The immune system is a network of biological processes that protects an organism from diseases. It defends your body against invading pathogens like viruses, toxins and bacteria. So keeping your immune system healthy also helps in preventing infection and disease. There are certain Supplements to Strengthen your Immune System that we are going to cover in this article.
So how do we improve our immune system?
We can, by healthy lifestyle, consuming nutritious food and getting enough sleep.
But in addition to these, researches have found that if you include certain supplements into our diet it will even help in boosting your immunity.
But before taking these supplements one should make sure to take the prescription according to doctor as these supplements might work on some person with certain health issue and might not work with some other person.
These 5 supplements are as follow :
1. Vitamin C
It is most popular supplement taken to protect against infection due to its important role in immune health. It is one of the biggest immunity booster.
Lack of Vitamin C can make you prone to other infections. This vitamin supports the function of various immune cells and enhances their ability to protect against any infection. Daily intake of vitamin C is very necessary as your body doesn’t produce it or store it.
Vitamin C also work as a powerful antioxidant. It keeps our immune system healthy by clearing out old cells and replacing them with the new ones.
Vitamin C is found in almost all the food items such as : Oranges, bell peppers, spinach, kale, broccoli, strawberries and much more.
Supplementing this nutrient may help reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold.
The upper limit for Vitamin C is 2,000 mg. Daily doses are typically between 250mg to 1,000 mg.
2. Omega-3 Fatty acid
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat that your body cannot make on its own. Omega-3s are the nutrients you get from various supplements that help in building and maintaining a healthy body. They are responsible for the structure of every cell. They are also an energy source and keep our immunity system working the way it should.
Fish are the best food source of omega-3 fatty acid. However there are certain plants that contain omega-3 fatty acid.
There are 2 types of omega-3 fatty acid primarily found in fish
* EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid)
* DHA (Docosagexaenoic acid)
*AHA ( Alphalinolenic acid) another Omega-3 fatty acid is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds.
Researches shows omega-3 fatty acids can improve your cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin-D ( also referred to as “calciferol”) is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in a few foods and is available as a dietary supplements. A human body produces vitamin D as a response to sun exposure. A person can also boost their vitamin-D intake through certain foods and supplements.
Despite its name, vitamin-D is not a vitamin but a pro-hormone or precursor of a hormone.
Vitamins are nutrients that the body cannot create, but vitamin-D is produced by the body. It is essential for several reasons such as maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
Some foods that are high in Vitamin D are Egg yolks, Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat.
Vitamin D plays an important role in addition to its classic effects on calcium and bone homeostasis. As the vitamin-D receptor is expressed on immune cells i.e. B cells, T cells and antigen presenting cells, these immunological cells are capable of synthesizing the active vitamin D, thus booting the immunity.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is naturally present in some food and is available in certain dietary supplements. It is very essential nutrient and it is not produced or synthesized by your body and neither it can be stored in your body. For this reason, you must get a constant supply of zinc through your diet. Zinc aids growth, DNA synthesis, immune function and more.
Zinc plays a central role in the immune system, and zinc deficient persons experience increased susceptibility to infection. Zincs affects multiple aspects of immune system from the barrier of the skin to gene regulation within lymphocytes. Zinc also functions as an antioxidant and can stabilize membranes.
A review of seven studies demonstrated that 80-92 mg per day of zinc may reduce the length of the common cold by upto 33%. Moreover, zinc supplements reduce the risk of other infections and promotes immune response in older adults.
Zinc is found in abundance in foods like Whole Grains , Dairy , Eggs , Legumes , Shellfish , Meat.
It is necessary for immune cell function and cell signaling and a deficiency of zinc can lead to a weakened immune response. Hence, Zinc helps keeping your immune system strong.
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat – soluble vitamin with several forms but alpha-tocopherol is the only one used by the human body. It is found in many foods including vegetable oils, cereal, meal, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and wheat germ oil. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant which has the ability to modulate host immune functions.
Vitamin E improves immune function and prevents clots from forming heart arteries.
Because Vitamin E is found in variety of foods and supplements, its deficiency is very rare. However only people who have digestive disorders or do not absorb fat properly faces the deficiency of this nutrient.
Following are the signs of deficiency of Vitamin E
* Retinopathy (damage to the retina of the eyes that can impair vision)
* Peripheral neuropathy (damage to the peripheral nerves, usually in the hands or feet, causing weakness or pain)
* Ataxia (loss of control of body movements)
* Decreased immune function
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E for males and females ages 14 years and older is 15 mg daily (or 22 international units, IU), including women who are pregnant. Lactating women need slightly more at 19 mg (28 IU) daily.
Some foods that are high in Vitamin E are Wheat Germ Oil, Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Hazelnut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Avocado.
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