• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Here Are 8 Supplements to Enhance Your Immunity

Foods with vitamins

Everyone is more than happy to have a healthy immune system. Our immune system protects us against an array of pathogens. Diet, exercises, managing stress levels, and eating healthy foods help have better immunity. Besides some supplements can help enhance your immunity.

Here are 8 supplements that help boost our immune system. A balanced combination of vitamins and minerals are necessary for a healthy immune system. It is ideal to have these from the foods we consume. If you are deficient in it, you can take supplements.

8 Supplements That Enhance Immunity

Following are some supplements that are proven to enhance your immunity.

  1. Vitamin A

  2. B complex vitamins

  3. Vitamin C

  4. Vitamin D

  5. Vitamin E

  6. Zinc

  7. Folic acid

  8. Selenium

1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A to enhance immunity

Sources

To get an ample amount of vitamin A, choose colorful foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe, and squash that are rich in carotenoids.

Functions

Our body can convert these carotenoids into vitamin A. Vitamin A has an antioxidant effect that helps the immune system to defend against infections. Vitamin A is also referred to as anti-inflammation vitamin. This vitamin is essential for both cellular and humoral immune responses.

Recommended Doses

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin A for children is 1665 IU.

2. B Complex Vitamins

Sources

Green vegetables, chickpea, salmon, and tuna

Functions

For healthy immunity, vitamins B6 and B12 are considered to be important. Most adults are deficient in them which affects the immune system. Vitamin B6 supports biochemical reactions in the immune system.

3. Vitamin C

Sources

Vitamin C is not only seen in citrus fruits but also green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, bell peppers, Brussels, sprouts, and papaya. You can take vitamin C supplements if you are unable to get vitamin C from foods.

Functions

Vitamin C helps protect against infections. It is essential for cell death which helps clear old cells with new ones. It is also an antioxidant that protects our body against free radicals. Vitamin C supplementation can help reduce the risk of upper respiratory infections including the common cold.

Recommended doses

The upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 mg. Supplemental daily doses typically range between 250 and 1,000 mg.

4. Vitamin D

Sources

Vitamin D is seen in fatty fish, and fortified foods like milk, orange juice, and cereals.

Functions

Vitamin D is known to enhance the pathogen-fighting effects of monocytes and macrophages. It also helps decrease inflammation. Most people are deficient in vitamin D and may require vitamin D supplements. The low levels of vitamin D are associated with upper respiratory tract infections, influenza, and allergic asthma. Supplementation of vitamin D help reduce the risk of respiratory infections and also improve response to antiviral treatments.

Recommended Dosage

The dose may vary depending on the levels in the blood. 1000-4000 IU of supplemental vitamin D per day. Serious forms of deficiencies may require higher doses.

5. Vitamin E

Sources

Spinach, broccoli, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds contain vitamin E.

Functions

This vitamin is essential for almost 200 biochemical reactions in your body. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights against free radicals.

6. Zinc

Sources

Zinc is found in oysters, crab, lean meats, and poultry.

Functions

Zinc is essential for an immune system function. It is essential for immune cell development and helps control inflammation. Zinc deficiency puts you at an increased risk of infections and diseases like pneumonia. Nearly 30% of adults are deficient in zinc. Supplemental zinc can help reduce the duration of the common cold.

7. Folic Acid

Sources

Folic acid is the synthetic form added to foods to increase the health benefits. To get the natural form of folate, add beans, peas, and green leafy vegetables. Folic acid is also found in fortified foods like enriched bread, pastas, rice, and 100% whole-grain products.

Functions

Folate is essential for DNA, RNA synthesis, and helps in DNA repair.

Doses

400mcg of folic acid is required per day.

8. Selenium

Sources

Garlic, broccoli, sardines, tuna, brazil nuts, and barley.

Functions

Selenium is thought to protect our body against certain aggressive forms of cancer. Studies from animal models show that selenium supplements may enhance antiviral defense against influenza strains, including H1N1.

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