Updated: Sep 10, 2020
With multiple solid research studies showing the benefits of these vitamins to strengthen the immune system (focusing on respiratory illness here), there’s never been a better time to start eating more of these wonderful, tiny little nutrients. There are so many helpful foods, herbs and supplements, but let’s focus on these four: Vitamin D, C, E and Zinc.
Would you like to know how these four support your immune system?
Let’s keep it short and sweet.
Each of these have various, vital roles in optimally functioning immune cells, keeping up cell barriers, and act as anti-inflammatory agents and/or antioxidants.
From a peer reviewed research study, “Every stage of this immune response is reliant on the presence of certain micronutrients”
Read more here on how micronutrients affect the immune system.
Here Comes the Main Course
As a dietitian and lover of food, I am first and foremost inclined to use food as medicine, to go straight to food sources. So, what can we eat to ramp up our intake of vitamins D, C, E and Zinc? Read on for top sources.
Vitamin D: salmon, trout, fortified foods and time in the sun!
Vitamin C: strawberries (it’s the season), broccoli, cantaloupe, bell peppers, tomatoes, kale
Vitamin E: nuts, seeds, leafy greens, avocados (YES!) and trout.
Zinc: oysters, meat, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs and whole grains
You may have noticed some foods on multiple lists - awesome, those would be great first additions to your grocery list.
This list is by no means exhaustive! It’s meant to be simple. Feel free to Google for more ideas.
My next post will cover how much of each vitamin to aim for and great supplement options.
Yours in Health,
Ronika Kim, RND, LD