It took us a pandemic to realise the importance of building a strong immune system. However, these past two years have resulted in many more people making positive lifestyle changes like drinking warm water, supplementing their diets with essential vitamins like Vitamin C, D, and eating better.
These past two years have also resulted in increased stress levels among people. But, did you know, stress can suppress your immune system’s response against antigens? And it is one of the many good supplements that can help boost your immune system to cope with stress and effectively fight intruders.
It is safe to say that a strong immunity is the most reliable support for a long, healthy life. And, the solution to building a strong immune system is a well-balanced diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. Vitamin supplements can help you boost your immune system when taken with diet and exercise.
Including citrus fruits, green vegetables, almonds, yoghurt in your diet can help you strengthen your immunity. These foods also happen to be a rich source of Vitamin C, which improves your immune system.
What is Vitamin C?
Also known as Ascorbic acid, it has antioxidant properties. In addition, it promotes the production of a protein called collagen, which is essential for various tissues in your body. A deficiency of Vitamin C is called Scurvy, and it can lead to anaemia, body pain, ulcers, etc.
Vitamin C rich foods include-
Not only are lemons a rich source of Vitamin C, but they also are known to promote digestion, aid weight loss, and promote healthy skin. Another plus is that lemons can be easily incorporated into any diet.
Like many other citrus fruits, orange is a rich source of Vitamin C. This fruit also contains fibre which is helpful in good regulation of the digestion in your body.
Guavas are packed with Vitamin C. They are also great for your blood sugar and heart health, help with menstrual cramps, improve skin and have anti-cancer properties.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of fibre, and Vitamin C. Tomatoes are also known to be good for your eyes. They also have detoxifying properties.
Potatoes are one of the more common vegetables consumed worldwide. They can be incorporated into your diet through various delicious preparations. Rich in starch, antioxidants and Vitamin C, potatoes are a great vegetable to have in your diet regularly.
Seven ways in which Vitamin C strengthens the immune system-
Various research shows Vitamin C plays a vital role in your immune response. It helps in the growth of tissues and protects the body by strengthening the immune system.
1. Fights free radicals
It has antioxidant properties, which defends your body by fighting radicals within. This is important as this prevents the formation of diseases.
Your body is constantly exposed to disease-causing viruses and bacteria. The reason you don’t always get sick is that your immune cells keep fighting these radicals before they attack your body cells. It helps to strengthen your immune cells to fight free radicals.
2. Improve information transfer in your immune system.
Cytokine is the protein produced by WBCs, which help in transferring information from one cell to another and regulating inflammation and immunity. This information transfer is essential to the proper functioning of the immune system.
3. Intensifies the formation of antigen neutralising cells.
Phagocytes are a type of WBC that shield your body from foreign substances in your body. They do that by ingesting foreign particles and neutralising them. The better your phagocytes are at their role, the better will be your immune system. Vitamin C intensifies phagocyte formation, which in turn boosts your immune system.
4. Kill antigens left and right.
T-lymphocytes are a type of WBCs. Their role includes directly killing infected host cells, regulating the immune response by activating other immune cells by producing cytokines.
Vitamin C promotes the formation of T-lymphocytes so they can fight off any foreign invaders.
5. Encourages the formation of critical hormone- prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins play a crucial role in regulating various reactions of your immune system. These hormones also regulate the T cell function and many biological processes like inflammation, blood flow, etc. Vitamin C promotes the formation of prostaglandins which in turn strengthens your immune system.
6. Promotes the production of antibodies.
B-lymphocytes are responsible for the formation of antibodies that fight viruses and any foreign cells in your body. These are also very effective white blood cells that generate antibodies as an immune response.
When initially any antigen invades the body, these cells are quickly formed as a response to protect the body. Vitamin C increases the formation of B-lymphocytes in your body.
7. Dissolves and protects from bacteria
Vitamin C dissolves diseases causing bacteria when it reacts with hydrogen and protects your body from any diseases caused by bacteria. Thus, Vitamin C directly works as an immune response.
A sound immune system is an essential requirement for attaining a healthy life. Vitamin C is crucial for boosting your immunity. Load your diet with fruits, vegetables rich in Vitamin C; you can always resort to supplements to meet your bodily requirement of Vitamin C.