Vitamins are micronutrients the body needs to function, and since the body can’t produce vitamins, it gets them through what we eat. Some vitamins are especially skilled at supporting our immune systems and bolstering our defenses against harmful viruses and diseases. Here’s how they help:
Vitamin A helps produce white blood cells which reduce the chance of infection in the body. It’s a good thing this vitamin is present in both animal food sources such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, fish and plant food sources like sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach and tomatoes.
Vitamin B6 supplements the number of antibodies present in our system making it easier for our bodies to heal from infection because the part of the virus that lets it thrive, has been neutralised. There are a host of B vitamins and each play their own roles but vitamin B6 is one to pay attention to in times like these. It can be found in leafy greens like lettuce, fatty fish like salmon and whole grains.
Vitamin C is probably the one you are most familiar with because we hear often that citruses – because of their sweet juices – such as oranges and grapefruits are great sources. Vitamin C funnels interferon into the body allowing cells to raise their antiviral shields. Along with oranges and grapefruits, you’ll find the vitamin C you need in bell peppers, broccoli, lemons, papaya and strawberries.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant powerhouse that helps repair cellular or tissue damage in the body and allows the body to resist free radicals present in our environment that could potentially compromise our immune system. Only plant sources contain this vitamin, especially nuts and seeds so try all kinds but be careful about allergic reactions.
It’s important for us to point out that these vitamins only work to keep up our immunity when added consistently to our diet. Remember that food is just one step to a healthy body. Along with a healthy diet, exercise often, drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Let’s do this.