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12 nutrients to improve your immune system

by Richard Anning on October 09, 2022

Colourful fruits and vegetables on the table

Learn how to help your immune system through your diet. Here's how you can use these 11 nutrients to keep your body healthy.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps maintain healthy skin and vision. Vitamin A is found in many foods, including carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale.

It’s also found in some animal products, including eggs and dairy. Vitamin A is important for healthy vision because it helps maintain the retina, which is the part of your eye that senses light. It also plays a role in keeping your immune system healthy by helping cells respond to foreign invaders like bacteria or viruses.

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant that helps to build collagen and maintain connective tissue in the body. It also helps to heal wounds and forms red blood cells.

It works with vitamin E to protect cell membranes from damage by free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage your body). Vitamin C also helps make neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin—molecules that affect moods.

The recommended daily intake for vitamin C is 60-90 milligrams for adults; however, some people need more than this amount because they have compromised immune systems or may be taking medications that deplete their bodies of natural antioxidants.

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that's necessary for immune system health and bone strength. It has also been linked to brain function, muscle strength, and even mood.

According to the National Institutes of Health, most people don't get enough vitamin D from sunlight exposure or food sources alone—but it's possible to get too much of this nutrient from supplements as well. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for adults is 600 IU (international units) per day, but some studies suggest higher doses may be helpful for certain conditions such as multiple sclerosis or heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure or cholesterol levels.

To make sure you're getting enough vitamin D in your diet:

  • Eat more fatty fish like salmon because they're rich in omega-3 fatty acids that boost absorption of nutrients like calcium and magnesium; also consider including other sources like eggs with yolks (which contain about 20 IU per egg).

 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps protect cells from damage. It's found in many foods, including nuts, seeds and whole grains. In addition to its natural sources, you can also find vitamin E as a dietary supplement.

Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in your body, which means it works to neutralise free radicals that may cause damage to cells and tissues. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends adults get 15 milligrams of alpha-tocopherol per day, while pregnant women should consume 19 milligrams daily.

If you're looking for a way to improve your immune system naturally without taking any medications or supplements then adding more vitamins into your diet could be just what the doctor ordered!

 

Zinc

Zinc is one of the most important nutrients for strengthening your immune system. Zinc plays a critical role in growth, development and wound healing. Zinc also supports your body’s ability to heal from infections, helps maintain proper function of nerve cells and helps synthesize DNA.

Zinc is found in oysters, beef liver, crab and shrimp.

 

Selenium

Selenium is a trace mineral that occurs naturally in soil, plants and animals. It can be found in foods like fish, meat and eggs. Selenium is necessary for the proper functioning of immune cells and helps to fight infections by strengthening them against bacteria or viruses. Selenium acts as an antioxidant to reduce damage from free radicals (unstable molecules) that are released during infection or injury.

Selenium supplementation has been shown to help protect against cancer and heart disease by reducing inflammation in the body (a possible cause of both conditions).

 

Glutathione

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that helps your immune system by protecting against free radicals, which are molecules with unstable electrons that cause damage to cells and DNA. It also reduces inflammation, so it can help you recover from illness faster. Glutathione also plays a role in detoxification: it works with other antioxidants to remove toxins from the body before they can cause damage.

If you have low levels of glutathione—or if your glutathione level isn't able to keep up with all the toxins you're exposed to—the result is oxidative stress, which has been linked to chronic illnesses such as asthma and cancer. That's why it's important for everyone to regularly take steps toward improving their glutathione levels!

 

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a precursor to glutathione, which is an important antioxidant. NAC can help with allergies and asthma by reducing inflammation in the airways. It can also be used for alcohol withdrawal, as it binds to acetaldehyde (a toxic byproduct of alcohol metabolism) and helps eliminate it from your system more quickly.

NAC has even been shown to have benefits in cancer treatment: one study showed that adding NAC to chemotherapy caused significantly fewer side effects than chemotherapy alone! Another showed that adding NAC to radiation therapy improved outcomes compared with radiation alone. With all these benefits on its resume, perhaps it's no wonder that this amino acid has become one of my go-to supplements when I feel run down!

 

Lipoic Acid

Lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is found in high concentrations in the liver, kidney, heart and skeletal muscles. Lipoic acid can be found in foods such as organ meats, broccoli, spinach and yeast.

 

Reishi Mushroom

Reishi mushroom is one of the most powerful immune system boosters on the planet.

It can be used to treat colds and flu, as well as improve your general health.

This ancient Chinese remedy has been used for centuries and is also known as Lingzhi Mushroom.

 

Antioxidants are key to improving your immune system.

Antioxidants are a group of chemicals that protect your body from damage. They help to fight off viruses and bacteria, as well as the free radicals that can lead to cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants may also help you sleep better, making them an easy addition to your diet for better health overall!

Some great antioxidant-rich foods include blueberries, broccoli, cabbage and spinach (all cruciferous veggies), grapeseed extract supplements or pomegranate juice. You’ll also find antioxidants in dark chocolate (dark chocolate actually has more antioxidants than red wine!) as well as green tea—so go ahead and enjoy them!

 

Conclusion

We all know that our immune system is our first line of defence against illness and disease. So, if you’re not feeling great, it may have something to do with your diet—or lack thereof! But don’t fret: there are plenty of ways to improve your health without breaking the bank or taking pills every day. After all, most people only need to take a supplement once every few months or so; they just need enough time between doses so as not to overload their bodies with nutrients at once (which would also cause problems).

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