Boost your immune system: top 5 supplements for protection
Everyone wants to have a healthy immune system. But in order to have a good immune system, you should ensure you take in a proper well balanced diet. This also helps protect your body from various infections and toxins.
Unfortunately, today, a lot of people do not take in a proper diet which includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and other vitamin rich foods. A healthy immune system is dependent on a balanced combination of minerals and vitamins, proper exercise, and a healthy sleep schedule.
Following are some supplements that help you to boost your immune system and protect your body from diseases:
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is known to boost the immune system. It fights free radicals which help prevent diseases like cancers. Proper dosage of vitamin C decrease the symptoms of cold. There are a number of sources of vitamin C, oranges being the most popular. Also, it is found in potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, red bell peppers, kiwi, spinach, kale, and Brussels sprouts. All these foods can be eaten raw or cooked, however, you must keep in mind that foods lose vitamin C when heated or even stored for long. Hence it is better to consume them fresh to avoid the loss of nutrients.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is also an important nutrient like vitamin C. It acts as a strong antioxidant which helps in fighting off infections. Vitamin E can be found in the sunflower seeds, peanuts, hazelnuts, and almonds. Apart from these, spinach, broccoli, and fish are also rich in vitamin E, if you want to take it through proper meals instead of snacks. There are also Vitamin E supplements available if you are ready for more intake. It is good for hair growth as well.
Iron is an essential part of a well-balanced diet. It is an important mineral that is needed by the body to perform various functions. It helps carries oxygen to the cells in the body. Iron is also considered a part of a few enzymes and proteins.
Iron is found in food sources such as chicken, turkey, and lean meat which is quickly absorbed by the body. It is also found in beans, lentils, Tofu, cashews, and spinach.
Poor diet, loss of blood, or inability to absorb iron from foods can cause extremely low levels of the mineral, leading to anemia. On the other hand, excess of iron can also be problematic. It can cause iron poisoning in the body and lead to hemochromatosis.
- Vitamin D
All of the vitamins can be easily obtained from food, but vitamin D is an exception here. Vitamin D can be taken by exposing yourself to sunlight. The vitamin is produced when UV rays come in contact with the skin and start vitamin D synthesis. However, the intake can be increased by takin in fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, and sardines, and foods like milk, orange juice, and cereals. Still, if you have low levels of vitamin D, you should consult a doctor to get suitable supplements.
- Folate or Folic Acid
Folate is one of the B-vitamins. It is also known as vitamin B-9 commonly. The natural form is folate, and the synthetic form is folic acid. It is very important for a healthy diet. It is needed by the body to make red and white cells in the bone marrow. It also converts carbohydrates into energy and produce RNA and DNA.
Folate can be found in food sources such as legumes, fruits, eggs, and vegetables. It is not found in any meat sources except beef liver. However, some foods are especially fortified with folic acid such as enriched pastas, breads, and rice. A sufficient amount of folate is necessary during pregnancy, periods, infancy, and adolescence.
It is not necessary that you find all the sources of these vitamins and minerals every time depending on the seasons and places where you live. But it is not a problem since you can buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Just make sure they are plain frozen foods instead of those that have added sodium or sugars in them.
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