Here are 3 immune boosting vitamins that you should incorporate into your diet to keep you strong and healthy throughout the spring semester! For each vitamin I’ve included some quick facts/benefits and some great food sources.
Vitamin C rich foods: Citrus fruits ~ Red bell peppers ~ Papaya ~ Berries ~ Broccoli ~ Kale ~ Elderberry tea/supplement
- Water-soluble – dissolves in water and is easily absorbed and metabolized quickly
- It’s an essential vitamin – meaning your body can’t produce it and must be obtained through diet or supplement
- Powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system
- Protects cells from harmful free radicals, which are linked to chronic diseases
- Encourages the production of white blood cells – helps protect the body from infection
- Fights inflammation
Vitamin A rich foods: Carrots ~ Sweet potato ~ Spinach ~ Broccoli ~ Red bell peppers
- Fat-soluble – stored in your body (too much can lead to toxic levels)
- Two forms: preformed Vitamin A (active form found in animal products) & provitamin A (inactive form found in plants)
- Preserves eyesight – converts light into an electrical signal sent to the brain
- Plays a role in maintaining your bodies natural mucous barriers in the eyes, lungs and gut – traps bacteria
- Involved in production and function of white blood cells which clear out pathogens from the blood stream
Vitamin D (aka the Sunshine Vitamin) food sources: Fish ~ Egg yolk ~ Mushrooms ~ Fortified foods (milk, yogurt, cereal & oatmeal)
- Fat-soluble – stored in the fat tissue
- Regulates amounts of calcium and phosphate in the body – nutrients needed to keep bone, teeth and muscles healthy
- Supports immune, brain and nervous system health
- Supports lung function and cardiovascular health
This is just a brief list of benefits and sources to give you a gist of each vitamin. I’m sure there are plenty more benefits and sources that could be added along with other vitamins that are amazing immune boosters. Some honorable mentions – Vitamin E, Vitamin B & Zinc.
Its important to have good variety in your diet… and I’m definately not always the best at this. I have a tendency to just eat the same foods everyday. Consider adding some of these foods to your normal diet. Especially right now with COVID-19 its important that we keep our bodies’ defenses strong!