Your immune system aims to protect you from infections and ailments, as it works hard to defend your body against intruders hoping to wreak havoc on your health. Your immune system also, unsurprisingly, helps you build immunity if you do happen to become sick, as your immune system has the ability to completely fight off the germs, microorganisms and free radicals that made you ill in the first place. You can help boost your immune system by ensuring you eat nutrient rich, whole plant foods, and particularly by including zinc and vitamin D in your diet.
Let’s discuss how these nutrients provide us with natural immunity and help us stay healthy by first getting into the multifaceted mineral that is zinc. According to a study found in the US National Library of Medicine, zinc is “crucial for normal development and function of cells mediating innate immunity.” Furthermore, Zinc is an antioxidant, which is arguably one of the most crucial types of molecules in our bodies and can provide us with protection against “free radicals” (also known as “compounds that cause harm to the body” when left unchecked, and which can lead to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes). Zinc is a mineral that you can acquire from foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, oats, and tofu, or you can take a high quality zinc supplement if preferred. According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended daily amount of zinc is 8 milligrams (mg) for women and 11 mg for adult men.
Based on some of the latest research, Vitamin D supports the health of the brain, and the nervous and immune systems. Vitamin D is also important for the absorption of calcium in the body (which, in turn, helps the body build strong bones), supporting management of diabetes by regulating insulin levels, promoting cardiovascular health, and even impacting gene expression in the development of cancer. This multifunctionality makes it one of the most beneficial vitamins when it comes to boosting your immune system. In addition to getting vitamin D from sunshine, some good plant-based sources include mushrooms and fortified versions of soy/rice/almond milk, cereals, and orange juice. With regards to dosage for Vitamin D, research shows that 600 IU is often a good daily target for adults.
We should always be conscious of what we put into our bodies, how our bodies function, and setting health goals, such as staying hydrated and consistently supporting our immune systems. One easy way to get both zinc and vitamin D into your daily routine is with Radical Elements, our superfood hydration drink. At the end of the day, be sure to keep these two superstar nutrients on your daily radar.
By Donny Makower, a Seriously Radical Founder