Your immune system is like a defense network of your body. It protects it against foreign substances and doesn’t let them harm or enter your body in any way. Whenever your immune system stops working properly, you get ill. To ensure that you maintain your health, it is absolutely important that you try to keep your immune system strong. There are more ways than one to boost your immune system. Maintaining a healthy diet and eating certain foods rich in vitamins is naturally one of the most effective.
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Vitamins help the immune system function properly
Different types of vitamins play different roles. Some of them help in the healing of wounds, while some others are essential for growth and development. Similarly, a few of the vitamins present in your body help your immune system function properly. Following are some of the vitamins that help your immune system fight off infections.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a type of water-soluble vitamin that carries out numerous functions in the human body. This vitamin should be taken in regularly as a part of a healthy diet because your body doesn’t produce or store it. There are a wide number of foods that are rich in vitamin C.
One of the essential roles of vitamin C is to boost your immunity. As vitamin C is a major source in the production of phagocytes and lymphocytes (types of white blood cells), it encourages the body’s defense mechanism against viruses. Also, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and strengthens the skin’s barriers by preventing the entry of harmful infections.
Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C considerably reduces the risk of chronic and heart diseases, helps lower blood pressure and aids in preventing the deficiency of iron in your body.
Some day-to-day sources of vitamin C include broccoli, strawberries, citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, spinach, brussels sprouts, kale, potatoes, peppers, blackcurrants, cantaloupe, pineapple, kiwi, watermelon, tomatoes, mangoes and cauliflowers etc.
2. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins. The lack of this organic compound can greatly affect your health as it plays multiple roles in the body’s development and growth. It also helps to maintain sharp vision and a stronger immune system.
If you wish for your immune system to operate at its best, you must intake adequate amounts of vitamin A in your diet. A good supply of vitamin A can fight against diseases and many infections too. Vitamin A is also involved in the production and function of white blood cells. Not only that, but it prevents bacteria from entering your body by barriers like mucus. If there is a lack of vitamin A in your body, you are more prone to diseases and delayed recovery.
Other functions of vitamin A include preserving eyesight, sustaining vision in dim light, maintaining strong teeth, supporting cell development and encouraging growth. Hence, a lack of vitamin A can be the cause of serious complications and should not by any means be taken in insufficient amounts.
There are many foods rich in vitamin A. These include eggs, yogurt, milk, cheese, cod liver oil, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, papayas, mangoes, liver, pumpkin, fish and apricots etc.
3. Vitamin E
Another vitamin that helps to get rid of unwanted diseases, infections or bacteria is vitamin E. This is a fat-soluble compound that boosts your immune system and fights off various infections. Vitamin E deficiency in humans is very unheard of.
Vitamin supplements can also increase immune system function and have been as effective in enhancing immunity and inflammatory responses as when taken in through food.
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, too, as it helps to protect cells from harm and encourages the production of red blood cells alongside the widening of blood vessels, preventing the clotting of blood and the proper functioning of the immune system too. Vitamin E is also used by the cells to interact with each other so that they can carry out their respective functions.
It is a known fact that to fight off diseases and infections easily, a body’s immune system should be strong and healthy. These vitamins are the key to better functioning of the immune system as long as a balanced diet is taken into consideration. A balanced diet over time, a sufficient intake of vitamins, and healthy lifestyle practices are all equally important factors to strengthen one’s immune system.