Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies can sap your ability to ward off illnesses. While it is always best to get your nutrition from fresh and healthy foods, we sometimes need a supplement to fill that gap. Here are 9 types of supplements that will help you boost your immune system all year long.
What Should I look for in a Supplement?
Not all supplements are created equal. The industry generates over 31 billion dollars in revenue each year, which invites a lot of scams, fly-by-night online providers, and poor-quality brands to enter the market. When looking for a quality supplement:
- Check the ingredient list
- Buy lab-tested and 3rd party certified brands to ensure quality.
- To avoid fly-by-night operations, check to see their customer reviews and Better Business Bureau Ratings.
Studies indicate that filling nutrition gaps with a daily multivitamin can help older adults with healthy eating habits maintain a healthy immune system. Make sure to work with your doctor or nutritionist to find the right blend for your needs, as over supplementing can be harmful.
A healthy gut is essential to absorbing the nutrients your body needs. A probiotic helps promote a healthy environment for the good bacteria and reduces the bad bacteria in your colon . You can get probiotics via pills, kimchi, fermented foods, and some yogurts.
Garlic is full of anti-inflammatories and immune system boosting compounds. If you can’t stomach garlic, an aged garlic extract can help you boost your immune system by boosting your Natural Killer (NK) cells. It can even affect the occurrence and severity of cold and flu symptoms!
Elderberries boost the immune system by increasing inflammatory cytokines, which help promotes an immune response. Studies show that elderberry extract is also a strong antiviral against 10 different flu viruses.
Ginger has a host of benefits when taken, including but not limited to:
- Antimicrobial properties against various infectious diseases.
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties to protect against cancer, aging, and neurogenerative diseases.
- Gingerols that act as powerful antioxidants.
- Protective phytochemicals that reduce heart disorders
- Sugar and cholesterol regulation, reducing complications in diabetes.
Fresh ginger is best! However, you can find the extract in liquid and capsule form in most major supermarkets.
Echinacea helps boost your immune system by regulating your Regulatory T-cell production. It also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents that help shorten the duration and severity of colds.
Vitamin C plays a vital role in supporting both your reactive and adaptive immune system responses. It does everything from supporting microbial killing cells to donating electrons to cells undergoing oxidative stress before they deteriorate. However, when we are under stress, our Vitamin C stores rapidly deteriorate. A supplement can improve your immune system response when normal Vitamin C stores run low.
When we are deficient in Vitamin D, it affects our immune system response and ability to fight off infections. While there are health risks in overdosing, it has been deemed generally safe to take 10,000 IU a day, especially in winter when natural Vitamin D production is at its lowest.
Zinc is a gatekeeper in immune function. A zinc deficiency will quickly cause immune dysfunctions, increased oxidative stress on the body, and inflammatory responses. These all lead to unneeded stress on your entire immune system when you need it most. It is so vital to immune health, a study on HIV patients demonstrated that zinc supplements greatly reduced immunological failure!
Supplements Can Boost Your Immune System
If you are eating a healthy, nutrition-rich diet, a supplement can be very effective in filling any gaps. Check with your doctor or nutritionist today to see if any of the above fits your medical needs for a healthy immune system.