Our immune system works to protect us from different harmful microbes that we potentially get exposed to on a daily basis in our environment. The immune system is influenced by a balance of different factors that we can control to help to build and maintain it. These factors include adequate sleep, stress levels, an active lifestyle, and most importantly, a healthful balanced diet.
A diet lacking in essential nutrients our body needs to thrive can dramatically impair our immunity and our ability to fight off certain illnesses and diseases. In this article, we’re going to share with you certain vitamins and minerals that we think are the most important to build your immunity and feel your best. We’ll also discuss how Pure Plates can help you to build your immunity.
Vitamin C in fruits and vegetables
You’ve probably heard this enough times to know that fruits and vegetables are a crucial part of a healthy diet. Vitamin C is one of many popular vitamins that are believed to protect against common colds and even reduce the duration of them. The effect of vitamin C on our body in relation to its antioxidant properties is constantly being studied and, in fact, has consistently been shown to have beneficial effects for reducing both the severity and duration of common colds.
The recommended daily amounts for vitamin C set by the U.S. dietary guidelines is 75mg for women and 90mg for men. Luckily these amounts can be easily acquired from the diet, as many fruits and vegetables we eat contain more than 75% of this recommended amount. And there are plenty of vitamin C sources outside of just oranges alone!
Some vitamin C- rich fruits and vegetables to add to your diet and build your immunity include:
- Citrus fruits
- Bell peppers
Pure Plates makes sure to create vitamin C-dense meals to help maintain our immunity and keep us healthy. One of our favorite nutrient-dense meals Pure Plates offers is this Lemon Pepper Chicken Dinner that contains 56% of the vitamin C we need for the day!
Zinc for the win
Zinc is a mineral well known for the role it plays in maintaining the various types of immune cells found within the body, including T- helper and B cells, as well as neutrophils and macrophages. In fact, zinc deficiencies were recognized only 40 years ago and according to this study, at the time when zinc-deficiencies became acknowledged, they found that zinc-deficient patients had severe impairments in their immune systems and recurrent infections.
The recommended daily amount for zinc is 11mg for men and 8mg for women and these amounts can also be easily acquired from the diet.
Here are some foods rich in zinc to help prevent foreign attacks on your immune system to keep you healthy:
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pure Plates delivery service offers all these foods in a variety of meals, so make sure to take a look at their menu and check them out.
Vitamin D and immunity
Vitamin D is well-known for the role it plays in bone health in combination with calcium. However, it’s becoming more clear that it has benefits that go beyond that. Recently, it has been found that Vitamin D can also play a crucial role in the health of our immune system, assisting immune cells to help protect us against foreign invaders that threaten our health. This study found vitamin D deficient patients were more susceptible to illness and infection.
The recommended daily amount for vitamin D is 15ug for both women and men, with a tolerable upper limit intake of 100ug, before seeing toxic effects on the body.
Sun is the main source of vitamin D for those living in warmer clients. On the bright side, there are many foods available being fortified with vitamin D, like dairy products and cereals for those living in colder climates and aren’t as exposed to the sun during winter.
Hydration and Immunity
Water intake also impacts immunity due to waters role in carrying oxygen to our cells. It's important that we're consuming adequate water everyday, and especially when we're already sick! On average, it's recommended to consume at least 64 fl oz, or 8 glasses, of water each day. This recommendation may vary per individual.
You can also obtain water through food by choosing water-dense foods from Pure Plates. Some foods high in water include:
- Bell pepper
Pure Plates offers a wide selection of foods, lots of which are considered high-water density and therefore can contribute to your daily water intake.
The Key Takeaway..
Eating a diet rich in nutrients that come from whole foods is essential to build and maintain a healthy immune system. Lacking certain nutrients plays a crucial role in developing illnesses and increasing risk for infections. With Pure Plates you can eat nutrient-dense foods that can help your immune system to work optimally and ultimately make you feel your best, especially during cold and flu season.