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Which foods can help to strengthen your immunity?

‘You are what you eat’ is an old adage, and we all know what it means - a healthy and balanced diet is the cornerstone of a strong immunity. That is because nutrition - namely, essential vitamins and minerals - are directly linked to your body’s immune response1.

Read on to discover the different foods which can help you to boost your immunity!

Fruits and vegetables

There are many benefits to making fruits and vegetables a significant part of your diet. Both contain an abundant amount of antioxidants and can help to reduce oxidative stress2, a naturally-occurring imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in your body that can lead to cell and tissue damage. Fruits and vegetables are also a healthy source of the essential vitamins and minerals needed for a strong immunity. For example, vitamin C, which is well recognised for its role in human immune system3, can be found in citrus fruits, kiwis, peppers, broccoli, and spinach. Other fruits and vegetables, such as avocados, blackberries, green peas, and spinach are all good sources of zinc, a mineral which promotes the growth, maturation, and activity of immune cells4.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds make for a great snack, and can also supplement your body with a healthy dose of the essential nutrients required to boost your immunity. For example, almonds are rich in vitamin E and B vitamins. They also have prebiotic properties that help to promote the production of immune-boosting microbes in your body. Walnuts possess anti-inflammatory properties, which is thanks to its omega-3 fat content, and can help to strengthen your immunity with vitamin B65,6. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds provide a healthy source of vitamin E and B vitamins, as well as important minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Meat and seafood

Including meat and fish in your diet can give your immunity a boost. Meat is not only a rich source of energy, but can also supplement your body with essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, copper, and vitamin B6. All of these nutrients play prominent roles in the support of healthy immune function. Alternatively, various types of seafood also contain B vitamins and can help your body to regulate inflammation, whilst also promoting the development of red and white blood cells5,6.

A bowl of cereal and blueberries

Bread and cereals

Whole grain bread, and cereals like oats, wheat, and brown rice are all healthy sources of B vitamins. These foods can help to strengthen your immunity and supplement your body with fibre, a nutrient that plays a role in modulating immune functions. If you are overweight, fibre can also help in your efforts to lower your BMI, which has been associated with improved immune system7.

Vitamin and mineral supplements

If you’re not sure as to whether your diet provides your body with all the nutrients your immunity needs to become strong, you can opt to take a health supplement which has been formulated specifically to strengthen your immunity against harmful infections8.

References:

  1. (Song et al, 2019; Patel et al 2012 and Gombart et al 2020).
  2. Barnard ND, Goldman DM, Loomis JF, et al. Plant-based diets for cardiovascular safety and performance in endurance sports. NUTRIENTS. 2019;11(1). pii: E130.
  3. S. Chambial et al., ‘Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: an overview’, Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, vol. 28, no. 4, 2013, p. 314-328.
  4. D. Konig et al., ‘Zinc, iron and magnesium status in athletes – influence on the regulation of exercise induced stress and immune function’, Exercise
    Immunol Review, vol. 4, 1998, p. 2-21.
  5. Maggini S. et al. Immune Function and Micronutrient Requirements Change over the Life Course. Nutrients. 2018 Oct 17;10(10). pii: E1531. doi: 10.3390/nu10101531.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30336639 
  6. U.S Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements: B12 https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/
  7. Haddad EH, Berk LS, Kettering JD, Hubbard RW, Peters WR. Dietary intake and biochemical, hematologic, and immune status of vegans compared with nonvegetarians. AM J CLIN NUTR. 1999;70(3 Suppl):586S-593S.
  8. Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini S. A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System-Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection. Nutrients 2020;12.


How Vitamins & Minerals
Help to Support
Your Immunity

 

 

Your body is equipped with powerful natural defenses and your immune system has many ways of dealing with daily immunity challenges such as pollution, weather changes, being in crowded places; and unhealthy lifestyle, such as poor diet and smoking. The human body’s immune system is made up of three main defense mechanisms - physical barriers (skin and mucosa), cellular barriers (white blood cells) and antibodies. Nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are essential to the health and function of this complex network.

Living in a fast-paced world that includes on-the-go fast food and pre-cooked meals, it can sometimes be challenging to consume an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables daily, which in turn can help to provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to fully support bodily functions. What’s worse, an inadequate intake of vitamins and minerals can instead negatively affect your immune system, and damage your health.

Learn more

 

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Combined with a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical exercise and a healthy diet, supplements like Redoxon® provide the foundation
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Support your immunity

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