Top Vitamins to Keep Your Immune System Healthy

Keeping the immune system healthy is the best way for healthcare workers to avoid getting ill, especially during the winter when viruses and bacterial infections are doing the rounds! We all know how important it is to have a balanced diet, but these tips will remind you about the top vitamins your body needs and the best way to implement them into your meals. 

 

Vitamin A 

Vitamin A helps your body fight infections by developing your body’s defence against illness and infection. Vitamin A supports the lining of certain organs, as well as helping your vision (there’s a reason why they say carrots make you see in the dark!). There are a lot of foods for both meat and plant-based diets that are good sources of vitamin A, such as: 

  • Carrots 
  • Tuna 
  • Pumpkin 
  • Butternut Squash 
  • Cheese 
  • Milk 
  • Yoghurt 
  • Liver 
  • Spinach 
  • Red peppers 

 

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C helps prevent infections and boosts your immune system, making it easier for your body to get rid of any illnesses that may be lurking. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and encourages tissue repair which helps your body heal wounds faster. Not only this, but it supports the maintenance of healthy skin, blood vessels, bones, and cartilage. The best foods for vitamin C intake include: 

  • Citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons 
  • Kale 
  • Strawberries 
  • Brussels sprouts 
  • Broccoli 
  • Orange juice 

 

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for supporting your immune system. Vitamin D keeps bones and muscles healthy. While vitamin D can be created by your body by receiving direct sunlight, it’s still important to include vitamin D sources in your diet, especially during winter. The following foods are a good way of getting vitamin D: 

  • Salmon 
  • Sardines 
  • Tuna 
  • Red meat 
  • Egg yolks 
  • Breakfast cereals 
  • Milk 

 

Vitamin E 

Much like vitamin C, vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant that helps boost your immune system and keeps your body healthy enough to fight off infection. Vitamin E is a vital part of making your immune system work as most parts of the immune system need it to function properly. Vitamin E is in high-fat plants, oils, nuts, seeds, and wheatgerm. Some specific examples include: 

  • Almonds 
  • Peanuts and peanut butter 
  • Sunflower seeds and sunflower oil 
  • Hazelnuts 

 

Iron 

Iron helps your body carry oxygen to cells and plays a vital role in most of your immune system processes. Most meats are abundant in iron, but some specific examples include: 

  • Red meat 
  • Poultry, like chicken and turkey 
  • Shellfish, like mussels, clams, and oyster meat 
  • Canned light tuna 
  • Canned sardines 

 

Zinc 

Zinc helps your body’s ability to produce new cells and enzymes, process carbohydrates, fat and protein and helps your body heal wounds. The following are a good way of getting more zinc in your diet: 

  • Crab 
  • Shellfish 
  • Baked Beans 
  • Chickpeas 
  • Yoghurt 
  • Lean meats and poultry 

 

Being a healthcare worker means you’re exposed to more germs than most. Illness can be inevitable! However, we hope this vitamin breakdown has provided some helpful insight into how to keep healthy over the winter months. The stronger your immune system is, the better prepared your body is to fight off any illnesses that may be lingering in your workplace.  

Looking for a new job? We’ll help you find the perfect one!