Fortify your diet with these superpower nutrients
Everyone knows that vitamin C is critical for immunity as it supports a host of cell functions, lowers the risk of respiratory infections, and helps with growth and repair of body tissues by helping enzymes build collagen. However, since the body doesn’t naturally produce vitamin C, daily intake of it through fruits and vegetables is essential for good health.
There is ample medical evidence to show that vitamin D can help the body fight off respiratory illness, as it produces antimicrobial proteins that kill viruses and bacteria, found particularly in the respiratory tract. Vitamin D is also associated with improved muscle strength, a healthy immune system, better moods, regulating normal blood pressure levels, and reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. While the wonder vitamin is generally harnessed from sun exposure, it is also found in salmon and other types of fatty fish, in milk and other fortified foods.
Zinc is vital in the development and function of immune cells. A study done by Medical News Today reported that animal sources of zinc (lean and skinless meats and chicken) are better absorbed than plant sources such as legumes (chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans) and wholegrains (oat, nuts, seeds, quinoa, brown rice). Why? Unlike chicken, legumes and wholegrains contain phytates, which bind to the zinc and slow down its absorption. However, soaking legumes and changing the water at least twice in a 24-hour soak effectively helps remove the phytates that leach into the water.