Prevent Nutrient Deficiency
Welcome to day 6 of the Strengthen Your Immunity, powered by Compass One challenge!
You need adequate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, like vitamins C and zinc, to have a strong immune system. You can get these nutrients naturally from healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds.
“You can get nutrition from a supplement, but it doesn’t have everything that real food has,” said Peggy O’Neill, VP of Nutrition and Wellness at Morrison Healthcare. “Flavonoids and fiber in foods increase the body’s ability to absorb nutrition and utilize it.”
If you’re deficient in certain nutrients and not getting enough from the foods you eat; you can use dietary supplements safely by following these guidelines:
Zinc: Can shorten the duration of the common cold and help with wound healing. It’s best absorbed through lozenges. Take 40mg per day.
Vitamin C: Research shows it reduces the severity of the common cold. Take no more than 2,000mg per day divided into 3 to 4 doses.
Keep in mind that some vitamins are harder to get from the foods you eat. Vitamin D, for example, is crucial for the immune system and is often found through exposure to sunshine. But you can also get it in fortified foods (cereal, juice, milk) as well as salmon, tuna, and egg yolks.
Research has shown a connection between this vitamin and COVID-19 and the long-term effects of the virus. One study found that 80 percent of people with COVID-19 didn’t have adequate levels of vitamin D in their blood.
So, how can you make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D if it’s not in many foods you eat, and the sun’s not shining? Take no more than 1,000 to 2,000 IUs per day of vitamin D3, which is fat soluble and should be taken with food.
Not sure if you have a vitamin deficiency? Talk to your primary care physician to find out.
Tell us how you're doing in the challenge so far in our discussion in the challenge update section here or on Facebook.
Find this helpful? Share it with a nurse by using the social media links on the left side of this page and invite them to sign up for the Strengthen Your Immunity, powered by Compass One challenge!