While vitamins and minerals won’t immediately turn you into a virus-fighting superhero but consuming them is extremely beneficial for your body and overall health. The current time has surely made us concerned about what we eat and how we can improve our diet. Ahead, take a look at these five important vitamins and minerals that make a world of difference when you consume them over time. They are known to increase immunity and fight infections.
1. Vitamin D: “Vitamin D, which is found in eggs, fish, chicken and cod liver oil, is one of the most important vitamins and plays a crucial role in the activation of your immunity system whenever there’s an exposure to pathogen-like viruses or bacteria. So it’s important to check your vitamin D levels and take the right supplements accordingly,” says Dr Rohini Somnath Patil, MBBS, nutritionist.
However, the best source of this vitamin is when you are exposed to sunlight. The UV rays induce the body to manufacture Vitamin D from cholesterol present in your body. She mentions, “The amount of sunlight needed ranges from about five to 20 minutes twice a week.”
2. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is what makes your immune system strong. Make sure you consume Vitamin C rich foods like amla, lemon, kiwi, mangoes, oranges, etc. “Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a potent anti-oxidant and co-factors many enzymes in our body. It holds a reputation as an immune system booster,” says Dr Somnath.
3. Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infections too. Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds are rich sources of Vitamin E.
4. Magnesium and zinc: “Along with vitamin D and C, magnesium and zinc are minerals which play a crucial role in carrying out the enzymatic processes in our body,” mentions Dr Somnath. Magnesium helps in converting vitamin D into its active usable form and zinc has an anti-inflammatory action in our body. This protects our body and responds to immune damage. In fact, even chocolates contain a good dose of magnesium and release feel-good hormones.
5. Selenium: “Selenium seems to have a powerful effect on the immune system, including the potential to slow the body’s over-active responses to certain aggressive forms of cancer,” says the doctor. Make sure you get your dosage by consuming garlic, broccoli, sardines, tuna and barley.
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