Vitamin D known as the sunshine vitamin is a super important fat-soluble vitamin for our immune system and the maintenance of healthy bones. Vitamin D can help activate the fighting power of our white blood cells and also helps to decrease inflammation. If left unchecked in the body Vitamin D can hinder proper immune response leaving us susceptible to infection.
An essential nutrient that our bodies can’t produce or store, Vitamin C plays an important role in proper immune function. It acts as an antioxidant protecting cells from damage from free radicals and enhances immune cell function while helping the immune system make new white blood cells that fight infection. Vitamin C can be found in fresh vegetables, leafy greens, tomatoes and fruits like strawberries, oranges, and lemons and should be eaten every day. There hasn’t been any evidence yet that Vitamin C can protect you from the effects of COVID-19 but studies have shown that Vitamin C can help shorten the duration and the severity of symptoms of the common cold.
You may use garlic regularly in your cooking, but part of the allium family and relative of onions, leeks, and shallots, garlic is a superfood with incredible immune benefits. It is believed that garlic enhances immune system response by stimulating protective immune cells, which may offer protection from viral infections. An important study found that a group found those taking garlic over a 3 month period had a 63% lower risk of getting a cold. Those who did get a cold recovered 70% quicker.
Olive Leaf Extract
From the same trees that give us olives and heart-healthy olive oil, extract from the leaves of the olive tree is a health-boosting food bursting with antioxidants and a long list of benefits. Research suggests that olive leaf extract may inhibit the ability for the viruses that are responsible for the common cold, flu, and certain respiratory infections. Olive leaf has also shown in studies to enhance the body’s ability to fight infection by stimulating the immune response to a viral infection.
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To keep your immune system running in tip-top shape, zinc is one of the most important minerals to make sure you’re getting enough of. Zinc helps the immune system in many ways. Not only does it activate the immune fighting cell but it’s also known to activate enzymes that break down proteins in bacteria and viruses making them less infectious. Studies have conclusively shown that supplementing with zinc daily reduced the occurrence of the common cold and if taken early with the onset of symptoms reduced its length and severity.