Top 5 vitamins and minerals for strong immunity
The weather in Mumbai is playing games. It is cold on some days and on other days, quite humid. This kind of weather brings with it many illnesses and you are seeing many people falling sick.
You can’t do anything about the weather but you can surely boost your immunity to fight the disease-causing germs. You all know that home cooked food is the best and fruits and vegetables boost immunity. So I am not going there. Rather today I will talk about the vitamins and minerals which are essential for a robust immune system. And of course, the sources too.
Here are the top 5 vitamins and minerals essential for boosting immunity:
This vitamin is something that you all know about. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which boosts immunity and prevents oxidative damage to the cells.
Sources: gooseberries, citrus fruits, guava, peppers, papaya, tomatoes and kiwi in your diet for vitamin C.
Beta-carotene gets converted to vitamin A, which is essential for normal growth and development, immune system function, healthy skin and vision.Beta-carotene, like all carotenoids, is an antioxidant. It inhibits the oxidation of other molecules and protects the body from free radicals. A high oxidative stress may lead to the development of cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation and cancer.
Sources: Carrots, papaya, broccoli, sweet potato, spinach and kale.
Vitamin E is another strong antioxidant which boosts immunity. Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells, those that seek out and destroy germ and cancer cells. Apart from protecting free radical damage, vitamin E also repairs the damaged cells.
Sources: Avocado, papaya, sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, mustard greens and olives.
Zinc is a mineral that’s important to the body in many ways. Apart from fighting cold and flu, zinc helps in keeping every cell in your body healthy. Zinc helps in the production of white blood cells which fight infection. Zinc keeps the immune system strong, helps heal wounds, and supports normal growth.
Sources: Oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, chickpeas, nuts, whole grains, crabs, lobster, fortified cereals and dairy products.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. In spite of this, there are magnesium deficiencies due to the high intake of processed food. Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and every organ depends on it. Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system and keeps bones strong.
Sources: Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, beans, spinach, broccoli, brown rice, peanuts and whole wheat.
Apart from these, a healthy diet providing the whole spectrum of nutrients will go a long way in keeping your immunity strong.
Stay healthy, stay happy!