background

Foods To Boost Your Immune System

As the corona situation continues to spread across the UK, there are a couple common questions that are being asked.

How can I keep myself healthy? and Will swallowing a pill protect me from getting poorly? 

Let’s start with the not-so-great news. Despite being many claims on the internet, there’s no magic food or pill that’s certain to boost your immune systems and protect you against coronavirus.  
 

Don’t panic there’s good news, too. There are plenty of ways to keep your immune system functioning optimally. These include: 

  • Maintaining good nutrition  
  • Being physically active  
  • Meditating and managing stress  
  • Getting plenty of sleep  

In this article we’ll be focusing on your diet. We’ve listed some key nutrients that play a vital role in keeping your immune system in tip top condition.  

Beta Carotene

The body converts beta carotene into vitamin A, that works as an antioxidant which is essential for a healthy immune system.  

Antioxidants are the substances that prevent slow damage to cells caused by free radicals.  
 

Good sources of beta carotene include carrots, spinach, apricots, sweet potatoes, kale, squash and broccoli.  

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has several important functions, including: 

  • Protects cells and keeps them healthy  
  • Maintains healthy skin, blood vessels and bones  
  • Helps with wound healing  

Studies suggest that consuming 200 milligrams of Vitamin C can reduce the symptoms of a common cold.  

You can reach your 200-milligram limit by combining foods such as strawberries, grapefruit, oranges, broccoli, cooked cabbage, red and green peppers.  

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important one as it regulates the production of protein that kills bacteria and viruses.  

Although there is no evidence to prove that vitamin D supplements will protect you against coronavirus, it might be worth investing in some vitamin D supplements, especially if you’re not getting enough of this important vitamin through your food.  
 

There are plenty of good food sources that contain vitamin D. Here are some examples, cheese, mushrooms, eggs, fatty fish, including canned fish (salmon and sardines). 

Zinc

Zinc has become a popular treatment for the common cold, as well as fighting infections and healing wounds.  

Research has shown that low levels of zinc may impair your immune function.  

Sources of zinc include lentils, fortified cereals, seeds, nuts and if you’re really fancy crab and lobster.