Better Immunity: Swop Vitamin Supplements for Healthy Eating | Affinity Health
Affinity Health, a leading provider of affordable medical insurance in SA, discuss foods the vitamins and minerals that you can include in your daily nutrition.
Recent reports show there’s been a staggering increase in consumers seeking out immune-supporting supplements like zinc, selenium, B complex vitamins, and vitamins C and D.
What Are the Daily Dietary Requirements for Vitamins and Minerals?
Vitamin C gets special buzz for its immune-boosting potential and antioxidant properties. It’s recommended that women should get 75 mg of vitamin C per day, while men need 90 mg. Many fruits, veggies, and herbs, including citrus fruits, red and green peppers, blackcurrants, kiwi, tomatoes, broccoli, guavas, parsley, and thyme, are loaded with vitamin C.
There are many different sources of calcium, which is needed for strong bones and teeth and muscle movement, and nerve function. Calcium is found in dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, as well as shellfish, leafy greens, legumes, dried fruit, and tofu.
The building blocks of a healthy body, vitamin B12 impacts your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism. Because vitamin B12 cannot be made by the body – and it becomes harder for our bodies to absorb this vitamin as we get older, it is widely taken as a supplement. However, you can fulfil your body’s vitamin B12 needs by eating eggs, fish, meat, nuts, tuna, chickpeas, and fortified breakfast cereal.
Vitamin A is essential for vision, immune system function, reproduction, and support for the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Sweet potatoes are a particularly potent source of vitamin A. One sweet potato baked in the skin is enough to get 76.9% of the daily recommended vitamin A value. Other good sources of vitamin A include cheese, eggs, oily fish, fortified low-fat spreads, milk, and yoghurt.
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in the body and supports the immune system in fighting off bacteria and viruses. Almonds, as well as other nuts like peanuts and hazelnuts, are high sources of vitamin E. One ounce of dry-roasted almonds contains 6.8 mg of vitamin A, 34% of the daily recommended value.
Magnesium is a vital mineral in the human body, as it is involved in over 300 enzyme processes. It helps with muscle and neuron function, blood pressure regulation, and immune system support, among other things. Most people, however, consistently do not consume the recommended amount of magnesium. Cashews are a high source of magnesium. Other magnesium-rich foods include dark chocolate, avocados, legumes, tofu, whole grains, bananas, and leafy greens.
While iron deficiency affects as many as one in two South African women, it is relatively easy to treat with an iron-rich diet. Iron helps oxygenate the blood, boosts the immune system, aids cognitive function, and supports healthy skin, hair, and nails. Foods rich in iron include red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, dried fruit, iron-fortified cereals, and bread and pasta, and peas.
The recommended daily value (DV) is 800 IU (20 mcg) of vitamin D per day from foods. Vitamin D, which is needed for calcium absorption and cell growth. While most of us get our daily D requirements from sunshine alone, for others, salmon, herring, sardines, canned tuna, egg yolks, and mushrooms are all excellent sources of vitamin D.
Good to know: For some people, supplements do serve an essential purpose. Affinity Health recommends you consult your doctor before eliminating any supplements from your diet if you have medical concerns.
About Affinity Health
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