• Chelssie Li

How to REALLY "boost" immunity: Vol. 3

Welcome back to the final segment of immunity nutrition! Remember: These nutrients contribute to a healthy immune system, but dosing more than what your body needs will NOT bring additional benefits!

1. Vitamin D

Adequate vitamin D intake potentially helps to reduce risk of flu, and plays an important influence on adaptive and innate immune responses. We need about 400IU per day (more if you're >70 yo), so unless you're clinically tested to be deficient, please don't touch that 1000IU bottle.

The biggest source is, of course, sunlight. That being said, it's not always available (e.g. if you have darker skin, live in nordic countries, in winter, or work at night). Other rich sources include eggs (no they don't raise your cholesterol), mushrooms exposed to sunlight, sunflower seeds.

So, open up that curtain and get yourself some sun.


2. Vitamin E

By being an antioxidant, vitamin E is essential for cell integrity and health. You'll need about 10mg (~15IU) per day.

The more the better? Studies show that the more is NOT necessarily the better, with an upper limit to be about 1000mg (~1500 IU) per day as an adult.

Rich sources include: Sunflower seeds, Sunflower oil, Hazelnuts, Peanut butter, peanuts


3. Selenium

Selenium is a trace mineral that works tightly with vitamin E for antioxidant actions. We only need very small amounts - about 60-70mcg per day.

Again, your immune system is only compromised when you're deficient, and additional dosing will not bring additional benefits.

Rich sources include: Brazil nuts (only 1 nut will give you enough for the day!), oysters, sardines, dairy, breakfast cereals.


4. EPA

If you remember from the first volume of this series, limiting fat intake helped with optimising our immunity. However, studies show that EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) intake may have benefits to our immunity. This is potentially due to its anti-inflammatory effects. The less inflammation occurs in our body, the healthier and the better.

Rich sources include: Wild oily fish (e.g. salmon, tuna), flaxseed, walnuts, fish oil


And that's a wrap from the 'immunity boost' series! Hope you guys are staying safe and healthy :)

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