4 essential vitamins, minerals for strong immune system

March 23, 2020

IT is important to learn about the essential vitamins and minerals that you need for a stronger immune system to help prevent the spread of diseases.

Recent developments on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led to more discussions on the importance of staying hygienic and healthy. A balanced diet of whole grains, lean meat, and vegetables are usually enough to keep your family healthy, but are you getting enough nutrients from your menu? 

Although there are a number of over-the-counter supplements and multivitamins available at your local pharmacy, it is important that you know which ones are essential in boosting your immunity against illnesses.

* Vitamin A. Vitamin A or beta-carotene promotes good eyesight and supports heart, lung, and kidney functions. This fat-soluble vitamin can be found in many ingredients like carrots, squash, dairy products, and salmon. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), vitamin A-deficiency is a known risk factor for severe measles and blindness in children. Most supplements like multivitamins contain adequate amounts of vitamin A to fulfill your daily dietary needs.

* Vitamin C. Also known as ascorbic acid, this antioxidant helps protect you from the damaging effects of environmental factors such as pollution and smoke to your overall health. Studies show that those with adequate amounts of vitamin C in their diets suffer from milder symptoms of the cold. 

Vitamin C intake heavily relies on a proper diet and supplementation, since it cannot be naturally-produced by your body. Incorporate healthy ingredients like broccoli, citrus fruits, papaya, darky leafy vegetables, and red/green pepper to your diet to boost to your immune system.

* Vitamin D. Three out of five Filipinos are vitamin D-deficient. Vitamin D, known as cholecalciferol, supports immune function and is an essential component in calcium absorption that helps maintain strong bones and teeth. This important vitamin can be naturally derived from adequate sun exposure and certain food like fatty fish, cheese, and egg.

* Zinc. This useful nutrient that helps you fight bacteria and viruses. It’s also an important ingredient in generating protein, DNA production, and wound recovery. Zinc-deficiency can lead to stunted growth in children, slow wound healing, hair loss, and even impotence in men. Zinc can be found in common household ingredients like red meat, fortified cereals, whole grains, and dairy.

Another known and scientifically-proven way to avoid getting sick is to vaccinate your family against known illnesses like flu, measles, etc. A single shot can prevent the spread of these diseases, and save you thousands in hospital bills.

Take charge of your health so you too, can contribute to limiting the spread of diseases in your community.