A strong immune system is the key to enjoy a healthy and happy life. I can’t emphasize enough for building a robust immune system. A healthy immune system acts as a shield against all kind of diseases. It will fight against bacteria, viruses and microbes which can attack our body the moment we are exposed to them. In absence of a strong immune system, these viruses are capable to invade human bodies and destroy our health.
When it comes to your precious health, “Precaution is always better that cure”. Our body need all kind of Vitamins and Minerals for our nourishment. But few of them are really important for our immune system. That’s why I have dedicated this entire post to Best Vitamins for Immune System for my readers.
All fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients and rich source of various vitamins and minerals. It’s very important to have a variety. Best way to ensure that you are getting all nutrients is by making sure you have all colors of vegetables like green, orange and red etc in your plate.
Antioxidants and Free radicals
Before going into further detail, I would like to discuss about antioxidants and free radicals.
Reaction of oxygen with certain molecules in our body can give rise to free radicals. This process is known as Oxidation. Free radicals are the atoms with an odd number of electrons and highly reactive in nature which can start chain reaction. Because of their unpaired electrons, they are always looking for molecules to react. They can be highly dangerous especially when they react with important cellular components and kill them.
Antioxidants in our body can help to prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants react with these free radicals and stop the chain reaction. We need to maintain a balance between antioxidants and free radicals to fight with all kind of diseases.
Watch this quick video on Antioxidants and Free Radicals.
Antioxidant vitamins are the best vitamins for immune system that we need to include in our diets. The three major antioxidant vitamins are Vitamin A or beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is the most common antioxidants. Our body can’t store this Vitamin as it’s a water soluble vitamin. That’s why we need to have a continuous supply of Vitamin C as any excess amount will pass through urine.
Vitamin C is found in abundance in citrus fruits like kiwifruit, acerola, camu camu and Indian gooseberry(Amla).
Bell peppers, parsley, broccoli, brussels sprouts, Lychee, strawberries, papaya, Oranges, lime and Cantaloupe are all rich source of Vitamin C.
Apart from that Vitamin C is also found in green leafy vegetables like Kale, Spinach and Cabbage in substantial amount.
Vitamin E is the fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and can ties up free radicals, which results from oxidation and prevents cell damage. This vitamin may also help in protection against heart disease and cancer.
Vitamin E is found in many nuts and seeds like Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Peanuts, hazelnuts and vegetable oils like olive, corn, safflower, soybean cottonseed or canola oil.
Other sources include eggs and many greens such as Spinach, Avocado, Asparagus, mustard and turnip greens. Vitamin E is also found in abundance in wheat germ.
Beta-carotenes are precursor of Vitamin A. Beta-carotenes are provided by many bright colored vegetables and is converted to Vitamin A by our body as needed.
Beta-carotenes are not only good for our vision; it has Antioxidant properties too which helps protect cell damage and boosts our immune system.
Rich sources of Vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, squash and many green vegetables like Spinach, Kale, Mustard greens and Collard greens. Animal sources like Eggs, shrimp, Cow’s milk, yogurt and cheese are rich in retinol. Retinols are another form of Vitamin A found in animal products.
Selenium – Selenium is a trace element also has Antioxidant properties and helps our immune system. It can be found in vegetables like Spinach, garlic, broccoli, Brazil nuts, barley and sea foods and many other animal meats.
Experts say that to get the most benefits of these Antioxidants, don’t boil or overcook them.
I think the best way to take them is by juicing. Here is my immunity boosting recipe that taste delicious.
- 1 cup Spinach
- 2 Carrots
- 1/4 of medium Cantaloupe
- 1 inch piece of Ginger
- A small bunch of Parsley with stems (optional)
Wash thoroughly the produce and pass everything through Juicer. Enjoy the fresh Immunity Boosting Juice
To learn more about the benefits of Juicing….Click Here
Antioxidants and Free radicals – http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/antiox.html