It’s a known fact that eating healthy and exercising is key to maintaining good health. But sometimes we need a little extra boost. One way to get it is by taking the right supplements. Just like the name suggests, they supplement nutrients, minerals, and vitamins we need for optimal health. Here we’ll talk specifically about natural supplements you can introduce to enhance your immunity.
In a study by the Open Respiratory Medicine Journal, zinc was shown to reduce the duration of a cold by 42%. It assists in the development of our T cells (T lymphocytes) and activates them to fight off unwanted pathogens and bacteria in affected areas of the body.
TIP: A general recommendation is to take zinc at the first sign of symptoms like sniffles or a sore throat.
This superfood is an algae that can be taken as a dietary supplement. It’s a fantastic way to boost your health because it supports immune function through several properties. Spirulina’s main compound is called phycocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals in your body.
TIP: You can introduce spirulina into your diet through capsules or powder. A popular way to consume the powder is to mix it with a glass of water or add it to a smoothie.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for the human body’s development and immune function. The reason why this vitamin is so vital is that it helps fight free radicals, which cause damage to our healthy cells and contribute to disease and cancers.
TIP: This vitamin can be hard to get through food or the environment, which is why many medical professionals advocate taking a supplement.
Selenium benefits the immune system in many ways. It protects and keeps our cells healthy by preventing the damage that free radicals can cause. Additionally, this supplement contains high levels of antioxidant properties, which help reduce inflammation present in the body and boosts immunity.
TIP: Some of the highest sources of selenium are found in brazil nuts. Eating 6-8 a day can provide the recommended amount of selenium for adults.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C may be one of the most commonly mentioned vitamins people suggest when it comes to boosting immunity. Why? Because it is a powerful antioxidant that helps keep our cells healthy and functioning properly. Its calcium bearing abilities keep our bones and teeth strong and free of illnesses.
TIP: A surprisingly easy way to get vitamin C is through fermented vegetables!
- Vitamin A
This vitamin gets an A+ for keeping our skin healthy! It’s necessary for proper immune function because our skin, including the hidden mucous membranes, is the first line of defense against bacteria and viruses.
Vitamin A also assists in healing by supporting connective tissue development. This ensures timely tissue recovery and repair, protecting us from further damage and the possible entry of unwanted pathogens into our bodies.
TIP: Some of the best sources of vitamin A include yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, eggs, and cod liver oil.
Elderberry has been used for hundreds of years in traditional medicine to treat various ailments because of its effective antiviral fighting properties. Elderberries have quite a few factors that help strengthen our immune systems.
For one, this berry is rich in antioxidants that help to reduce and treat inflammation in the body. It also protects and rids the body of free radicals. Additionally, in several studies, like the one published by The Journal of International Medical Research, evidence showed patients experienced a reduction in cold and flu symptoms when taking elderberry.
TIP: You can find elderberry syrup or lozenges as your local health food store.
For a delicious recipe to boost your immunity, try my Delicious Elderberry Smoothie! Find it here
Echinacea is best taken as a preventive measure before signs of illness or infection start to display. This herb contains phenols which have antioxidant properties that help fight off chest infections.
Alongside infections, it has been shown to reduce the probability of catching a cold as well as shorten the duration of respiratory symptoms associated with colds.
TIP: Echinacea tea is an easy way to consume this supplement.
- B Vitamins
Various B vitamins have a host of beneficial properties. Here are just a few and the role they play in supporting our overall health.
B12 is essential for maintaining our metabolism because it breaks down fats and turns them into protein we use for fuel. When we are deficient in B12, we cannot get the energy and nutrients we need to sustain optimal levels of health. This can put a strain on our immune system.
Folic Acid (B9)
Folic acid does several jobs. It plays an essential role in forming red blood cells, assisting in the creation of DNA, and growing and managing cell function.
Like B9, pyridoxine also aids in the development and management of red blood cells, which are an integral part of our immune system function. Keeping them healthy is a must.
Pantothenic Acid (B5)
B5 helps in the development of our nervous system. This is important for our immunity because our nervous system is responsible for controlling and sending messages to our body, including messages to our immune system.
- Medicinal Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms are fungi that excel in boosting our immune system function. Fungi are potent adaptogens. What does that mean? In a nutshell, they are marvelous for reducing stress, providing mental clarity, and enhancing immune function, among many other benefits.
Some commonly found mushrooms that can reduce inflammation, stress, and boost immune response are lion’s mane, reishi, chaga, and turkey tail. These are available as capsules, mushroom tea, and mushroom powder. The latter can be added to smoothies or coffee for a boost.
Tip: Always make sure to use medically certified mushroom. Mushrooms found in nature can be poisonous and could be fatal if consumed.
The Right Tools
We have the ability to take control of our health and treat our bodies right so that our immune system can protect us. We just need to give it the right tools to do its job best. With this list of 10 natural supplements to boost your immune system, you’ll be on your way to doing exactly that.
Have you tried any of these before? Do you have further questions about them? Let me know in the comments!