How to Boost Immunity While Pregnant
During pregnancy, there are a lot of things on your mind and a lot to be concerned about. Immune support during your pregnancy for both you and your unborn child doesn’t need to be a big stressor for you. Immunity is important of course and something you should consider but there are easy ways to help boost your immunity.
Research has shown that different vitamins, minerals and compounds can give pregnant women a critical immunity boost. However, these are useful for everyone and taking them regularly can improve the health of your immune system.
This vitamin can be difficult for us to obtain. You either need to spend a good amount of time in the sun or eat enough of certain foods that contain it. We need around 20mcg of Vitamin D per day from direct sunlight or through a combination of food. Oily fish contain the highest percentage of Vitamin D but you also get it from red meat, liver, egg yolks, mushrooms and fortified foods.
We need Vitamin D for various things including calcium and phosphate regulation to keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy. However, the lack of this vital nutrient can cause immune system problems.
The flip side? Vitamin D needs Vitamin K2 to be absorbed by your body. The lack of K2 could cause you to become deficient in Vitamin D and Calcium. If you’re looking to get a Vitamin D supplement then look for a Vitamin D and K2 combined supplement.
Best known for being a powerful immune-supporting nutrient, Vitamin C is one of the most researched. Studies have acknowledged that Vitamin C can reduce the duration and severity of colds. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that repairs tissue, transmissions between cells, is needed for several enzymes to function and is needed for the immune system. In addition to this, it’s also an antioxidant and is used as a treatment for various diseases.
You could obtain more Vitamin C through supplements but this is a relatively easy nutrient to get from your food. Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables as part of your regular diet can easily give you over 100% of your daily needs.
Getting “too much” Vitamin C is difficult unless you’re taking high dosage supplements. Getting more than 2,000 or 3,000 mcg per day can cause you a range of problems such as nausea, diarrhoea, heartburn and insomnia. You will also get a lot of Vitamin C from your diet so keep this in mind when looking at supplements.
It might not always get much attention but Zinc is an essential nutrient we need to be healthy. This helps us create new cells and enzymes while also allowing us to process our food correctly so we can absorb the nutrients in them. Zinc is also important for wound healing and your immune system.
Luckily, this ingredient isn’t too difficult to obtain through your diet since it’s available from multiple sources. Zinc can be obtained by eating legumes such as beans and lentils but it’s also available in meat, shellfish, seeds, nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate and some vegetables contain it too.
For pregnant women, zinc is considering potentially unsafe when taking over 40mg per day. This means you would only need a low dose supplement if you’re lacking it via your diet.
N-Acetyl Cysteine / L-cysteine
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) helps to remove extra mucus from your body which means it removed excess mucus from your respiratory system and sinuses. If you didn’t know already. Our bodies use mucus to transport unwanted particulates from the lungs to our throats which is then sent to the stomach to be destroyed. It sounds gross but it’s essential to keep unwanted organisms from getting into our bodies and keeps us healthy. NAC supports this process while also being an antioxidant.
NAC is derived from the L-cysteine amino acid we can find in foods. They are both similar compounds that do the same jobs with NAC being made in labs mainly for medication usage. You can obtain the L-cysteine amino acid from foods such as oats, lentils, meat, sunflower seeds and garlic. It is not possible to obtain NAC through your diet as this is man-made for supplement and medical usage.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is something our bodies can make but we can also absorb it from different foods. This nutrient does a lot of work for us including ensuring our organs work correctly, provides energy to cells, is an antioxidant and protects our cells from damage. Research has shown that people with certain diseases such as high blood pressure, gum disease and blood infections have low levels of the nutrient.
It’s not listed on food packaging but CoQ10 is commonly found in fatty fish, organ meats, meat in general ad a range of plant-based sources too. Fruit and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, strawberries and oranges are good sources too. CoQ10 can also be found in soya and other legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains and some oils.
There is currently no ideal dosage for this nutrient and side effects are very rare when consuming high doses of it. CoQ10 side effects are also very mild with nausea, heartburn and diarrhoea however, it may also lower your blood sugar levels or blood pressure.
This plant compound acts as an antioxidant for us by protecting the body against damage including cell damage. Research has shown that Resveratrol also has disease-fighting abilities such as being able to reduce inflammation, protect nerve cells from damage, prevent insulin resistance and can slow the spread of cancer cells.
Since Resveratrol comes from plants, consuming it isn’t too difficult. The ones containing the most of this stuff are grapes, blueberries, cranberries, peanuts, pistachios, dark chocolate and even wine can contain it. Consuming this from your regular diet is relatively easy to do since it’s found in different popular foods. However, you can also take it as a supplement.
Research into the dosage for Resveratrol is very limited with some claims that it can cause hypersensitivity and has the potential for blood problems. However, there’s no scientific consensus for these side effects or what dosage should be considered dangerous. It’s thought that doses of 2000 – 3000 mg daily are safe for up to 6 months but higher doses are more likely to cause you some stomach upset.