14-05-2021 / Health and Fitness

6 Vitamins to Boost your Immunity and Where it is Found Naturally

Vitamins are required for carrying out many vital functions of the body and are also necessary for building immunity. Here are six vitamins and their natural sources that you can consume to boost your immunity.

6 Vitamins to Boost your Immunity and Where it is Found Naturally
Mazia AhmedMazia Ahmed

Mazia Ahmed

MSc Nutrition Science, Ph.D. Scholar

Table of Content

Introduction

  • In this pandemic, we usually come across the word immunity. But, do we know what immunity means and how boosting immunity can be great for our body? Let's begin from the start. The immunity of a person or any multicellular organism can be defined as these organisms' capability to resist the harmful microorganisms from spreading any disease in the body. Immunity is the first response system that our body has against harmful microorganisms. This will mean that enhancing or boosting the immune system can improve our body's fighting ability against disease-causing microbes. 

  • But, how can we boost our immunity? Our ancestors were very close to nature in the past, and they were boosting their immunity by taking natural vitamins from fruits and vegetables. Nowadays, boosting immunity has become very easy as now we can take natural supplements, minerals, and vitamins in the form of tablets. But, intake of these necessary immunity boosters from a natural source can be more impactful. So, here are some of the vitamins that can boost the immunity of the body. 

6 Vitamins to Boost your Immunity and Where it is Found Naturally

6 Vitamins to Boost your Immunity and Where it is Found Naturally

1. Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C is an essential element as the human body does not produce it. This element has a significant role in building the defense mechanism in the human body. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps the natural defense to fight against chronic diseases. 

  • This Vitamin helps protect the body's cells from harmful free radicals that help avoid the unwanted accumulation of these free radicals. Some reports say that consumption of Vitamin C can increase the blood oxidants level by 30%. Moreover, this Vitamin is also transported to the skin to prevent harmful free radicals from entering the body. 

  • Another essential benefit of taking vitamin C is that it increases the production of white blood cells. We know that white blood cells are the fighter cells, and hence maintaining their number in the body can be a massive boost in the immune system. The ability to function in these white blood cells sees a surge too

Natural Occurrence

Vitamin C can be directly obtained by taking in these fruits and vegetables, as they are highly rich in Vitamin C. Some common fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C are as follows:

  • Citrus fruits like oranges and grapes

  • Amla

  • Guava

  • Lemon

  • Sprouts

  • Broccoli and Cauliflower

  • Green and Red Peppers

  • Leafy Vegetables like spinach, cabbage, etc

  • Tomatoes

  • Kiwi fruit

  • Strawberries 

2. Vitamin E

  • Vitamin E is another crucial supplement that our body needs to boost the immune system. It is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is found naturally from several sources. It is also an essential element, not produced by our body, but has a significant role in fighting against potential illness and infections. 

  • But, to keep the immunity high, it's required to get these vitamins in the required amount regularly. What does Vitamin E do with our immunity? Vitamin E is highly helpful in supporting the growth of t-cells, as t-cells are crucial in fighting against the infection. This stimulates the immune response against these infected cells and also prevents the spread. 

  • It has an antioxidant role to play that helps in keeping the hair and skin smooth and strong throughout. Vitamin E is added in an extra amount in some skincare products to keep the skin healthy and harmless against the outside environment. 

Natural Occurrence

As we know, essential elements for our body mainly occur naturally. Similarly, Vitamin E can be obtained from several natural substances, some of which are mentioned below:

  • Vegetable oils

  • Cereal grains

  • Sunflower Seeds

  • Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Almonds, Pistachio

  • Brazil Nuts

  • Avocado

  • Kiwi

  • Mango

  • Raspberries, Blackberries

  • Green leafy vegetables

  • Broccoli

  • Green Beans

  • Asparagus

  • Butternut Squash, etc

3. Vitamin A

  • Vitamin A isn't a single compound. It is a group of fat-soluble compounds which are highly valuable for the human body's core parts. Vitamin A has several benefits for humans, and the most essential benefit of this Vitamin is that it protects the eyes from night blindness. 

  • Along with this, vitamin A is also a vital element for the human body in boosting immunity. It keeps the natural defense of the body strong. Vitamin A forms a mucous barrier in different body sites like the eyes, lungs, guts, and genitals. This barrier helps in trapping different infections causing agents and bacteria. Vitamin has a specific role in the production and functioning of white blood cells as these cells help clear the bloodstream from harmful pathogens. 

  • The scarcity of Vitamin A in the body can make us more prone to infections and delay our recovery when we get sick. 

Natural Occurrence

Vitamin A is highly rich in some fruits and vegetables that we regularly take in. These natural ingredients can be directly or indirectly consumed to get the required vitamins. 

  • Butter, ghee

  • Dark green leafy vegetables – Eg: Spinach, coriander, curry leaves

  • Tomatoes

  • Carrots

  • Pumpkins

  • Mangoes

  • Papayas

  • From animals: Liver, Egg yolk, Milk, Curd.

  • Red palm oil

Immune System

4. Vitamin D

  • What's the common fact we know about Vitamin D? We all know that sunlight is a great Vitamin D source. Also, vitamin D is otherwise called sunshine vitamin too. The reason behind this name is that our skin produces vitamin D in response to the sunlight. It is a fat-soluble vitamin with three different compounds, i.e., Vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3. 

  • The human body has two types of immune systems, i.e., innate and adaptive systems. Vitamin D is helpful in both types of immune systems. Vitamin D is responsible for producing quickly fighting against the infection-causing germs and the production of required antibodies. Also, this Vitamin has a role to play in autoimmunity too. This was observed first in autoimmune disease patients as they lacked Vitamin D. Hence, keeping the vitamin D level high can actively boost the mechanism of fighting against these harmful diseases. 

Natural Occurrence

To keep the vitamin D level high in our body, we need to take Vitamin D-rich natural supplements. Some of these natural things that are rich in vitamin D are mentioned below:

  • Oily fishes like salmon, mackerel, etc

  • Red meat

  • Liver

  • Egg yolks

  • Fortified foods

  • Most common source- Sunlight

5. Vitamin B6

  • This is an essential vitamin that our body needs to keep its function as usual. It is also termed pyridoxine and can be defined as a water-soluble vitamin required by our body in various functions. It is essential for protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism and helps produce red blood cells and neurotransmitters. 

  • This increases the bloodstream's oxygen level, helps keep the blood oxygen regular, and keeps various illnesses at bay. The deficiency of this Vitamin can cause multiple disorders in our bodies. Its deficiency can hurt the immune system, reducing white blood cell production, including T cells. Another role of B6 is that it produces a protein named interleukin-2 that directs the action of white blood cells in the body. 

Normal Occurrence

Vitamin B6 has several natural sources that we can find in several plants and animals that we can consume. 

  • Meat

  • Poultry like chicken and turkey

  • Whole cereal grains

  • Peanuts

  • Soya Beans

  • Wheatgerm

  • Oats

6. Folic Acid

  • This Vitamin is derived from folate (Vitamin B9). This is a water-soluble vitamin used as a supplement by humans to keep them fit and stronger. Our body uses this Vitamin in various metabolic and cytological functions in the body. This Vitamin has a specific role to play in DNA synthesis and cellular division. 

  • The presence of this Vitamin helps in avoiding certain harmful diseases in humans that can be fatal sometimes. Some of these diseases are megaloblastic anemia, congenital disabilities, mental impairment, etc. Also, the deficiency of this Vitamin can cause impaired immune function in the body. This is taken in by humans directly from the natural source or in the form of supplements readily available in the market. 

  • Keeping the level normal in the body can boost immunity or avoid several unwanted diseases attacking the body. 

Folic Acid

Natural Occurrence

Folate or folic acid is found in various natural sources from where we can easily extract the Vitamin. Directly consuming these substances can also be great to keep the level normal in the body. Some of its natural sources from where it can be taken in are mentioned below:

  • Fresh green vegetables. 

  • Liver

  • Pulses

  • Beans

  • Peas

  • Seafood

  • Eggs

  • Dairy Products

  • Meat Poultry 

  • Grains, etc.

Word of Wisdom

  • All vitamins and minerals are required in a limited amount by our body. Taking excessive of these can be harmful, while consuming less can cause a deficiency in the body. To keep everything at the required level, the food we consume should have a maximum number of vitamins. 

  • This will help us to take in all vitamins and minerals at a time and also keep the level balanced. With no deficiency in the level of any vitamin, immunity can be boosted easily. This is the reason why doctors suggest taking more fruits and vegetables more often. 


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