The immune system is one of the most important parts of the human anatomy. Your immune system is your body’s defense against infection and illness. It recognizes the cells that make up your body, and will try to get rid of anything unfamiliar. It destroys germs (bacteria and viruses) and parasites. Many people suffer from poor immune system function, and this can stem from nutrient deficiencies.
Top 5 Immune System boosting Nutrients
To ensure a healthy immune system these nutrients are essential:
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids – When your body comes in contact with a germ, your white blood cells go to work and attempt to destroy it. Studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids act like stimulants to white blood cells, increasing their activity rates. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are inflammation fighter and may help the immune system reduce irritation when illnesses and injuries occur. Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish, flax seed, walnuts and soybeans.
2. Beta-Carotene – A type of A vitamin, beta-carotene is needed to manufacture the cells in your body that act as killers, targeting and destroying germs. In addition, beta-carotene is an antioxidant and supports the immune system by lessening the oxidizing effects of free radicals. Orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes and leafy green veggies like kale and collard greens are rich in beta-carotene.
3. Vitamin C – Studies have found that vitamin C assists the immune system in several ways. It is needed to produce white blood cells and functions as an antioxidant. In addition, it is used to make interferon, a substance that forms a protective coating over body cells to keep viruses from getting inside and infecting them. Dietary sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, all colors of bell peppers, leafy green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.
4. Vitamin E – Another antioxidant nutrient, vitamin E is needed to produce many different types of immune system cells, including those that fight cancer and bacteria. Vitamin E is very easily found as it is found in many different types of foods, including seeds, nuts, broccoli, mango, tomato, kiwi and spinach.
5. Vitamin D – Although we most often associate vitamin D with bone health, this vitamin is found in many of the immune system cells and is required for the immune system to function properly. Studies have found that vitamin D deficiency puts people at an increased risk for autoimmune diseases, conditions in which the immune system malfunctions and attacks healthy body cells. Vitamin D is mainly produced by the human body in response to sunlight, but it is found in small amounts in some foods, including cod liver oil, salmon, tuna fish, beef and calf liver and egg yolks. Many dairy products are also enriched with vitamin D.
Some more proven ways to boost your immune system can be found here