People with under active immune system are vulnerable to infections and diseases. To enable the immune cells of the body to combat microorganisms that frequently attack the healthy tissues of the body, your immune system needs proper nutrition.
Deficiency of certain vitamins impairs the normal activities of the immune system. To strengthen your immune system, you should consume adequate amounts of vitamins A, C and E.
Vitamins for immune system
Vitamin A is essential for regulating the functions of the immune system. This vitamin is especially needed for producing lymphocyte, a type of white blood cell needed for fighting invading germs and preventing infections.
Beta-carotene, a type of plant compound, present in yellow, orange and red colored vegetables is the main source of vitamin A. Beta-carotenes are precursors of vitamin A, which are converted into vitamin A in the human body.
Studies have shown that beta-carotene can prevent growth of cancer tumors. Vitamin A is also present in egg, liver and milk fortified with vitamin A. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin A is 900 micrograms per day for adult men and 700 micrograms per day for adult women.
It is advisable to obtain your daily vitamin A requirement from foods. Vitamin A overdose, resulting from excess intake of vitamin A supplements, could cause toxic side effects.
Vitamin C is the most powerful immune booster in nature. This immune strengthening vitamin stimulates production of white blood cells that fight infections. This micronutrient aids production of antibodies that prevent recurrent infections.
Vitamin C is an important component needed for producing interferon. Interferon is a natural substance that prevents reproduction of viruses. Vitamin C even possesses interferon-like properties.
To restore the optimal health of your immune system, you should take 60 to 95 mg of vitamin C daily. However, people suffering from infections could increase their daily vitamin C intake to 500 mg per day.
Large amounts of vitamin C are usually not associated with adverse side effects. Citrus fruits, berries, papaya, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, broccoli, cauliflower and kale are rich sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and immune booster. It encourages production of B-cells, which produce antibodies. Whole grains, nuts and seeds are rich sources of vitamin E. This micronutrient is especially recommended for fighting upper respiratory tract infections.