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Essential Vitamins and Nutrients

You’re busy and want to get back to your life ASAP - I hear ya. Surely there are magical home remedies that will heal you overnight, right? While I won’t go that far, there are some vitamins and nutrients that may give your immune system a little boost.

Vitamin A is essential for healthy mucous membrane linings (think lungs and intestines), which protects against infection. It also plays a key role in making white blood cells, which we need for fighting infection.

  • How to get it: sweet potatoes, carrots, tuna, winter squash, dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, lettuce, bell peppers, pink grapefruit, broccoli

Vitamin C helps protect cells against oxidative stress - which protects against diseases - and boosts your immune system.

  • How to get it: guavas, bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, oranges, papayas, broccoli, tomatoes, kale, snow peas

Vitamin D has been linked to a number of small studies showing Vitamin D deficiency leads to worse outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

  • How to get it: the SUN! Here’s one of many reasons why getting outside is so important. It’s the most natural way we can absorb Vit D. Other ways: foods such as cereal, orange juice and milk because they have nutrients added to them, such as Vitamin D.

Zinc is essential for the creation and activation of T-lymphocytes - a type of white blood cell that’s crucial for fighting infection and boosting the immune system.

  • How to get it: oysters, beef, chicken, tofu, pork, nuts, seeds, lentils, yogurt, oatmeal, mushrooms (mmmmm yummy, all the foods we want when we’re sick 🤨)

Ginger has long been known for easing GI discomfort, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It may fortify your immune system and fight off viruses and bacteria.

  • How to get it: Simmer 1 tablespoon of peeled, finely chopped or grated ginger in 1½ cups of hot water for 15 minutes, then add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Cinnamon has antifungal and analgesic properties which can be helpful in fighting respiratory bugs.

  • How to get it: pour boiling water over cinnamon and make your own tea. Or sprinkle it in your coffee. OR combine it with an infection-fighting food from above (oatmeal or sweet potatoes) for a bigger punch!

Oregano has many flu-fighting properties because it’s an antibacterial, antifungal and an antioxidant. It can be used to treat a hacking cough.

  • How to get it: sprinkle it on anything that sounds yummy, especially the next item on our list...

Chicken Soup has been shown to reduce inflammation and help with hydration. Hot liquid with salt and electrolytes are essential in fighting illness! A lot of the ingredients that go into chicken soup have anti-inflammatory properties, making it an all-around excellent choice. It’s also easier to get down than say, oysters, when you’re feeling under the weather.

It’s important to note, studies are mixed and the natural remedy debate will always continue. Whether they help or not, these nutrients are important for your overall health so give ‘em a shot!