Foods Essential for Strong Immune System

Wish to fend off that sickness that is proliferating around your child’s school or the office? Other than good hygiene practicing, give the immune system a boost is a must.

Our diet plays a critical role in strengthening our immune system. Unfortunately, many of us don’t consume sufficient vegetables, fresh fruits and other foods that we require to keep ourselves healthy year-long. A genuine robust immune system counts on a balanced mixture of minerals and vitamins over time, in addition of sufficient sleep, plenty of water and regular exercise.

It is best to get our minerals and vitamins from our food rather than in tablet supplements. Here are some useful information for obtaining the vital vitamins needed by our immune system to operate optimally.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is abundance in various types of food sources. Citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach, sprouts, kiwi fruits, papaya and bell peppers are fantastic sources of Vitamin C. Supplements are usually not required for most people if fresh vegetables and fruits are consumed regularly.

Vitamin E
Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that assists your body to fend off infection. Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are all good sources of vitamin E. Broccoli and spinach are vitamin E rich too if you like to increase your intake through meals.

Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6, regulating close to 200 biochemical reactions in your body — is crucial for proper immune system functions. Good sources of vitamin B6 include lean chicken breast, bananas, potatoes, chickpeas, and cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna.

Vitamin A
Orangey colored foods such as cantaloupe, pumpkin, squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes are all good source of Vitamin A. A compounds called carotenoids in these foods are turned into Vitamin A by your body. Vitamin A not only strengthen your immune system but also crucial for the health of your eyes.

Vitamin D
Fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna) and fortified foods(orange juice, cereals, and milk) are vitamin D rich. However, many people can not absorb sufficient Vitamin D from food. If you fall into this category, supplement for Vitamin D may be required. Exposure to sunlight daily for at least 10-15 minutes is helpful for Vitamin D production too.

Folate/folic acid
The difference between folate and folic acid is that folate comes naturally while folic acid is the synthetic form. Leafy green vegetables, beans, and peas are folate-rich. Folic acid can be found in fortified foods such as enriched pasta, bread, rice and other grain products.

Iron is key in getting oxygen to cells. Iron from lean poultry such as turkey and chicken, plus seafood are more easily absorbed by human body. But beans, kale, and broccoli are excellent alternatives for vegetarians.

Selenium, with the ability to moderate the body’s overactive responses to certain intrusive forms of cancer, is part of the zigzag puzzle to build a strong immune system. Broccoli, garlic, tuna, sardines, barley and brazil nuts are rich in selenium.

Zinc, anti-inflammatory and slow down the immune response. Zinc-rich foods include oysters and crabs, poultry and lean meats, chickpeas and baked beans.