As people age, a lack of physical activity, disruptions in meal intake and sleep patterns, less sun exposure, along with a myriad of other things all contribute to less than optimal immunity. Which is all the more reason to be more diligent with our dietary lifestyles to help reduce the impact and oxidative stresses on our bodies – especially during the pandemic.
Rather than reaching for a multivitamin or supplement, boost immune system function more naturally through a nutrient rich diet loaded with vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc.
Vitamin D has many roles within our body, with one important one being its ability to regulate the immune system. Good sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, fatty fish (like salmon, cod, tuna, sardines,) fortified milk. dairy alternatives, and egg yolks.
Vitamin C has been shown to help with white blood cell production in the immune system. Foods rich in vitamin C are oranges, orange juice, grapefruit, strawberries, green and red peppers, and broccoli to name a few.
Finally, zinc helps to keep your immune system strong to fight off infections. Great sources are: legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy, whole grains, dark chocolate, eggs, beef and shellfish.
While taking a food first approach to diet is preferred, there are always times when a nutritional supplement is necessary. Make sure to discuss this with a healthcare professional to make sure this is the best choice for you.