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Two key vitamins to stay healthy

Two major hitting vitamins for a healthy immune system are C and D.

Yes, citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, but they aren’t the only source. Rebecca Reed, a registered dietitian and certified nutrition support clinician with Lehigh Valley Health Network - Poconos, said bell peppers, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and even kale and spinach all contain vitamin C.

“You could have tacos one night and sauté some onions and some different colored, and have some salad on top of it,” she said. “You’re already getting more vitamin C than you normally would and from something different than just your normal orange a day.”

Reed said it really isn’t possible to get too much vitamin C, unless there is a medical condition like kidney failure or heart disease.

“Your body does a great job of keeping itself healthy, in terms of preventing itself from overdosing on many things,” she said.

If a person does take in too much, then the body just urinates it out.

Vitamin D is sort of similar to vitamin C in that it’s really unlikely that a person could get too much of it. In fact, most people in this area are deficient in vitamin D, she said.

“You can’t get vitamin D through a window. Where we live, we don’t get enough vitamin D from the sunlight even during the summer, so taking a vitamin supplement is a good idea,” she said.

Reed recommends taking 500 IUs to 1,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day.

“Taking vitamin D all year round can only help us,” she said.

In addition to supplements and sunshine, vitamin D can be found in dairy products. Reed recommends foods such as a low-fat cheese stick, low-fat milk, or other low-fat dairy products.

“When you pair (vitamin D) with calcium, you’re adding another benefit to your body by getting that calcium in for your bones and your heart,” she said.

Reed recommends taking vitamins and minerals with a meal. This will help to keep the supplements from upsetting the stomach and aids in absorption.

Another option is to take a few throughout the day, or take some in the morning with breakfast and some in the evening with dinner. Or try taking a couple every 30 to 45 minutes.