boost and improve your overall well-being.
The best way is to make sure you’re getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals to keep your immune system strong and healthy.
Let’s take a quick look at 5 vitamins and minerals that you should focus on when trying to take care of your health.
#1 Vitamin A
Vitamin A is sometimes called the anti-inflammation vitamin because it regulates immune system cells and helps produce antibodies.
Researchers from the University of California found that two things can happen when we don’t get enough vitamin A:
- If the mucus lining of your organs are damaged by infection, your body can’t repair or replace it like normal.
- Your white blood cell types can’t protect you properly.
Men need 900 mcg of vitamin A every day. Women need 700 mcg. The best way to make sure you’re getting enough is by eating eggs, oranges, fatty fish like salmon, and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach.
#2 Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins to help you fight viruses like the cold, flu, and other viruses.
It isn’t certain whether vitamin C works very well at preventing you from getting sick but many researchers agree that it definitely helps you get better quicker by as much as a day and a half.
You only need between 65 mg and 90 mg of vitamin C a day (about 1 medium-sized orange), but you can go as high as 2,000 mg while you’re sick.
This kind of megadose helps your body keep your immune system cells healthy while they fight the virus.
#3 Vitamin D
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because that’s where we get most of it from.
Vitamin D directly from the sun stays in our bodies longer than vitamin D from any other source.
Unfortunately, it might be a little tricky getting enough sunlight when it’s cloudy or you can’t get outside much.
Instead, you can turn to some food sources like free-range egg yolks and mushrooms for vitamin D, or simply take supplements.
Just remember that animal-based vitamin D3 supplements are a lot more effective than the plant-based vitamin D2 found in most supplements.
Why vitamin D for a healthy immune system, you ask?
- It gives your T-cells a kick-start
- It boosts your macrophages
- It helps protect you from getting sick
It’s difficult to say how much vitamin D is the right amount, because it’s measured in International Units (IU.)
It’s said that 10-15 minutes in the Sun per day will provide enough Vitamin D.
#4 Vitamin E
Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidants and luckily, it’s highly unlikely you’re not getting enough!
For the most part, the only people who need to worry about whether they’re getting enough vitamin E are the elderly and those with digestive problems, cystic fibrosis, or a low-fat diet.
Most studies find that because vitamin E helps keep your cellular immunity healthy, it’s especially good for protecting against oxidative damage.
You only need 15 mg of vitamin E every day, which you can easily get from a handful of nuts or spinach.
Magnesium helps your immune system fight infections.
A study by the Universidade Técnica de Lisboa says it works with both main parts of your immune system, your cellular immune system and your humoral immune system (which includes antibodies).
Depending on how old you are and whether you’re a man or a woman, you need between 310 mg and 420 mg of magnesium every day.
This is easy to get if you eat enough fish, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts.
Stay healthy out there by getting enough of these crucial vitamins and minerals.
You can find many of them in the same foods, so it should not be too tough to give your immune system a boost by incorporating more greens, eggs, fish, and a little sunshine!