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Want to boost immunity? Incorporate THESE essential nutrients into your diet

Including vital nutrients in your daily diet is crucial, whether you're an adult seeking optimal health or a parent hoping to strengthen your child's immunity.

Written By : India TV Lifestyle Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Published on: January 08, 2024 10:09 IST
boost immunity
Image Source : FREEPIK Essential nutrients to boost immunity.

Try to improve your immune system as a way to start the new year off right. It needs a balanced diet to maintain a strong immune system. Immunity impairment and inadequate dietary status are closely related. Enhancing your immunity can lead to improved health. 

To help you attain better immune health, Dr. Ganesh Kadhe, Director, of Medical and Scientific Affairs, Abbott’s Nutrition Business shares important nutrients and their sources that can keep you strong:

Adult Nutrition for Enhanced Immunity

Proteins: They serve as the fundamental building blocks for every cell in the body, contributing to the development of vital components such as muscles, bones, hormones, and antibodies. It plays a crucial role in fortifying the immune system by supporting the production of antibodies and providing essential amino acids as fuel for immune cells. Eggs stand out as an excellent protein source. Yet, a diverse range of foods, including chickpeas, cottage cheese, quinoa, Greek yoghurt, peanuts, and almonds, also function as significant contributors to protein intake. 

Vitamin A: It helps regulate the immune system. Known as the “anti-infective vitamin, this nutrient keeps your skin, mouth, stomach, and lungs healthy so that they can fight infection. It’s also key for sharp vision. Consume it with some fat for better absorption. Sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, and spinach are loaded with Vitamin A. 

Vitamin C: It helps the body build healthy skin and connective tissue, which blocks the entry of foreign microbes. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant protecting cells from damage. It also helps protect against anaemia by helping us absorb more iron from plant foods. Oranges are best known as sources of Vitamin C. However, some foods power-packed with Vitamin C are kiwis, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, and red peppers. 

Vitamin E: It works as an antioxidant, protecting cell membranes from damage due to free radicals. Healthy cell membranes help keep foreign microbes out and support a healthy immune response. Vitamin E is a common nutrient found in most foods. Cooking oils, seeds, and nuts are wealthy sources. 

Vitamin D: It is a multitasking nutrient that helps activate immune cells and regulate their function. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium and promotes a strong immune system. Few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D3, such as the flesh of fatty fish and fish liver oils, egg yolks, orange juice and cheese. 

Zinc: It is needed for cellular reproduction, which is important in synthesising new immune system cells. Zinc is critical for proper growth and development, especially during childhood and adolescence. Meat, especially red meat is an excellent source of zinc for those who prefer non-vegetarian food. For vegetarians, food like chickpeas, lentils and beans contain a substantial quantity of zinc. Seeds could also be a healthy addition to your diet.

Child Nutrition for Strong Immunity

Protein-Packed Meals: Children, in their developmental years, benefit from protein-rich foods for growth and a resilient immune system. Include sources like lean meats, dairy products, eggs, legumes, and nuts in their diet.

Colourful Fruits and Vegetables: Introduce a variety of fruits and vegetables to provide essential vitamins and minerals. Brightly coloured produce such as berries, carrots, and leafy greens are not only visually appealing but also rich in nutrients.

Calcium and Vitamin D for Growth: For better bone health and overall growth ensure sufficient intake of calcium and Vitamin D. Include dairy products, fortified cereals, and kid-friendly Vitamin D-rich foods.

Fibre for Gut Health: Ensure a balanced diet with fibre-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. A healthy gut contributes to a robust immune system.

(With IANS Inputs)

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