The food that we consume has a major impact on the basic functioning of our bodies and their ability to protect us from potential diseases and infections. The best way to fuel these functions would be to consume a healthy balanced diet that consists of several fruits and vegetables.
Making sure that the food you consume comes from different food groups is a good way to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients that it needs. These nutrients are essential for several purposes such as transporting blood oxygen and promoting bone growth and development, but the most important function that they carry out would have to be the maintenance of the immune system.
The immune system, while being a major factor that governs our health, is also prone to infections and weakness. A good way to maintain a robust immune system is by eating a balanced diet and pairing it with nutritional supplements such as multivitamins with zinc, while maintaining an active lifestyle and getting enough sleep.
Here are a few minerals and vitamins that you can consume to maintain and keep your immune system healthy:
Zinc mineral is beneficial for boosting the body’s immune system and signalling. It is also useful for aiding the formation of large granular lymphocytes and neutrophils. The best zinc supplement can also help enhance the effect that lymphoid cells have on your body, which has an impact on repairing the damage caused by bacteria and pathogens.
Food sources of Zinc – beans, chickpeas, lentils, oysters, red meat, poultry, and eggs.
#2 Vitamin D
Commonly known for its assistance in maintaining bone health, Vitamin D also has a role to play in boosting the body’s immune response. Lack of Vitamin D is the root cause of autoimmune disorders and a higher risk of contracting diseases like the flu.
Food sources of Vitamin D – egg yolk, red meat, salmon, mackerel, herring, liver and fortified cereal.
#3 Vitamin C
Vitamin C is highly useful in defending the body from pathogens and diseases as it acts as a powerful antioxidant that establishes barriers within your body. Vitamin C also helps in reducing the oxidative stress exerted on the body and boosts the functioning of the lymphatic cells, which helps in cellular regeneration.
Food sources of Vitamin C – citrus fruits, lemon, amla, peppers, broccoli, strawberries etc.
#4 Vitamin A
The consumption of Vitamin A plays a huge role in strengthening the adaptive immune system of our body by producing antibodies that help in driving away external pathogens. Carotenoids, one of the most commonly found forms of Vitamin A in plants, is also an excellent antioxidant that helps fight inflammation in our body.
Food sources of Vitamin A – cheese, oily fish, yogurt, eggs, milk, carrots, apples, etc.
#5 Vitamin E
Much like Vitamin C, Vitamin E is also a highly effective antioxidant that helps the body in fighting off external infections by actively contributing towards more than two hundred biochemical reactions that are responsible for the functioning of the immune system.
Food sources of Vitamin E – Sunflower seeds, wheatgerm oil, soy, Avocado, mango, pumpkin, almonds, etc.
Iron is an essential mineral required for the proper functioning of our immune systems. Haemoglobin, a form of iron, is a primary factor of our blood. Increased iron consumption helps in a quicker intracellular oxygen transport which boosts the effect of the white blood cells in our body.
Food sources of iron – spinach, dried apricots, beans, soy flour, liver, red meat etc.
#7 Vitamin B9/ Folate
Folates help in the process of cellular and tissue repair while acting as a base for the synthesis of DNA in our body. Regular consumption of folates has been shown to have a positive effect on the body’s resistance to infections like the common cold or the flu.
Food sources of Vitamin B9 – Peanuts, green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, beans, seafood etc.
Apart from strengthening the bone and muscle fibres of the body, the consumption of magnesium has also been proven to improve the body’s adaptive immune response to external pathogens by improving blood circulation and aiding the faster repair of tissues. Magnesium is also key in the regulation of hormones among women, especially during PMS.
Food sources of Magnesium – whole grains, spinach, nuts, legumes, seeds, etc.
Selenium is one of the most important minerals for boosting the body’s immune response. Regular consumption has been shown to have a positive effect on slowing down the body’s overactive responses to diseases like HIV and cancer.
Food sources of Selenium – eggs, peas, lentils, lean meats, soy products, etc.
The consumption of copper plays a natural role in increasing the effectiveness of the body’s innate immune response system. Prolonged substitution of copper has been linked to a decreased survival rate of pathogens in the body, as well as an increased level of blood circulation.
Food sources of Copper – chocolate, mushrooms, potatoes, oysters etc.
Besides food sources you can also get your daily dose of minerals and vitamins from reliable and high quality supplements. Try the HealthKart Multivitamin with Multimineral Capsules to enhance your overall health. You can also consume the HealthKart Immunity+ Tablets to lend your immune system a boost and lead a healthy lifestyle.