Strategies for maintaining and strengthening our immune system are in high demand right now, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. The immune system is our body’s defence against invading viruses, including COVID-19, and bacteria in the air and on surfaces around us. How well our immune cells can coordinate their activity and respond to incoming germs and viruses determines our overall ability to stay healthy. So how can we help our immune system out?
A well-balanced diet, adequate hydration and sleep, and maintaining low stress-levels are all crucial for our immune function. There are many supplements on the market, especially right now, that claim to enhance immune health. But do they work? Here are three vitamins we think you should look out for when shopping for immune-boosting supplements.
This may not come as a surprise. Vitamin D has received increasing amounts of attention for its immune benefits. Research has shown that vitamin D stimulates antimicrobial peptide production, which helps fight against bacteria and viruses. Another support for the benefit of vitamin D comes from studies that show a correlation between vitamin D deficiencies with increased autoimmunity and susceptibility to colds and flu.
Our most significant source of vitamin D is natural sunlight. However, many of us are vitamin D deficient without realizing it because of various factors such as time of year and limited sun exposure. For this reason, it is often recommended to have at least five to fifteen minutes of sun exposure, three to four days per week. You can also take a vitamin D supplement to combat deficiencies.
One of the earliest signs of a vitamin A deficiency is increased infections and sickness. Vitamin A is also crucial for healthy vision, reproduction and bones. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot naturally create vitamin A, so it’s essential that your diet includes foods full of this immune-boosting vitamin.
The best way to increase your vitamin A intake is from food rather than supplements. Vitamin A supplementation is easily prone to causing toxicity, and over-supplementation can have the opposite effect of weakening the immune system. We recommend consulting with your doctor before purchasing any vitamin A supplements on the market.
The best dietary sources of vitamin A include:
- Cow’s milk
- Sweet potatoes
Vitamin C is perhaps the most well-known immune-boosting nutrient on this list. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps generate other antioxidants, including vitamin E. Now before you start chugging litres of orange juice every day, many food sources are also high in vitamin C, such as:
- Bell peppers
- Brussel sprouts
Vervo offers high-quality dietary and nutritional supplements to complement your unique health goals. Whether you’re looking to boost your immune system against COVID-19 or enhance your performance at the gym, Vervo is here to help. Shop Vervo today for all your supplement needs.