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Immune System Support Requires a Mix of Vital Nutrients

Packed with vitamin C Project 365(3) Day 350Many illnesses and health setbacks seem to be on the rise. Contributing factors to health decline focus on environmental conditions such as poor air quality, water contamination, and agricultural practices utilizing more and stronger herbicides and pesticides. Along with the inclusion of man-made chemicals in most of our food products and a plethora of processed foods containing unnatural chemicals insuring long shelf lives, our human bodies just cannot effectively keep up detoxifying the onslaught.

Earlier articles addressed the importance of what are considered the ten most important nutrients for supporting our immune system. Adding to the list of selenium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, and Co-enzyme Q10, I am adding magnesium and Vitamin B-6.

Magnesium interacts with over 300 chemical reactions in the body. We need magnesium to support immune function by producing anti-inflammatory chemicals that help reduce the damage caused by free radicals. Magnesium deficiency symptoms include twitchy eyelids, leg cramps, restless legs, kidney stones, PMS, insomnia, fatigue, depression, irritability, and affects thyroid function. Magnesium is easily depleted in the body by excess sweating, too much alcohol, fast foods, and poor nutrient absorption.

Foods rich in magnesium are plant based as in green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu, and whole grains. It is important to include calcium and potassium along with magnesium as they work together. Potassium foods include dried apricots, potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, bananas, and some plant foods as well as fish. Calcium rich foods include sea vegetables, kale, mixed greens, Brazil nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and tofu. These foods provide a higher percentage of calcium than milk.

Vitamin B6 supports immune function by producing antibodies against foreign invaders and slowing tumor growth. It helps cells replicate properly which is important as our cells are renewing all the time, especially our red blood cells, mucus membranes, and our skin. Vitamin B6 is necessary for brain function forming important neurotransmitters supporting our nervous system. Vitamin B6 is important for people who suffer from asthma, cardiovascular disease, carpal tunnel, PMS, autism, depression, acne, arthritis, weakness, skin rashes, and osteoporosis.

Deficiencies of Vitamin B6 lowers immune functions producing T-cells, natural killer cells, and antibody production – all necessary to ward off infections and cancer.

The best way to increase B6 is in a B-Complex supplement as all the B-vitamins work together. Magnesium is also required for proper absorption of the B-vitamins.

Foods rich in Vitamin B6 are cantaloupe, bananas, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, Brussels sprouts, organ meats, eggs, whole grains, soybeans, and salt water fish.

Including more of these nutrient rich foods in one’s diet will improve health and energy levels. Be sure to purchase most of these foods organic to insure less contamination from herbicides. If not buying organic produce, be sure to thoroughly wash your foods.

Krystle Shapiro, LMT, MSHN owns NewTritionally Yours! providing nutrition education classes. Classes begin in September. She can be reached at (208) 290-6760.Packed with vitamin C Project 365(3) Day 350

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