As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining a healthy immune system is more important than ever. While we may be familiar with the benefits of eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep, there’s another factor that can significantly impact our immune response: stress.
Research has shown that stress can weaken our immune system by increasing the levels of the hormone cortisol in our bodies. But, there’s a simple and surprising solution to combat this: vitamin C.
Studies have found that taking vitamin C supplements can help reduce cortisol levels, thereby boosting the immune system’s ability to fight off infections. Not only that, but vitamin C also plays a crucial role in the production of white blood cells, which are essential for immune function.
In addition to taking supplements, there are plenty of natural sources of vitamin C that you can incorporate into your diet. Here are some vitamin C-rich snacks to try:
- Oranges: One medium-sized orange contains about 70mg of vitamin C, which is more than the recommended daily intake for adults.
- Red bell peppers: One cup of chopped red bell peppers contains over 200% of the daily value for vitamin C.
- Kiwi: One medium-sized kiwi contains about 70mg of vitamin C, as well as other beneficial nutrients like fiber and potassium.
- Strawberries: One cup of sliced strawberries contains over 100% of the daily value for vitamin C, as well as antioxidants that can help protect against disease.
- Broccoli: One cup of chopped broccoli contains about 80mg of vitamin C, as well as other important nutrients like vitamin K and folate.
While there’s no magic pill to prevent illness, taking steps to reduce stress and support your immune system can make all the difference. So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach for a vitamin C-rich snack and give your immune system the boost it needs.