What we eat has important implications for our health. Food serves as a fuel for the body, and thus its better supply aids in better performance of the body. Moreover, food is also an important determinant for the body weight, maintaining which is crucial for the mental and physical health.
However, food is also extremely important for disease prevention as well. Our immune system and our diet have an important link between them; in order to strengthen the former, the latter needs to be worked on.
It is thus not surprising that those people who do not eat well, load up on sugar and processed food get ill more frequently. From infections to inflammations, their issues are perpetual that has them a constant with the best general physician.
Fix thy diet!
By simply fixing your diet, you can improve your health. Eating natural foods, loading up on the vegetables, having adequate hydration are all the things that promote health. But, for better immunity you need to up the game.
While every nutrient has an important role to play, but only some are able to improve the functionality of the immune system. One such nutrient is Vitamin C. There are numerous ways through which it helps to fortify the immune system.
Helps to reduce oxidative stress
A friend to the immune system, vitamin C helps the body get over the oxidative stress. Free radicals are produced by the body due to the important metabolic processes. These are usually overtaken by the antioxidants, and thus their negative impact is controlled.
However, trouble looms when there is an imbalance of the two; dearth of antioxidants then gives the free radicals free reigns to damage the cells. Not only does it cause dangerous conditions like cancer but also can potentially lead to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease etc.
Moreover, oxidative stress also hurts the immune system and causes inflammatory disorders. It also makes one more prone to infections, perpetually occupying the immune system.
As vitamin C helps in the tissue growth and repair, it helps the cells that comprise the immune system keep strong. Consequently, not only is the wound healing more efficient, but the immune system overall performs better.
Furthermore, a dearth of vitamin C in fact leads to the immune system suffering. As its water soluble, body does not store is thus deficiencies of vitamin C can occur.
So, eat more foods containing vitamin C
Vitamin C needs to be taken orally. Rather than relying on supplements to get the job done, you can fix your diet to consume sufficient amount of this immunity boosting vitamin. As its not fat-soluble vitamin, daily intake is required for the vitamin to yield positive results on the body.
Following are some such good sources of vitamin C that you can take.
Greens are the best thing for health, and thus it is no wonder that they are laden with the vitamin C as well. Spinach is especially good green to be incorporated into daily routine, as it has other antioxidants and beta carotenes that also enable the immune system.
A versatile food, spinach can be taken raw in a salad, slightly cooked in a recipe, pulped in a smoothie. As it is full of other vital nutrients like vitamin A and iron, it also has a profound impact on the health of other organs as well.
Similarly, broccoli and kale too are green vegetables that serve as an excellent source of vitamin C.
One of the most enriched sources of vitamin C are the citrus fruits. Lime, grapefruit, lemon, oranges all are super hydrating and also serve as excellent immune boosters.
There is around 96mg of vitamin C in a cup of oranges, which is more than the daily required value. Similarly, 1 raw lemon –whole—is also able to provide with 83mg of vitamin C. Hence, citrus fruits can alone be held responsible for sourcing C for the entire body.
An unlikely contender, but an important one at that, is guava. One cup of guava provides with 377mg of vitamin C!
While perhaps not as versatile to consume as the fruits, bell peppers are also packed with vitamin C. One cup contains 152mg of the immune boosting vitamin. Fajita, anyone?
Strawberries are not just excellent source of antioxidants, but also generous supplier of vitamin C. 100g of strawberries contains 128 mg of vitamin C. Eat raw, make milkshake, put in cereal or add to your heathy dessert, strawberries can be consumed in so many different ways!
Kiwi fruit, tomatoes, papayas, black currants, potatoes, Brussel sprouts are other natural sources of vitamin C.
If not diet, then…
Most of the time, eating well quells the need for dietary supplements. However, some people have issues preventing them from eating well; allergies, access, hectic life can all be responsible for depleting body’s resources.
Hence, it is best to talk over with the best general physician about your supplement needs. Use them then –if need be– at the discretion of the doctor. Overloading on vitamin C can lead to stomach pains and complaints, thus keep to expert opinion, always.