We know that no one likes to get sick, so knowing how vitamins and other factors may boost your immune system can be helpful. Especially during the time of COVID-19, keeping yourself healthy is important!
At Utah Family Pharmacy in Hurricane, Utah (and other locations), we offer personalized vitamin packages. Helping to help you boost your immune system!
What is Your Immune System?
Made up of a network of cells, organs, proteins and antibodies, your immune system works to protect you and your body. Fighting against bacteria, viruses and even parasites. Most usually believe that when we become sick is the only time our immune system is working.
This is incorrect! As our immune systems are working every single day, all day to protect our bodies and our health.
How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy
Made up together of individual parts, your immune system works together with one end goal: to protect you from infection!
Though it is so complex, sometimes even scientists haven’t fully comprehended how everything works the way it does. One thing they do know, is that a healthy lifestyle and incorporating the correct vitamins are important.
Not only does this help support the function of each part of the immune system, things such as vitamins can even boost your immune system.
Top Ways to Support Your Immune System:
- Eat a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruit/veggies, cutting your intake of processed foods.
- Maintain a healthy sleep schedule.
- Exercise regularly!
- Maintain a healthy weight for your body type.
- Reduce stress when possible.
- Take daily vitamins! (Utah Family Pharmacy offers them free, including prenatal).
- Follow good hygiene practices, take care of your body outside too!
- Cut your nails! (it may sound like a strange one, but longer fingernails can become a breeding ground for germs).
- Avoid smoking/using tobacco.
- Limit your alcohol intake when possible.
If you are sick, help stop the spread of germs by:
- Coughing and sneezing into a tissue, away from other people.
- Don’t reuse tissues, always have clean ones and properly dispose of used tissues.
- Don’t go into work (and avoid public places, if you can).
- Regularly clean high touch surfaces around your home/vehicle, etc.
- Wash your hands regularly! With warm water and soap.
The Best Vitamins and Minerals to Boost Your Immune System
Vitamins and minerals actively help support the immune system. Though there are a few key ones that seem to support it the most.
Along with eating healthy, including lots of fruit and vegetables in your daily intake. Ensuring your body is getting all of the nutrients it needs.
Following are a list of vitamins that can boost your immune system:
Vitamin A – this supports the normal functioning of the immune system as it’s thought to help develop a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies. Some sources of vitamin A include eggs, dark green leafy vegetables and cod liver oil.
Vitamin C – this can help support cellular functions needed by the immune system. Oranges, orange juice, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries and red/green peppers are your best source.
Vitamin D – this will help to keep your immune system strong, with the ability to fight off infections quickly. As most vitamin D is received from sunlight, the UK Government recommends a daily supplement between October and March.
Zinc – this contributes to the normal function of the immune system and can be found in seafood, red meat, chickpeas, eggs, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Be careful not to consume more than the recommended daily allowance, which is 25mg.
Vitamins in Food that may Boost Your Immune System
Along with eating a healthy diet, it’s important to make sure what you’re eating contains all of the proper nutrients your body needs.
Here is a list of foods that can give you extra vitamins your immune system may need:
Citrus fruits – are great for vitamin C, which can help to fight off infections. Vitamin C can’t be stored by your body, so you need to try and incorporate foods that are rich in vitamin C every day. Try oranges, lemons and limes.
Watermelon – these contain citrulline, which helps keep your heart healthy, and they’re rich in vitamins A, C and B6 too. Their red flesh supplies your body with lycopene, which helps keep your immune system balanced.
Broccoli – when it comes to choosing your five-a-day, make sure broccoli becomes a firm favourite as it’s bursting with nutrients like vitamins A, C and E and contains choline which is good for your gut. Instead of cooking your broccoli, try to eat it raw if you can, as it’s more nutritious this way. Similar vegetables that are classed as super foods when it comes to your immune system include sprouts, kale and cauliflower.
Chicken – zinc is needed for white blood cell production so your body can fight off infection and for healthy skin, hair and nails. Zinc can be found in seafood (like oysters), eggs, chickpeas, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and cashew nuts, so eat these more regularly.
Garlic – raw garlic is brilliant at giving your body’s immune system a helping hand. It has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, helping you ward off illness and recover quicker. Raw garlic can increase the number of t-cells in your blood, which in turn fight viruses. Crush or slice garlic cloves and add to salad dressings as garlic’s health powers are best when it’s raw.
Yogurt – instead of pouring milk on your cereal in the morning, why not add a dollop of yoghurt instead? You need to choose a yoghurt that contains live cultures or ‘friendly bacteria’ as these help your immune system fight against bad bacteria in the gut. They can also encourage your body to produce more white blood cells.
Mushrooms – these are an interesting food ingredient, because – just like us – they synthesise Vitamin D when they are exposed to UV light. You should therefore choose wild mushrooms or mushrooms grown in UV light. They are the only plant source of vitamin D, which supports your immune system.
Bell peppers – these contain lots of vitamin A, which can help repair your body’s mucosal barriers (easily damaged by infection).
Chillies – fresh red and green chillies are incredible health boosters. They contain lots of vitamin A and C (nutrients which can support the immune system) and capsaicin which can help clear congestion and phlegm.
When you go shopping, the easiest way is to pick a wide range of fruits and vegetables, is to pick some that are all different colors. Not only will your plate look more appealing, but you’ll be ensuring you’re getting all your immune-supporting nutrients.
Exercise to Boost Your Immune System
It’s widely known that exercise improves fitness and health levels. Even just the overall feeling of wellbeing. There are also scientific thoughts that exercising even moderately, but regularly may boost your immune system.
Some recommended moderate exercises include:
- Walking 20-30 minutes every day
- Going to the gym 3-4 times a week
- Enjoying a game of golf regularly
Exercise should always be included as part of a healthy lifestyle. Consult your healthcare professional before changing your current activity levels.
Boosting Your Immune System at Every Age
Everyone has an immune system, but not everyone is born with the same healthy one that functions normally.
Some babies and children can become prone to easily becoming sick. Especially after starting in some type of school, or daycare.
Supporting your immune system and your childs, from the womb, to after birth is so important. We seriously can’t recommend it enough!
After ensuring correct vitamins to boost your immune system, the work is never done! A healthy diet, regular exercise, good personal hygiene and healthy sleeping habits all help support a child’s immune system as well.
Throughout our life, our immune system changes. When you grow older, your immune system naturally declines. Meaning you’re more susceptible to getting sick, or receiving infections.
Having proper nutrition, vitamins to boost your immune system, and even some very moderate levels of exercise become even more important in elderly patients. Ensuring that their immune system stays in great condition.
Get Vitamins From Utah Family Pharmacy
A healthy diet and exercise alone won’t provide all of the needed vitamins and minerals for the health of a developing baby. With free local delivery at Utah Family Pharmacy, you can now have easy access to the prenatal vitamins you need. With options for delivery right to your door, or through the mail for free.