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Recipe and Supplement Suggestions to Help Support a Healthy Immune System

This article is for educational purposes only. It does not reflect the opinion of Optimum Nutrition, nor is it intended for product marketing purposes.

It is no secret that the best way to support a healthy immune system is to make healthy lifestyle choices. Don't smoke. Exercise regularly. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. If you drink alcohol, only do so in moderation. Get adequate sleep. Wash your hands frequently. Try to minimize and manage stress. And, of course, eat a healthy, balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables.

Vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as zinc are key immune supporting nutrients, but just how much should you be consuming?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the estimated amount of a nutrient per day considered necessary for the maintenance of good health by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council/ National Academy of Sciences. The RDAs for men and women 19 years and older are outlined in the tables below.

 

VITAMIN A

VITAMIN C

MALES:

900 mcg RAE

FEMALES:

700 mcg RAE

MALES:

90 mg

FEMALES:

75 mg

VITAMIN D

VITAMIN E

MALES:

600 IU (15 mcg)

FEMALES:

600 IU (15 mcg)

MALES:

15 mg

FEMALES:

15 mg

ZINC

MALES:

11 mg

FEMALES:

8 mg

Supplement Strategies to Support a Healthy Immune System

Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet is the best way to ensure that your nutritional needs are met. However, research indicates that many of us are not getting recommended amounts of several key nutrients important for supporting a healthy immune system - including vitamins A, C, D and E and zinc.

When you are not able meet your nutritional needs through food alone, supplements can be a valuable tool to help fill nutrient gaps. Fortunately, many multi-vitamins contain vitamins A, C, D, E and zinc. Alternatively, stand-alone vitamin and mineral offerings are widely available. Just remember, more is not always better, and everyone's needs are different. It is always a good idea to consult your personal healthcare provider or nutritionist before starting a supplement regimen.