What Vitamins Boost Your Immune System?
The building blocks of maintaining your health is found in your immune system. It works like a machine – when given what it needs and when it is taken care of, it works great! When it is depleted and overrun it starts to weaken. So what can you do? The good news is – a LOT! A truly healthy immune system depends on a balance of vitamins & minerals consumed consistently, with normal sleep patterns and exercise. We want to share with you five immune boosting vitamins and how you can start consuming them today.
Your immune system is primarily stored in your gut. So healthy gut = healthy immune system. Probiotics help populate the gut with good bacteria and build a strong gut barrier function. Basically, you build up the good guys to fight off the bad guys! Some great ways to get probiotics in your diet are: yogurt, kefir, fermented veggies, kombucha, and probiotic supplements.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids pack a powerful punch. They can help assist your immune system by enhancing the immune cell function. And that’s not all these guys do – they also help with so many other things like brain health, heart health, and inflammation. Some great foods for boosting your Omega-3 consumption include: cold-pressed olive oil, walnuts, cold-water salmon and winter squash.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is key for building your immune system. It provides valuable antioxidant protection and is required for synthesis of neurotransmitters and carnitine. So many people think that just by eating citrus they are getting enough Vitamin C, but this vital vitamin is actually in SO many foods. Things like leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and kale), bell peppers, brussel sprouts, strawberries, and papaya are excellent sources. Vitamin C also needs to be replenished daily – so get your dose each day!
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D can be a little tricky to get solely from foods because it requires K2 for absorption. So finding a high quality D + K2 supplement might be necessary, or you can increase your intake through foods such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines) and or course – SUNSHINE! In the winter months it is especially important to get extra doses of Vitamin D. Like Vitamin C, D also needs to be replenished each day. Foods with good Vitamin D sources include salmon, tuna, mushrooms, and pasture-raised eggs.
Zinc helps every cell throughout the body! This tough guy helps your immune system fight off bacteria and viruses. It also helps slow down the immune response and control inflammation. Foods that are high in Zinc are: oysters, crab, lean meats and poultry, baked beans (skip the kind with added sugar), yogurt, and chickpeas.
The great news about getting these vitamins into your diet is so many of them overlap to make it easier. A great tip for when you cannot get things in season, or in your area is buying frozen.