Want to support your immune system this winter? Let’s think bigger than just turmeric and ginger – here are five nutrients to nourish your gut and boost your immunity.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps to support your T Cells – a type of white blood cell that identifies pathogens (AKA germs). Your body converts the pigments from foods such as leafy yellow, red and green veg, carrots, sweet potatoes and capsicums into vitamin A, so rainbows on plates, please!
2. Vitamin B6 & B12
Like B1 and B2 but better, because these two help produce your immune cells. You can find B6 in poultry, fish, egg and bananas, and B12 in meat, salmon, milk, cheese, eggs and fortified foods.
Iron helps immune cells stay healthy, but research shows women aged 11-49 are most likely to come up short in their iron counts. You can up your dose in red meat and fish, or in plant-based sources like whole grains, nuts, beans and dried fruits, but they aren’t as easily absorbed.
When it’s not busy turning your fingers green from that ring you found at the bottom of your jewellery box, copper helps to protect and fuel your immune cells. You can find copper in nuts and seeds, whole grains, oysters and chocolate. Um, yum?
5. Vitamin D
The one we take from the sun. A 10-minute stroll in the sunshine is good for basically every part of your body, but if you can’t get your vitamin D that way, opt for oily fish, egg yolks or red meat.