Five vitamins and minerals that help improve your immune system

Many vitamins and minerals can easily be found in foods but if you are on a strict diet then it can be challenging. Here are five vitamins and minerals that you should include in your diet and what foods contain them.

Vitamin E

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Vitamin E is critical in how your immune system works. It plays a big part in nearly 200 chemical reactions in the human body and is an antioxidant that fights off infections. Not only this but it is also great for maintaining healthy eyes and skin.

Vitamin E can be found in those that are high-fat plant foods such as; Almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, cooking oils and hazelnuts. Doctors say you do not need any vitamin E supplements as you should be able to eat the amount through your diet.

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is very important for our bodies for multiple reasons. They help regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the human body. Vitamin D also strengthens the bones in our body as well as your muscle tissue.

A lack of vitamin D in children can lead to rickets and can also cause pain in your bones called osteomalacia for adults. Our body creates vitamin D when it comes into contact with direct sunlight.

Foods that contain vitamin D are; Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver, egg yolks, fat spreads and breakfast cereals. As you can see, those foods will not be on a vegan’s diet so if they cannot get it from sunlight then they should consider vitamin D tablets.

Iron

Iron is what helps carry oxygen to our cells and plays a large role in the immune system processes. It can be absorbed in both meat and plant foods. These are; Red meat, chicken, turkey, canned sardines, oysters, clams, mussels, canned light tuna, beans, broccoli, kale, iron-fortified cereals.

If you cannot obtain this much iron in your diet then experts say you should talk less than 17mg per day in iron supplements. If you have too much iron it can lead to; constipation, being sick and stomach pain.

Zinc

Zinc is what is needed for the production of new immune system cells. It is prominent in foods that are meat but can be found in some vegetarian foods as well. It also helps our bodies process carbohydrates, fat and protein. Zinc also helps with the healing process for wounds.

The foods that contain zinc are; Oysters, crab, lean meats and poultry, baked beans, yoghurt and chickpeas. Those people that are vegetarian and vegan should look at some zinc supplements if they do not eat any of the foods suggested above.

To wrap it up

There are many other vitamins and minerals that our body needs in order to function properly such as vitamin C. However, these are the ones that are a lot harder to find in foods and where people will most likely start taking supplements.