Fight Infection The Natural Way
Proper nutrition is essential for boosting the immune system and fighting infection. While the best way to get the proper nutrients is through a healthy diet, supplements can also play a key role in immune health. To stay healthy this winter, ask the pharmacist about these 5 immune-boosting supplements.
1. Vitamin C
This vitamin has a reputation for being the immune system nutrient. Vitamin C can help increase the body’s production of white blood cells, which are the body’s first defense against infection. Eat plenty of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, or limes. Most people need 75-90mg of vitamin C daily, so if the daily diet isn’t yielding enough, ask the pharmacist about a supplement.
2. Vitamin D
Also called the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is increasingly recognized as a crucial immune-boosting nutrient. The body makes vitamin D in response to sun exposure and the nutrient is also found in salmon, tuna, and fortified foods such as milk or cereal. Many people don’t get enough vitamin D in natural forms. Ask the pharmacist if a vitamin D supplement is the right move.
3. Vitamin E
Recent research has shown that vitamin E is critical for immune function, especially in seniors. Taking up to 200IU daily can increase immune health and lower people’s risk of getting upper respiratory infections, such as a sinus infection or the common cold. Vitamin E is found naturally in certain high-fat foods such as peanut butter, almonds, or sunflower oil.
Many people think of garlic as a flavor-enhancer when cooking. But garlic is an essential natural remedy for fighting infection. Some research even shows that garlic lowers blood pressure and slows down artery hardening. People who don’t like the taste of garlic or don’t eat much of the ingredient may want to take a garlic supplement for an immune-boosting bonus.
This nutrient doesn’t always have a reputation for helping fight infection, but zinc is just as important as vitamins C and D. Zinc helps the body’s cells function as designed. Certain types of shellfish, such as oysters, crabs, or lobster, are high in zinc. But many people don’t eat a large amount of these foods, especially vegetarians. If zinc levels are low, a pharmacist may recommend a supplement.
Eat your way to a better immune system
The key to a healthier body and boosted immune system is overall good health habits. Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, and sleep 7-8 hours a night. Supplements are meant to be just that: a supplement to a healthy lifestyle. For more information about supplements and immune-boosting tricks, speak with a pharmacist or other healthcare provider.