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Know The Vitamins That Boost Immune System

It's flu season again, so most people get a flu shot and strive to stay healthy. But there are certain foods or supplements that boost the immune system and help with that "staying healthy" goal. So know the vitamins that boost your immune system.

Vitamins (vital amines) are organic compounds that are required in trace amounts in the diet because they cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities by an organism. Vitamins and their metabolites are essential for a large number of physiological processes, fulfilling diverse functions as hormones and antioxidants, as regulators of tissue growth and differentiation, in embryonic development and in calcium metabolism, among others. The involvement of vitamins in the immune system includes both innate and adaptive immunological responses. Although certain vitamins, such as vitamins C and E and members of the B complex, might impact the immune response in a rather broad manner (for example, as antioxidants), others, such as vitamins A and D, can influence the immunological response in extremely specific ways.

“A vitamin is a substance that makes you ill if you don’t eat it.” (Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1937).

Vitamins are crucial dietary components that have been recognised to affect the immune system for a very long time. In recent years, vitamin A and vitamin D have garnered a great deal of interest due to the discovery that they have an unexpected and significant influence on the immune response.

1. Vitamin C

You may already be aware of the benefits of vitamin C or ascorbic acid for your immune system and for reducing the length of that annoying common cold, but this powerful nutrient has many other uses as well. Keeping your skin's protective barrier intact is a key component of a healthy immune system, and vitamin C plays an important role in this process.

In addition to being a potent antioxidant, it helps decrease inflammation in the body, making us healthier and less prone to illness.

The recommended daily dose of ascorbic acid in a day is 75-90mg. Citrus fruits have the highest concentration of ascorbic acid. A medium size orange contains nearly 70mg of vitamin C. One bell pepper, contains nearly 65mg, 100g of broccoli provides more than 89mg.

2. B Vitamins

B vitamins are necessary for the survival of every living thing on Earth, from microbes to people. There are eight distinct forms of B vitamins, and they all play important roles in metabolism and regulation. To put it plainly, humans really can not move, think, or grow and repair any tissues in the body if not for B vitamins.

These nutrients are critical for maintaining a healthy immune system. Deficits in folic acid (B9) and vitamin B12 can significantly alter immunological responses by influencing white blood cell formation and function. And they can cause hyperhomocysteinemia, which in turn can set off systemic inflammation and a host of other disorders. Lower levels of B6 are associated with impaired immunological function.

It's simple to obtain enough B vitamins from food alone because many common meals already contain them. The easiest way to ensure you're getting enough B vitamins is to eat a varied diet. This will help you make sure you're receiving enough of each kind.

You can find vitamin B in:

  • milk

  • cheese

  • eggs

  • liver and kidney

  • meat, such as chicken and red meat

  • fish, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon

  • shellfish, such as oysters and clams

  • dark green vegetables, such as spinach and kale

  • vegetables, such as beets, avocados, and potatoes

  • whole grains and cereals

  • beans, such as kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas

  • nuts and seeds

  • fruits, such as citrus, banana, and watermelon

  • soy products, such as soy milk and tempeh