What you need to boost your immune system
If there is something that is true for all seasons, it is that you cannot be too careful about your health. Being sick is more than just a temporary inconvenience. This is something that can affect your productivity and in extreme cases even lead to death. A common illness like the flu can cause up to 60,000 deaths in America per year, which is a pretty scary number. This is why it is so important to keep your immune system in good shape in order to avoid getting it.
We have already written about other ways to fight the flu in our article ‘5 ways to keep the flu at bay’. While there are a number of different ways you can prevent the flu, one of the best things you can do to fight it is to strengthen your immune system.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of things you need to boost your immune system and keep the flu and other illnesses at bay.
One of the best nutrients for boosting your immune system is zinc, which can be found throughout your body. Mayo Clinic Stresses Zinc May Boost Your Immune System, as well as speed up the healing and metabolism of your wounds. The recommended daily amount of zinc is approximately 8 mg for adult women and 11 mg for adult men.
Generally, if you eat a varied and balanced diet, your body usually has enough zinc to function properly.
There is also some evidence that taking zinc within 24 hours of showing symptoms of a cold or flu is enough to shorten the duration of your illness, so be sure to refuel.
Of course, when it comes to immune boosters, there is no nutrient more popular than vitamin C. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your body’s natural defenses. It helps supplement the functions of your immune system, making it better equipped to handle viruses.
The most popular sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits such as oranges. It’s not your only option, however – according to Brightcore foods like wheatgrass may in fact have a higher vitamin C content than oranges.
It’s also found in vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and even peppers.
Another great vitamin for preventing disease is vitamin D. You’ve probably heard of vitamin D’s mood-boosting effects, but did you know that it’s an important part of your body’s immune system defense? ? Pharmacy Times says vitamin D helps balance the immune system, keeping it strong enough to fight the flu.
Unfortunately, our body does not produce vitamin D on its own, so we have to get it from external sources. Sunlight is popular, but you can also get vitamin D from oily fish and other seafood, mushrooms, egg yolks, and fortified foods.
Finally, if you want to boost your immune response, you will need selenium. Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a vital and supportive role in your immune system, as well as in fertility and cognitive function.
Explaining the exact function of selenium in your body is a bit complex, as it is responsible for the proper performance of many functions. Healthline reports that increased blood selenium levels have been found to contribute to a stronger immune response. It also helps to increase the action of antioxidants, which reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
There are several different nutrients and minerals that contribute to the strength of your immune system. The examples we have listed above are all necessary for a better immune response, but always be sure to check with your doctor before taking any supplements or additional medications.
Protecting against the flu and other viruses takes work and effort in all aspects of your life, not just in your diet or nutrition, so be sure to practice good hygiene and social distancing. Stay healthy!