Because it does!
By Dylan Porras
We all want to avoid getting sick, and it doesn’t take a global pandemic for us to understand the importance of a healthy immune system… But it doesn’t hurt!
In this post, I’ll go over the top vitamins (micronutrients) available in a balanced nutrition plan to strengthen your body’s immune system response. Think of it like upgrading your cellular Army’s weapon systems!
Vitamin D works with T Cells, the body’s natural virus killing cells, to fight off infection and disease. Unfortunately, there are only a few food soures, so nearly 50% of Americans are currently deficient! Vitamin D is found in milk, fortified rice, canned tuna and salmon.
Vitamin D can also be accessed when UVB rays from sunlight hit your skin through a reaction with cholesterol. Be mindful, however, because sunlight exposure comes with its own risks as well. According to a study in the UK, 13 minutes of sunlight at noon 3 times weekly is sufficient to maintain healthy levels among adults.
Vitamin A & E
Deficiency in Vitamins A & E is rare as they are found in many of the foods we consume daily; but, they are will worth mentioning as they play an important part of our body’s immune system.
Vitamins A and E (along with C) help to maintain the structure and function of mucus cells lining the respiratory and digestive tract, acting as a barrier to infection. Vitamin A also helps with organ function and Vitamin E with the slowing down of the cellular aging process.
Vitamin A and E are found in colorful fruits and vegetables (especially purple, blue, orange and yellow). They are fat soluble, so watch it, because too much of these can be a bad thing!
B vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, biotin and pantothenic acid (try saying that 5 times fast!). Collectively, they perform a variety of cellular functions but what’s important for this article is that a deficiency in B vitamins has been linked to an impaired immune response.
Diets rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables will help you hit you daily needs.
Studies have demonstrated that increased blood levels of selenium are associated with enhanced immune response. Selenium can be found in walnuts, tuna, beef and chicken.
Plainly spoken, the body’s immune system REQUIRES Zinc in order to fight infection. Zinc is not stored in the body, so it is crucial your diet include seafood, meat, seeds or dairy. It is found primarily in meats so vegans should be extra cautious and consider supplementation. According to the National Institute of Health, even mildly low levels of zinc can impair your immune system response!
Iron is a fundamental element in the normal development of the immune system. It is necessary for the proliferation and maturation of lymphocytes responsible for fighting infection. Iron is found in meat, fish, chicken, beans, some fruit and vegetables.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are known to suppress inflammation, which is why they are often used to aid the body’s response to disorders like Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis. Find these healthy fats in walnuts, chia, flax seeds, and fatty fish.
Tips to avoiding nutrient deficiencies…
Here are some steps we can take to add all these vitamins and minerals to help boost our immune system:
- Adding nuts & seeds as a snack a few times a week
- Eating a variety of colorful fruits & vegetables at each meal (more vegetables than fruit)
- Taking a tablespoon of elderberry syrup per day (contains vitamins A, C, folate, calcium, and iron)
- Eating a variety of proteins (beef, chicken, fish, eggs, etc..)
And of course, taking a Daily Multi-Vitamin like Prestige Labs Vitality!
Currently, about 90% of Americans are deficient in at least 1 nutrient. At the conclusion of the COVID-19 Quarantine, I highly recommend requesting an annual physical if you have not had one recently and include blood testing with the specific request of checking micronutrient levels (not all blood tests may include this). A quick review of the results will help you discern whether or not you have a deficiency somewhere and how best focus your efforts.
In the meantime, eat a balanced nutrition plan with a varied source of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein sources. Though…I suppose if that was easy we wouldn’t have a population with such high cases of nutrient deficiency…
Want more help? Schedule a free 1-on-1 nutrition consultation with a coach today!
Visit: https://www.afewsimpledisciplines.com for more…