If your body is a machine, then food is its fuel. You want to make sure you’re getting high-quality food to keep things running smoothly. Proper nutrition is especially important when it comes to your immune system. These four vitamins can help boost your immunity.
Vitamin A is important for a healthy immune system. It’s also critical for vision and essential for proper functioning of the heart, lung, kidneys and other organs. You can get all the Vitamin A you need from food; it’s most prevalent in liver and fish oils, but you can also find Vitamin A in leafy greens, tomatoes, dairy products, carrots, broccoli, cantaloupe and squash — to name a few.
Your body needs Vitamin C to help the immune system do its job. Vitamin C also aids in healing wounds; forming scar tissue; repairing cartilage, bones and teeth; absorbing iron; and making skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it helps block damage caused by free radicals. It’s a pretty vital vitamin!
Vitamin D is vital to bone health; it helps your body absorb calcium. Recent studies have revealed that it’s also beneficial to the immune system. Vitamin D helps regulate immune responses in the body. A deficiency in Vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity and susceptibility to infection.
A potent antioxidant, Vitamin E has been found to help control immune function and maintain a healthy immune system, especially in older people. Almonds and sunflower seeds are excellent sources of Vitamin E.
Dietary Vitamins vs. Supplemental Vitamins
Most people can get all the essential nutrients and vitamins they need from a healthy, diverse diet that includes fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. If you feel you may not be getting enough vitamins from your diet, supplements can help. However, you’ll want to be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.