The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. As we adjust ourselves to the new normal, most of us will agree that the past year has taught us to be more mindful of our health. A strong immune system has been one of the most underrated weapons against the deadly effects of the virus and many more similar diseases.

The food you eat can play a major role in bolstering your immunity with long-term effects. Not only can a well thought out diet boost your immune system, but it can also help combat chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and even depression.

Immunity Boosting Nutrients You Should Include in Your Diet

What sets apart immune bolstering diets from unhealthy foods are the nutrients inside them. When the pandemic first began to take shape, it became common knowledge that vitamin C was one nutrient that could help boost your immunity. While that is true, there are also other vitamins and minerals that deserve the same attention.

Vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, and iron all play a role in strengthening the immune system one way or another. Vitamin C and vitamin E act as potent antioxidants that help in eradicating toxic free radicals from the body, all the while boosting the action of our white blood cells.

Zinc is another nutrient that, when included in your natural diet, can significantly decrease your risk of getting a viral infection. It does this by directly contributing to the formation of immune cells of our body. Vitamin D has also been shown, time and again, as an important protective factor against infections, particularly those that involve the respiratory tract.

Foods That Include Immune Boosting Nutrients

The best foods you can include in your diet are those that contain the aforementioned immune boosting nutrients. Some examples of these foods include:

·    Citrus fruits like lemon and oranges

·       Dark chocolate

·       Berries

·       Fish

·       Broccoli

·       Spinach

·       Turmeric

·       Natural green tea

·       Nuts

Importance of Sleep

Besides food, it is important to have adequate sleep as well. Your body uses the time that you sleep to repair damaged tissues, fight infections and illnesses, and lets your brain process that day’s events. Immune functioning is compromised if you are not sleeping properly as your body produces fewer antibodies so you’re more likely to get sick - the body has fewer resources to stave off illness, including cancers. The importance of a sufficient sleep schedule cannot be understated for a healthy immune system.

Staying Hydrated

Also, being hydrated is critical for good immunity. Optimal hydration helps to support communication and biochemical pathways in the immune system. Your immune system relies on your blood stream to transport fluid, nutrients and important communication signals to organs. Since blood plasma is about 90% water, hydration is necessary to support this.

Takeaway

COVID-19 and many other infections can test the limits of your health. It’s important to keep a check on your immune system to battle your way through illnesses in general. Remember: a healthy immune system requires a healthy diet, plenty of sleep and staying hydrated!