Supporting Your Immune System With Daily Vitamins

Your immune system works hard to protect your body by fighting off disease and infection to help support your overall health and wellness. But your immune health needs support too. If you’re looking for ways to shore up your immune system, the following vitamins can do the trick!

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for supporting healthy immune function, but our bodies do not produce it naturally. The good news is that plenty of the foods we eat every day contain vitamin C . If you’re looking for some extra vitamin C, add the following fresh fruits and vegetables to your shopping cart:

  • Oranges
  • Tangerines
  • Grapefruits
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Guavas
  • Chili peppers
  • Kale
  • Bell peppers
  • Mangoes
  • Lemons

If you can’t get enough vitamin C in your diet, you may want to talk to your health care provider about taking a daily vitamin C supplement. It is recommended that you get about 75 mg of vitamin C every day.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 supports various chemical reactions involved in your body’s immune response. This vitamin is also found in many of the foods we eat, so if you want to increase your vitamin B6 intake, try adding some of the following foods to your diet:

  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Beef
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Avocados

Most adults need about 1.2 to 1.5 mg of vitamin B6 each day.

Vitamin E

The central role of vitamin E is to act as an antioxidant, which means that it protects the cells in your body from free radicals that can cause extensive damage. If you want to naturally raise your vitamin E levels, reach for the following foods:

  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Spinach
  • Peanuts
  • Raw bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Avocados

Adults should get about 15 mg of vitamin E on a daily basis.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient that serves many roles in the body, such as supporting the function of the white blood cells that help fight off infection and inflammation.

Vitamin D comes from three main sources: sunlight, certain foods and supplementation.

  • Several factors determine how much vitamin D your body is able to synthesize from sunlight: latitude, genetic determinants, season, skin pigmentation, and lifestyle choices (i.e., the use of sunscreen and clothing).
  • Very few foods contain vitamin D. The foods that do contain vitamin D are fatty salmon, mackerel, sardines, cod liver oil, and shiitake mushrooms. Some foods are fortified with Vitamin D, such as dairy products like milk or yogurt.
  • Vitamin D supplementation can be helpful if your levels are low or at risk of being low due to where you live or what you eat. The best way to know if you need a vitamin D supplement is to have your vitamin D blood level checked.

The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 600 units.

Ideally, if you adhere to a healthy and balanced diet like the Mediterranean diet you should get an adequate intake of these vitamins. However, if you’re unsure whether you need to take vitamins and supplements, talk to your primary care provider first.

Primary Care in Minneapolis

At The Good Clinic, our philosophy is that you’re in charge of your health—we are here to support you. Good health happens when patients have a close relationship with their primary care team.

Whether you need an annual check-up, have health concerns, or anything in between—call (612) 284-8206 to schedule your next visit.