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Vitamin and Mineral SupplementationPublished:
The immune system is having a moment, and working towards finding its balance should be our focus. Lifestyle factors including regular exercise, adequate sleep, stress reduction, and healthy eating are heavy hitters when it comes to the immune system’s balancing act. In reality, most of us do not get the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals, preferably from whole foods, leaving us deficient in key nutrients our bodies need to operate at full capacity.
Vitamins C and D and zinc support our body’s barrier tissue by preventing the entrance of disease-forming pathogens into the body. If you think your diet may be subpar in nutritional value, then supplementation may be a helpful insurance policy for overall health. Specifically, diet deficits in these nutrients either alone or in combination, can put our immune system in jeopardy.
Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, helps to optimize the defense systems we were born with while also supporting the immune system that kicks in after we become ill. Every time we get sick our immune system is working overtime.
Zinc is a crucial mineral for the well-being of the immune system and for triggering immune cell responses whenever called upon. Too little zinc can lower our body's ability to attack and destroy the bad guys: viruses, bacteria, and tumor cells.
All cells within the immune system have vitamin D receptors making this fat-soluble vitamin helpful in igniting and restoring normal immune function. It is a good idea to take a look at your vitamin D level if you eat little to no fatty fish like salmon and tuna, spend most of your time indoors, do not currently supplement with vitamin D3, or eat few foods fortified with D. Normal levels of vitamin D may improve overall immune health while reducing our risk of acquiring autoimmune diseases.