Protect your immune system all year round with these 3 ingredients

Help support your immune system all year round with these 3 ingredients

In uncertain times, it’s important to take control of what we can.

That’s why many of us have been rethinking our approaches to maintaining a healthy immune system. We ask ourselves:

  • Does our current diet cut the mustard?
  • Are we sleeping and exercising enough?
  • How can we supplement what we’re already doing?

Let’s take a quick look at how we can use well-known vitamins and minerals to boost our immune health year-round.

What are some key ingredients that support your immune system?

A healthy diet, good sleep, normal stress levels and regular exercise are the foundation of well-being. Each one contributes to a healthy immune system.

But optimising diet, exercise, sleep and stress each day can be tricky, especially when you’re busy, or life gets unpredictable. And if you don’t get enough micronutrients—like zinc, and vitamins C and D—this could impede your immune system response.1

What’s more, recent studies show that when the human body is more physically stressed, your daily intake of key micronutrients may need to be higher than normally recommended.2

Let’s take a look at these key micronutrients in turn.

Vitamin C

The vital role of Vitamin C in immune health has been known for centuries.1

Since that time, research has uncovered that Vitamin C can:

  • keep skin, bones and connective tissue healthy
  • help heal wounds help prevent infections
  • help you absorb iron from your food

Vitamin C deficiency increases the frequency and severity of the common cold and flu.1

Did you know that your skin is part of your immune system?

Your skin is a barrier that stops bugs and germs from entering your body. There are even microorganisms on your skin that can attack and kill invading viruses and bacteria.

 

Vitamin D

Sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is most well-known for supporting bone health and immune function.

Scientific studies have shown that vitamin D acts on the body’s immune cells (white blood cells). Vitamin D can alter their behaviour, so that the immune response is stronger. 1

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral we need to support many functions of our bodies. Zinc helps to:

  • support the skin’s physical barrier
  • support proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cells
  • maintain skin barrier
  • produce new cells
  • protect cells and tissues
  • kill microbes
  • support a general immune response
  • produce antibodies.

Zinc deficiencies can lead to more frequent bacterial and viral infections.1

Ways to include immune boosters on a daily basis

Here’s where you can get these micronutrients, naturally:

  • Vitamin C can be found in foods like citrus fruit, berries, tomatoes and capsicum.
  • Vitamin D is primarily formed when the skin is exposed to UV sunlight. But getting your optimal daily dose of sunlight is not always possible. You can also get it through eating certain foods such as oily fish, eggs and fortified dairy products.
  • Zinc is found in many foods such as red meat, poultry, beans, nuts and seafood.

But when your diet is suboptimal, or you are experiencing significant physical demands, you might consider dietary supplementation of these vital immune boosters. 

Reference

  1. Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini S. A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System–Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection. Nutrients. 2020;12(1):236. doi:10.3390/nu12010236
  2. Maggini S, Pierre A, Calder P. Immune Function and Micronutrient Requirements Change over the Life Course. Nutrients. 2018;10(10):1531.