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Boost your immunity with these nutrients

Post by on Sunday, January 16, 2022

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Immunity is a word we have been hearing very often over the last 2 years of the raging Covid-19 pandemic. The immune system of our body is like an army which seeks invaders and destroys them to protect us.

 We have two immunity types: innate which is the first response to infections and adaptive which starts working a little later, it can recognize and terminate the invading infection immediately. 

 Like all armies our immunity also marches on its stomach – aka, good nutrition is the key to developing and maintaining a healthy robust immune system. 

 Building a good immunity starts at birth when the first mother milk, colostrum, delivers immunity to the baby. Following a good lifestyle, eating healthy, exercising, stress free life and good mental health, all contribute to a healthy immunity. 

 In today’s time when COVID is on the rise again, we need to remain healthy and keep our immunity in top shape. There are nutrients that work for boosting immunity and including the same mindfully will give the body the right support to stay fighting fit.

 Here are some of the nutrients that you can take to boost your immunity:

 Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a critical nutrient for the immune cells. It supports the functioning of these cells. Vitamin C has a critical role in the health of the lungs and respiratory system where it maintains the integrity of the tissues. Foods like lemon, oranges, strawberries, cherries, and apples are all good sources of Vitamin C. Fruits are usually ignored in cold weather but make it a point to eat at least 2 fruits a day and eat one citrus.

 Beta carotene

Beta carotene is shown to increase the number of immune cells and their activity. The easiest way to improve immunity is to eat all the green leafy vegetables which are abundantly available in winters. In addition red , orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are good sources of beta carotene. Carrots and Pumpkin are vegetables that will add this immune boosting nutrient.

 Vitamin E

Vitamin E is considered to be the most important nutrient for making immune cells more active. Vitamin E is also a potent antioxidant for the human body. By helping lower inflammation, it acts in making the immune cells more effective. Vitamin E is found in almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts and other nuts and seeds. It is also present in cold pressed oils of peanut and olive. Most of the cooking oils are fortified with Vitamin E.

 Antioxidants

Infections cause an increased oxidative stress on the body leading to the production of free radicals. Natural antioxidants protect the integrity of all cells, especially immune cells against the damaging action of free radicals. Most effective antioxidants form food that helps protect our system from the attack of viruses, bacterias and other infections are Vitamin C, E, beta carotene. Selenium, Zinc, copper, and iron are antioxidant minerals that also exhibit immune enhancing properties. Whole grains, legumes, dairy, fruits, and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants. Tea, especially green tea is a rich source of antioxidants. 

 Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps boost immunity especially adaptive immunity. Its role in COVID is well documented. Vitamin D is associated with overall health but its role in upper respiratory tract infections is well documented. Vitamin D can be found in salmon, canned tuna, egg yolks, and mushrooms. Your body can also synthesize vitamin D with just 13-15 minutes of sunshine three times a week

Garlic

Garlic has been used for centuries across cultures for its antiseptic, antibacterial and anti fungal properties. The compounds found in garlic have been seen to boost the immune system. This season crush or chop garlic and add it to your soups, curries or have it with hot water to give you an additional protection against infections. 

Water 

Winters is a time when the thirst prompt is low. Having adequate water and fluids is of utmost importance to keep the body fluids in balance and hence the immune factors mobile. In addition to water, warm soups, Khawa and green tea are good ways to increase fluid intake.

Zinc 

Zinc Is the crux of nutrition for our immune cells. It is needed for the development and functioning of the immune cells. This mineral is not made or stored in our body so it is important to consume it daily. Oysters, Crab, Chicken, mutton and beef all contain a good amount of zinc. Whole grains, nuts and seeds also provide zinc.

To keep up our immunity and stay protected from infections it is important to follow healthy living patterns of fresh healthy home made food, adequate physical activity and good sleep. 

 

Take care, take your vaccinations and mask up.

 

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