Having a healthy immune system has always been important, but in the year 2020 it has come to the forefront in everyone’s mind. We can get most of the essential immune boosting vitamins through our diet but sometimes we might need a little extra help.
In this article, we will explain the top five vitamins needed to help ward off infections, colds, flus and disease.
Your immune system is a connection of organs, cells and proteins throughout your body. It’s not just one system.
This complex network defends the body against infection. The immune system keeps a record of every germ (microbe) it has ever defeated so it can recognize and destroy that microbe quickly if it enters the body again. The body is pretty amazing and when we fuel it correctly all systems should work together. Proper nutrition, exercise and sleep are key in helping create this healthy system.
We don’t think you will be surprised when we say that 70% of the key cells in this system are in your gut. (you know how we are HUGE gut health followers) Once again, true health begins in the digestive tract.
Number 1 on our list is the PROBIOTIC: Probiotics are measured in Colony Forming Units (CFU) from our food we should get from 1,000-100 million CFU daily. When taking a supplement a dose of 1-50 billion will be absorbed.
Probiotics are millions to trillions strains of healthy bacteria needed in your gut. Having a clean diet, limiting processed foods and eating mostly from the fridge is the right direction to go.
Any food that has been fermented will have some strains of probiotic. For example Apple Cider Vinegar (this is also a prebiotic) fermented sauerkraut (1 tablespoon will have 10 million to 10 billion CFU, 2 tablespoons a day will do the trick), kimchi, Kefir, Kombucha (has 5000-500,000 per milliliter), dark chocolate (70% cacao) – (also a prebiotic), tempeh, pickles, olives and miso.
Sometimes we need a concentrated form in a capsule. Just make sure the brand you choose is high quality and has Lactobacillus. This one is a major strain for your gut. We like brands like Symbiotic 360 and RENew life Ultimate Flora (50 billion)
Number 2 on our list is Zinc: Females need 8 mg and Males need 11 mg – Too much can cause stomach issues to be careful.
This is very important to reduce inflammation and plays a big part in the communication between cells. Zinc helps aid in digestion, helps nerve function and your metabolism. It’s also one of the top for brain function. It has the ability to repair cells and is so easy to get through diet.
Here are some clean foods to get your zinc: Beef (1 patty has the full 8mg), crab, oysters, beans (1 cup has 2.9 mg), pumpkin seeds, cashews, chickpeas (1 cup has 2.6 mg) and this list goes on. So you can see how easy it is to get in your daily dose of zinc. You don’t want to ingest too much zinc because it can cause stomach problems, like cramps and nausea.
Number 3 on our list is Vitamin C: The RDA says women need 75 mg and men need 90 mg per day. Your body will only use what it needs, meaning it is a water soluble vitamin and excess is removed from your body through urine.
Vitamin C is one of the most well known in fighting off a cold. It is full of antioxidants. Protects the cells from harmful molecules and free radicals that cause illness and disease. It is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It forms an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
Foods that have higher levels of vitamin C, (besides the orange): red peppers (95 mg in ½ cup), kiwi, strawberries, broccoli (50 mg ½ cup), tomato (20 mg in 1 medium), cauliflower (40 mg 1 cup), brussel sprouts (50 mg 1/2c cooked), grapefruit juice (70-95 mg in 6 ounces).
You will begin to notice that it’s not hard to get your daily dose when you eat clean.
Number 4 on our list is Vitamin D3: We need at least 600 IU a day but taking a supplement of 1,000-2,000 IU daily will assure the right amount of absorption. This is a fat soluble vitamin so it builds up in your system.