Nutrients that help strengthen the immune system

Nutrients that help strengthen the immune system

Health

As flu season is here, the Center for disease control and prevention has designed a new vaccine to protect from four types of viruses. As individuals age their immunity system gets weak, and hence they have to take stronger shots to stay away from the flu.

There are specific nutrients which when consumed in adequate quantities boost immunity. Protein is one of the most critical nutrients that need to be consumed regularly not just to boost immunity but to stay fit. Several experts suggest each meal should contain some amount of protein instead of consuming all at one go. There are multiple sources of protein both animal and plant-based, such as milk, yogurt, egg, fish, meat. Vitamin A is critical for the skin, lungs and digestive tract. Sweet potatoes, carrots, egg yolk, red peppers contain vitamin A in large quantities. Also, ready to eat packaged foods that are fortified with vitamin A could be consumed if daily requirement is not met. Vitamin C promotes formation of antibodies that catch toxins that could seriously affect our health. The human body is incapable of storing much vitamin C; hence we need to consume oranges, grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, etc. daily. Vitamin E is available abundantly in whole grains and fortified cereals, dry fruits, etc.

Zinc is beneficial in wound healing and maintaining the immune system. Care should be taken while taking zinc supplements is that if consumed in excess could result in weakening the immune system. Zinc is present in milk, meat, seafood, whole grains, dry fruits, seeds, etc. Probiotics are very well known to maintain effective immune system. The good bacteria found in yogurt and kefir are getting famous as immunity enhancers. Several companies also offer probiotic supplements for a long time. So, in addition to taking flu shots we could enhance our immunity by incorporating these foods into our diet.

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