Meet Our Power 4 - 4 Of The Best Vitamins To Boost Your Immunity
In a year where we have been especially conscious of our health, here at Enki London we’re more dedicated than ever to offer you the most effective products to keep you and your loved ones well. This starts with looking after your immune system. It’s said time and time again, that we must keep our immune system strong and healthy to fight off infections. But what does this mean?
The immune system is intricate and made up of immune cells, these cells fight off infections and disease-causing bacteria which are harmful to the body. To obtain a healthy immune system and to have it functioning at its best, it’s essential to include the right vitamins and minerals to support it. In this post, we will share with you what we call our ‘Power 4’, for maintaining a strong and healthy immune system.
The first of our Power 4 is vitamin C, this anti-oxidant has a powerful influence on the immune system. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin meaning it has a low storage capacity and unless you are getting vitamin C every day, it is easy to become deficient in it. The daily recommended amount is highlighted as‘75mg for women and 90mg for men’(1). As this is an essential vitamin, the body cannot produce this vitamin itself therefore food and supplements are very important here. Citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables are well known for being high in vitamin C. For example, one lemon has 83mg of vitamin C/ 92% of the DV- Daily Value (2), and just ½ cup/64g of broccoli has 51mg (3).
Whilst there are a whole host of foods that offer vitamin C, many people are now turning to supplements for that extra immunity boost. Why supplement it? Various studies suggest supplementing vitamin C helps to encourage the production of white blood cells, (lymphocytes and phagocytes) which help protect the body against infection (4) and it shortens the recovery time in people who have an immune disease such as pneumonia (5). Therefore adding this supplement to your diet is a simple way to boost your immunity and fight infection.
Up next is vitamin D or otherwise known as the “sunshine vitamin”. This is the vitamin everyone in the UK is probably lacking the most right now, especially with the winter we have just had. Vitamin D has a variety of integral functions, one of the most fundamental roles it plays is ensuring a healthy absorption level for calcium and phosphorus (a mineral that contributes to bone health). It also assists the immune system in fighting diseases. Namely, a 2010 study suggests it plays a role in helping to reduce the likelihood of developing the flu (6). It can be a challenge to get enough vitamin D as our primary source is sunshine! Studies suggest from 10-20mg as being the daily intake. However, it is only found in a small amount of food such as oily fish – salmon, sardines, heron, mackerel, red meat, and egg yolks (7). Fortunately, you can also get your source of vitamin D by supplementing it. This is the best way of implementing it into your diet, especially if you live somewhere that doesn’t receive sunshine all year round.
You’ve got to have Vitamin K2 (too)…
Vitamin D and K are both fat-soluble vitamins and play a central role in calcium metabolism. Certain studies suggest that taken together ‘both vitamin D and vitamin K are beneficial for bone and cardiovascular health’(8). This is because vitamin D and K2 work together to produce Matrix GLA/MGP protein. This helps to protect your body from arterial calcification. This is where the supply of oxygen-rich blood cannot get to the heart, as the calcium crystals block the artery walls. One medical study proposes that taking the two together ‘may help to slow the progression of arterial calcification’(9). So it is recommended to supplement them together, especially if you’re at the risk of deficiency.
Our final Power 4, is Zinc, this mighty mineral is a must-have when boosting immunity. The recommended daily intake is ‘11mg for adult men and 8mg for adult women’(10).
One of Zinc’s main functions is helping to keep the immune system strong, it is critical for immune cell function and cell signaling. Developing a deficiency could lead to a weakened immune response. An array of animal and plant foods are naturally high in zinc, making it easy to consume sufficient amounts. To name a few, shellfish, meat, fish, poultry, and dairy. (11). Research also implies that supplementing zinc can assist the function of a healthy immune system. To give an example various studies demonstrated that ‘80-92mg per day of zinc may reduce the length of the common cold up to 33%’ (12). Plus, it could be proposed that zinc supplements reduce the risk of infections and promote an immune response in older adults (13).
So there you have it! Our top vitamins to support your immune system and aid you on a journey to better health. These Power 4 vitamins and minerals are available to buy, as a set in our ENKI LONDON immunity booster pack.