5 Essential Nutrients for Strong Immunity Against Delta Variant

Updated: Sep 11, 2021

The recent spike of COVID-19 Delta Variant cases has left us all more worried and anxious than we already are. It has been nearly 20 months since the beginning of this global health crisis, and we can all agree that the journey adjusting to the new normal was long and trying in itself. Now we find ourselves facing a threat twice as transmissible than the original virus.

Yes, the Delta Variant may be less deadly but no one would want to contact the virus or even merely be at risk. With a more contagious variant, how are we to protect ourselves from it? Well, aside from vaccination and adhering to public health protocols, all we can really do is make healthy choices on a daily basis, from choosing to exercise, monitoring what we eat, and deciding what vitamins to take. Here, we discuss specifically what vitamins can help strengthen your immunity against Delta and the virus in general.

5 Essential Nutrients for Strong Immunity Against Delta Variant

The need to adjust our lives with the pandemic has led many of us to make healthier daily choices. Whether it be deciding to lose weight, tracking our daily water intake, or fixing our sleeping schedules, we all have made strides to keep ourselves protected from the virus. When it comes to balancing our health for immunity, we have to understand the vital role of vitamins.

Vitamins are micronutrients required by the body to perform a range of normal functions. However, these micronutrients are not produced in our bodies and must be derived from the food we eat.

To make things easier for you, here’s a list of the top vitamins, their natural dietary sources and the recommended intake for each vitamin!

1. Vitamin C

When our temperature rises and our noses start running, Vitamin C is often the first thing that comes to mind. True enough, Vitamin C helps strengthen our immunity against sickness and plays a role in controlling infections. It is a water-soluble vitamin. This means it is not stored well and is to be taken daily through food or supplements.

Dietary Sources:

  • Oranges, Strawberries and Kiwi;

  • Red and Green Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

FNRI Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNI) Vitamin C (mg):

  • Adults 19-70 years 70 for male and 60 for female

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels or Upper Limits per day

  • Adults 19-70 years 1000 for both male and female

2. Vitamin D

A deficiency of this nutrient results in being more susceptible to infection and disease. Getting sufficient sunlight is the best way to help the body produce enough vitamin since only a few foods naturally contain vitamin D.

Dietary Sources:

  • Oily Fish such as Salmon, Sardines, Herring and Mackerel;

  • Red Meat, Liver, Egg Yolks

  • Fortified Foods such as some Fat Spreads and breakfast Cereals

3. Vitamin A

It is known that taking adequate amounts of this nutrient will support eye health. But, it also is important for our immunity as Vitamin A also stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells.

Dietary Sources:

  • Dark Orange/Green vegetables such as Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Squash, Kale, Spinach, Broccoli;

  • Orange fruits such as Peaches, Papaya, Mango, Cantaloupe Melon;

  • Others: Milk, Cheese, Eggs, Fortified Cereals and oily Fish

FNRI Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNI) Vitamin A (ug Retinol Equivalent = ug retinol)

  • Adults 19-70 years 700 (2,333 IU) for male and 600 (2,000 IU) for female

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels or Upper Limits per day

  • Adults 19-70 years 3000 (10,000 IU) for both male and female

4. B Complex Vitamins

B vitamins play essential roles in a number of organs and bodily functions. Certain vitamins in the B Complex family are in charge of keeping the immune system strong, making new red blood cells, and transporting oxygen throughout the body.

Dietary Sources

  • Poultry such as Chicken breast and hard boiled Egg; Beef Liver; Seafood such as Yellowfin Tuna and Salmon; Dairy products such as Cheese and Milk;

  • Garlic, Baked potato, Dark green leafy vegetables such as Turnip Greens, Spinach, Romaine Lettuce, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli;

  • Whole Grains, Brown Rice, Nuts/Roasted Nuts;

  • Bananas and Avocados

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxin)

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance: Adults 19 - 49:1.3 mg

  • 50+: M- 1.7 mg F- 1.6 mg

  • Upper Tolerable Limit:100 mg

Vitamin B9 (Folate)

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance: Adults 19+:400 mcg

  • Upper Tolerable Limit: 1000 mcg

5. Zinc

Zinc plays a central role in protecting us against a variety of pathogens as it affects multiple aspects of our immunity. It is a major player in the creation of DNA, growth of cells, building proteins and healing damaged tissue.

Dietary Sources:

  • Shellfish, Meat and Cheese;

  • Grains and Seeds, Cereals, Seeded or Whole Grain Breads

FNRI Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNI) Zinc (mg)

  • Adults 19-70 years 6.5 for male and 4.6 for female

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels or Upper Limits per day

  • Adults 19-70 years 45 for both male and female

Get vaccinated, follow protocols and take your vitamins!

In conclusion, it is imperative to take your vitamins from food sources or supplements on a daily basis. It may not be a cure for COVID-19, but it will definitely help in building a strong and balanced immunity!