Here are five key nutrients to support your immune system:
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a powerful anti-oxidant with a critical role in enhancing immune function. This micronutrient is involved in cellular immune response and provides enhanced defense against multiple infectious diseases.
Vitamin A is found in bright orange and yellow foods like sweet potato, mango, carrots, and bell peppers, and dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is probably the most well-known anti-oxidant, and thousands of people take high-dose supplements with hopes of "boosting" their immune system. However, research shows that vitamin C from food at a dose of 100 mg to 200 mg per day is effective at preventing respiratory infections.
Our Immune Support Program provides an average of 500 mg per day of vitamin C from whole food sources like strawberries, cauliflower, red bell peppers, mango, and grapefruit.
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E plays an important role in immune function and supplementation has even been shown to reduce respiratory infection in the elderly. Most typical diets do not provide adequate vitamin E, but deficiency symptoms can be subtle so individuals may not know if they are deficient.
Rather than relying on supplements alone, deficiency can be prevented through adequate dietary intake of foods like nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and plant-based oils as a way to keep the immune system functioning optimally. One of the reasons we see a significant decline in cellular immunity with aging could be due to inadequate intake of anti-oxidants like vitamin E. Diets high in vitamin E naturally improve cellular immunity, even without supplementation.
Selenium is an essential mineral that acts as a powerful anti-oxidant. Adequate dietary selenium is required for the function of almost every arm of the immune system, so falling short can have serious consequences when it comes to fighting infections.
Brazil nuts are extremely high in selenium, but can easily exceed the daily upper limit and cause toxicity if eaten frequently. Sardines are an excellent source of selenium that can be eaten more frequently and provide anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats which also have beneficial effects on the immune system.
Our Immune Support Program incorporates sardines as well as other foods high in selenium like eggs, beef, and oats.
Like selenium, zinc is an essential mineral critical for immune function. Even mild to moderate zinc deficiency can impair immune function and increase risk of respiratory infections, so adequate dietary zinc should be emphasized for anyone looking to protect their immune system.
Zinc is found in whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and meat so eating a diet high in whole foods is key to getting enough zinc. Like vitamin C, zinc supplements are popular for immunity, but keeping zinc levels adequate through diet means supplements may not be needed to reverse a deficiency later on.
Max Muscle Stone Mountain's meal planning for immunity has recipes high in key nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, selenium, and zinc.
Our Immune Support Program is a seven-day meal plan created to help support your immune system through diet. The program includes delicious recipes for three meals and two snacks per day, a shopping list and a prep guide to keep you organized in the kitchen.
This plan is available to you now. No Charge for the first 30 downloads. We're in this together.