The Select Immunity Builders
Though there are no studies to prove the potency of nutrients against the coronavirus pandemic since this is a relatively new outbreak, it’s important to remember the saying, “Prevention is better than cure”.
As the coronavirus outbreak poses a potent, persistent global threat, the role of select minerals and vitamins in building immunity is coming into focus. One of the ways to improve immunity includes nutrients such as zinc and selenium as well as vitamins B₆, vitamin C, and D. Though there are no studies to prove the potency of nutrients against the coronavirus pandemic since this is a relatively new outbreak, it’s important to remember the saying, “Prevention is better than cure”.
The Super Nutrients
To begin with, let’s consider zinc and selenium. A critical trace mineral – zinc, boosts immunity in the case of certain disorders. Although there is no evidence about zinc fighting off COVID-19 because this is a new infection, zinc has been shown to inhibit the cold virus binding to our cells within the nasal mucosa, thereby suppressing inflammation.1
Significantly, since our bodies lack specialized zinc storage systems, one needs to consume it daily. As zinc found in grains and plants isn’t well absorbed, preferable sources comprise seafood and meat. Yet if one is a vegetarian, oilseeds like sesame seeds, watermelon seeds, cashew nuts, and little millet are some potent sources of zinc and selenium.
Another trace element found in human bodies is selenium. In viral and bacterial infections, dietary selenium plays a role in the immune response. Acting as an antioxidant in extracellular space, the cell cytosol, selenium has the potential for influencing immune processes. Nuts, tofu, whole grains, oysters, tuna, shrimp, chicken, and mushrooms are all good sources of selenium.
The Vitamin Warriors
In the case of vitamins, the one that aids our immune system against colds and flu is vitamin D.2The surface of all white blood cells has activating enzymes and vitamin D receptors. Vitamin D plays an extremely complex role in maintaining the health of our immune systems, which need to be balanced perfectly.
Inadequate levels of vitamin D are also linked with a higher frequency of infections, including colds and influenza.
Wondering how to get enough vitamin-D? Relax! You just need to expose yourself to sunlight in your terrace, balcony, or veranda for 20 minutes every day in order to get your daily dose of vitamin-D. Get your sunny side up every day.
The other vital vitamin is B₆, also called pyridoxine. A water-soluble vitamin, it helps the body in varied functions. It’s essential for metabolizing protein, carbohydrate, and fat as well as for creating red blood cells and neurotransmitters. Since the body is unable to produce vitamin B₆, one needs to obtain this from foods and supplements. Given its role in producing hemoglobin, it is helpful in the prevention and treatment of anemia arising from deficiency.
In case we aren’t able to meet our daily requirements of immuno-nutrients through our daily diet, we can supplement it via its elemental form in tablets for each nutrient or a multivitamin that can be used. In other cases, we can also ensure consuming the right amount of these nutrients through food fortification. Products such as ready-to-drink fortified juices and Nu-Shakti’s MixMe fortified beverage powder contains these vital nutrients. MixMe, when mixed with water, can be consumed as a healthy drink.
Besides the above benefits, there is no doubt these minerals and vitamins play a crucial role in boosting well-being and optimizing the body’s overall immune response.
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