When it comes to the health of our immune systems, certain vitamins and minerals are simply superior to others. In turn because of this, some food choices we make are going to benefit us in a multitude of ways, where some foods will be no help at all.
Here are three important vitamins you need to get from your diet that will help you prevent illness and to maintain good overall health.
Vitamin C is arguably the best thing you can consume to improve your immune function. In fact, a lack of vitamin C leads to illnesses and diseases which affect connective tissue. This is why pirates would bring plenty of lemons and limes on their long voyages, they were packed with vitamin C which prevents diseases pirates were especially prone to, like scurvy.
There are a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin C, making this nutrient a relatively easy one to procure. Foods like bell peppers, oranges, lemons, limes, strawberries, spinach, kale and broccoli.
Even though Vitamin C is pretty easy to come by, it is still important to remember that we are getting enough of it. Vitamin C is not produced or stored by the body(it is water soluble) so we must be constantly supplying our body with an adequate amount to ensure that our immune health is performing at its best.
Vitamin B6 is essential when it comes to enabling certain biochemical reactions that take place regarding our immune system. Without Vitamin B6, our bodies will not be able to carry out these processes which will compromise our immune system.
Vitamin B6 is another vitamin we must get from our diets in order for our bodies to have a sufficient supply. Good sources of Vitamin B6 are fatty oils found in fish like tuna or salmon. Dark leafy green vegetables, non citrus fruits and organ meats are also great sources for Vitamin B6 as well.
Vitamin E is important to immune function because it is a strong antioxidant which is used to help fight off infection. Just like the prior two vitamins listed, we have to get Vitamin E from our diets as well. Foods like nuts, seeds and dark leafy greens are good sources of Vitamin E.
Trying to keep mental notes of all of these food types and what vitamins they contain can be confusing and tiring. When it comes down to it, generally speaking the more colorful and dark a fruit or vegetable is, the better it is for you.
For example if we take a look at two similar food items within the same food group like iceburg lettuce and spinach, we see a huge difference. Iceburg lettuce is usually a light green to a white color, which is an indication that it isn’t too nutrient rich. Spinach on the other hand is another leafy green which is much darker leading us to believe that it is more nutrient rich than the iceburg lettuce.
Based on this assumption alone we would be correct. This same idea applies to almost every other food item out there with the rare exceptions like in the case of couliflower . Your best bet is to pick food items with the most vivid dark colors if you are unsure of what to buy.
Sometimes these food choices are simply not available to us, or we don’t have the means or time to properly prepare them. If this is the case for you, you may want to use a vitamin supplement to make up the difference in what you are missing from your diet.
Getting the proper vitamins and minerals from your diet is preferable to supplements however, simply because of how your body is able to easily absorb the nutrients obtains from the diet as opposed from a supplement.
Because of this, it is difficult to accurately account for how much of these vitamins and minerals your body is actually absorbing and using from said supplement. This in turn leads some people to take more of the supplement that is recommended, which can result in negative health consequences itself.
Staying hydrated is another important consideration as well, and can greatly impact our immune health. Try to drink plenty of water while at the same time avoiding too many diuretics which cause both fluid and nutrient loss through urination.