On top of the regular cold and flu we battle each year, we are still grappling with this pandemic, and it looks like it is here to stay. This means we’ve got to find ways to give our immune systems a major boost.
One of the best ways to support the immune system is through diet. With this in mind, here are the nutrients your body needs to support the immune system and the foods that offer the most of these powerful nutrients.
Let’s start with the most obvious nutrient your body needs to stay healthy, and that is vitamin C.
Did you know that most animals make their own vitamin C, and plenty of it? But human beings can’t make vitamin C, we must get it through food sources or supplementation. While the majority of us get enough vitamin C each day to keep scurvy away, we don’t always get enough to really optimize out immune systems to stay healthy. A vitamin C deficiency has been shown to negatively impact our immune system, so it’s important that you get enough in your diet.
Now, you may be thinking that you’ll eat more oranges this winter, and while oranges and other citrus fruits definitely offer nice amounts of vitamin C, there are better options out there. Kiwi fruits are loaded with vitamin C, as are bell peppers, papaya and sweet potatoes. Yes, absolutely get your citrus fruits in there, but also recognize the plant world offers a lot of other options for obtaining vitamin C.
At this point you probably recognize that vitamin D is important for strong teeth and bones. But what you may not realize is that your immune system requires vitamin D to do its job properly. In fact, vitamin D, which is actually a hormone, is powerful enough to kill microbes like bacteria, fungi and viruses.
The best way to get vitamin D is by sun exposure. But the thing is, during the winter months, it’s very hard for people who live in colder climates to get enough sun exposure. The best thing to do is eat foods high in vitamin D; foods like fatty fish, eggs, cheese and beef liver.
You may remember some years back when it seems like the market became flooded with nasal sprays and lozenges that contained zinc. The ads assured you that if you used these products at the very first signs of the cold, you would be able to fight it off much quicker.
Well, that’s very true, and that’s because zinc increases the production of white blood cells in the body, and these white blood cells are what allow your immune system to fight illness and disease.
But here’s the key, unlike vitamin D, which can be stored in the liver and fat cells, the body has no way of storing zinc, so you must be sure to get enough each day. The best foods for zinc are meat, shellfish, eggs, dairy and nuts.
Numerous studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are highly effective at fighting inflammation throughout the body. What’s not as well-known is the fact that omega-3s can also optimize your immune system. It does this by increasing the actions of your immune system’s T-cells and B-cells. These are the cells that seek out and destroy invading pathogens such as viruses and bacteria and even cancerous cells!
By far the best source of omega-3 fatty acids are cold water fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel.
Now what do you do if you don’t particularly like the taste of fish? Your next best option is to take a fish oil supplement to ensure you get enough omega-3s every day to keep yourself healthy.
Here’s the thing though, not all fish oil supplements are created equal. In fact, you would be shocked to learn just how many supplements are sold that are not tested, pure, or very effective. Some offer such tiny amounts of EPA and DHA, that you are forced to swallow four to six large capsules each day.
Many also cause you to have fishy burps all day. If you don’t like the taste of fish, what’s the point then??
We are incredibly pleased to be able to solve these problems for our clients. DuOmega is pure, potent, and will not cause fish burps. Along with Omega-3 we also add omega-7, which is critical for heart health.
If you want to stay healthy this winter, pick up some DuOmega today.