Your immune system consists of a complex collection of cells, processes, and chemicals that constantly defends your body against invading pathogens, including viruses, toxins, and bacteria.
Keeping your immune system healthy year-round is key to preventing infection and disease.
Making healthy lifestyle choices by consuming nutritious foods and getting enough sleep and exercise are the most important ways to bolster your immune system.
In addition, research has shown that supplementing with certain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other substances can help improve immune response and potentially protect against illness.
However, note that some supplements can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking. Some may not be appropriate for people with certain health conditions. Be sure to talk with a healthcare professional before starting any supplements.
Here are my top 5 favorite Immune Boosting Supplements:
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient essential to the health and functioning of your immune system.
Vitamin D decreases inflammation, which helps promote immune response.
Many people are deficient in this important vitamin, which may negatively affect immune function. In fact, low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections, including influenza and allergic asthma.
Depending on blood levels, anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 IU of supplemental vitamin D per day is sufficient for most people.
Vitamin D has been highly researched in connection with COVID-19 because of its effect on the immune system. Studies have shown that Vitamin D can expedite healing and stall inflammation in the respiratory system.
Zinc is a mineral that’s commonly added to supplements and other healthcare products like lozenges that are meant to boost your immune system. This is because zinc is essential for immune system function.
Zinc is needed for immune cell development and communication and plays an important role in inflammatory response.
A deficiency in this nutrient significantly affects your immune system’s ability to function properly, resulting in an increased risk of infection and disease, including pneumonia.
According to research, 16% of all deep respiratory infections worldwide have been found to be due to zinc deficiency.
Zinc deficiency affects around 2 billion people worldwide and is very common in older adults. In fact, up to 30% of older adults are considered deficient in this nutrient.
Garlic has been used as an antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal agent. It may help the body resist or destroy viruses and other microorganisms. It does this by boosting the immune system. Garlic is also claimed to fight infections.
Garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It has been shown to enhance immune health by stimulating protective white blood cells.
Medicinal mushrooms have been used since ancient times to prevent and treat infection and disease. Many types of medicinal mushrooms have been studied for their immune-boosting potential.
Over 270 recognized species of medicinal mushrooms are known to have immune-enhancing properties
Cordyceps, lion’s mane, maitake, shitake, reishi, and turkey tail are all types that have been shown to benefit immune health.
Some research demonstrates that supplementing with specific types of medicinal mushrooms may enhance immune health in several ways as well as reduce symptoms of certain conditions, including asthma and lung infections.
Medicinal mushroom products can be found in the form of tinctures, teas, and supplements.
Camu camu’s immune system support comes primarily from its vitamin C and antioxidant content. High doses of vitamin C can help reduce the length and severity of viral infections and strengthen the immune system, while antioxidants enhance the immune response by protecting your immune cells from oxidative stress.
However, since this wonderful superfood is also a rich source of polyphenols with antimicrobial properties, adding camu camu powder to your diet may support positive changes in the gut microbiome. Healthier populations of gut bacteria have been linked with healthy weight management, normal immune function, better heart health, and more.