Immunity has been on the headlines for the past year or two, mainly because of the widespread surge in the covid-19 cases in every part of the world. The devastation caused by this pandemic is unlike anything else witnessed by humankind ever before! This instilled a fear among the general public making people more interested in understanding the immune support system and strengthening the immune system. That being said, it was also observed that all of a sudden, everybody was an expert on the subject and had something or the other to add to the conversation.
However, not all of us are experts on immunity, so we should refrain from taking unverified and unauthenticated advice about immune support supplements as it may lead to different unforeseen health conditions. Instead, we should listen to the scientists and doctors who have studied the subject extensively and are aware of what they are speaking. Therefore, after extensive research on the subject and seeking references from experts in the subject, we have compiled a list of vitamins and supplements that can be used to strengthen the immune system.
But First, What Is The Immune System?
In simple terms, the immune is the defensive mechanism of our body, whose job is to protect and fight unwanted foreign diseases that can damage our health. But the simple definition does not always cut it, so to get a better understanding, first, we need to know that our immune system has two primary aspects where the first is the innate immune system, and the other is known as the adaptive immune system.
The innate system is the defense mechanism that has been with us ever since our birth, and one can even call it the rapid response system of our body. This system works to fight and attack any foreign invader or antigen in our bodies. Meanwhile, the adaptive immune system, also known as the acquired immune system, is responsible for developing antibodies to protect our bodies from harmful germs and microbes present within the body.
One interesting fact about our immune system is that it keeps track of every germ or microbe it has ever overpowered. Our immune system is smart enough to use this information to recognize if a similar microbe or germ enters our body again. This way, our bodies can quickly deploy necessary antibodies to fight and attack more effectively and keep our bodies healthy.
Effective Nutrients For Boosting The Immune System
Now that we have a basic understanding of our immune system, we must acknowledge its importance in our bodies. But there are many more good things about our immune, one of which is that we can do things to enhance the effectiveness of our immune system. For instance, one can exercise regularly, maintain healthy and balanced diets, get proper sleep, and consume supplements for immune support. Therefore, let us look at some of the most effective vitamin supplements for strengthening the immune system.
- Vitamin C Supplements: Vitamin C is one of the most effective nutrients for preventing infections and shortening their lifespans. Now when we think of vitamin C, our mind takes us to the citrus fruit folder automatically. Even though citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, but there are also many other sources of this nutrient that are just as good as citrus fruits. These easily available sources include Brussel sprouts, spinach, papaya, kale, strawberries, and bell peppers.
- Folate Or Folic Acid: What are folate and folic acid? Both folate and folic acid are more or less the same things except for the little yet important detail that folate is the natural form, whereas folic acid is the folate in synthetic form. Adding items rich in folate or folic acid to the diet can be very helpful for strengthening our body’s immune system. There are many sources such as lentils, green leafy vegetables, avocado, and more. Further, one can even get the required folate or folic acid from enriched food items such as rice, pasta, and bread.
- Vitamin D: We have all learned in our younger days that sunlight is the most significant source of vitamin D, and this remains very true. However, we also know that vitamin D is significant for strengthening our immune system. Sadly there are not many food sources available that are rich in vitamin D but still food items such as mackerel, sardines, salmon, tuna, and other vitamin D fortified products like orange juice, milk, and cereals. Generally, it is best to take vitamins by food consumption in this the sunlight is our best bet. One can even consult their doctors or physicians to get the required amount of vitamin D.
- Iron: We cannot stress enough the importance of iron in our bodies because iron helps our bodies transport oxygen to the cells. This means that it also plays a crucial role in strengthening the immune system. Iron is available in different forms, especially from different animal products and by-products such as chicken, mussels, canned sardines, turkey, clams, tuna, and more. However, if someone is vegan, they can add more kale, beans, cereals rich in iron, and broccoli to their diet to get the required amount of iron.
- Vitamin A: This nutrient is very effective when it comes to fighting infections in our bodies. Vitamin A is available in different forms, namely preformed and carotenoids. Different animal products such as meat, fish, tuna, dairy products, and more are known as preformed vitamin A. On the contrary, plant-based sources known as carotenoids include pumpkin, carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, and even butternut squash. Therefore, choose your favorite food item from the list and get the required amount of vitamin A without any hassle.
If one thing covid-19 has taught this world is that everybody needs to maintain a good and healthy body to fight and defend themselves from unwanted diseases. Therefore, consider taking the supplements with the nutrients mentioned above, strengthening the immune system, and keeping it that way.