While a healthy, balanced diet goes a long way in normal immune system function, there are key vitamins and minerals you can focus on to make sure you’re choosing the best foods for your immune health. Learn more about foods that contain vitamins A, C, and E, as well as the minerals zinc and selenium, and the reasons these vitamins and minerals are so good for you.
The anti-infective properties of vitamin A play a vital role in the maintenance and function of your immune system. Top food sources that contain vitamin A include carrots, tomatoes, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin C has been shown to stimulate white blood cell functions and may play a significant role in the regulation of the inflammatory response. Top food sources that contain vitamin C include grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, cantaloupes, tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes, and broccoli.
Research suggests supplementation with vitamin E improves several markers of immune response. Top food sources that contain vitamin E include tomatoes, broccoli, nuts, and seeds.
Zinc and Selenium
Zinc has been shown to increase the production of white blood cells and to help these cells release more antibodies to better fight infection. Supplementing with selenium appears to stimulate immune function in those with adequate selenium stores. Shiitake mushrooms, dried beans, and lentils can provide some zinc, and spinach can provide some selenium. But taking a daily multivitamin such as NUTRILITE® Daily or DOUBLE X® Vitamin/Mineral/Phytonutrient will ensure that you’re taking in adequate levels of both minerals.
Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including foods from all colors of the rainbow, and aim to get at least 10 servings per day for optimal health. For more information on how food impacts immunity, read this report.