Keeping your immune system healthy is the key to fighting off and preventing diseases. When your immune system is working at its optimal levels, it does a great job of defending the body. However, a weakened immune system leaves you susceptible to infectious illnesses and can increase your risk of delayed wound healing.
Vitamins and minerals, referred to as micronutrients, are vital for a healthy immune system. The preferred way of getting these nutrients is through a well balanced diet, but this can prove to be difficult to achieve for many of us.
Many factors like stress, ageing, and infection can lead to a depletion of nutrients in our body. Studies have shown that even a marginal deficiency in one or more vitamins can lead to an impairment of immune function.
In order to support a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet while also taking a multivitamin that contains 100% of the daily recommendation.
Below, we’ll dive into which supplements can help you build a strong immune system.
Immune Boosting Supplements
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most popular supplements taken to help protect against infection due to the role it plays in immune health by supporting the function of immune cells. Vitamin is also necessary for cellular death - keeping your immune system healthy by clearing out old cells and replacing them with new ones
This vitamin is also known for its powerful antioxidant which can help to protect against damage induced by oxidative stress which is caused by molecules known as free radicals.
Supplementing with vitamin C has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold. It has also been demonstrated that regularly taking vitamin C supplements reduced common cold occurrences in individuals under high physical stress, including marathon runners and soldiers, by up to 50%
All in all, it has been shown that vitamin C supplements may significantly affect immune health, especially in those who don’t get enough of the vitamin through their diet.
Our Recommendation: The Naked Pharmacy - Pure Organic Vitamin C
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that enhances the pathogen-fighting effects of monocytes and macrophages — white blood cells that are important parts of your immune defence — and decreases inflammation helping to promote a better immune response.
Many people are deficient in this vitamin D due to age, diet, or simply just not getting enough sunlight on a daily basis. Being deficient in this vitamin can cause a lot of damage and lead to many health issues like:
- Frequent Illness
- Bone pain
- Muscle aches
- Weight gain
- Anxiety and depression
Studies show that supplementing with vitamin D can help enhance your body's immune response and protect you from chronic illnesses like bone loss, depression, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Our Recommendation: The Naked Pharmacy - Pure Organic Vitamin
Zinc is a mineral that is essential for immune system function and is commonly added to supplements and other healthcare products.
This mineral is necessary for immune cell development and communication and plays an important role in your body’s inflammatory response and specifically protects barriers in the body and helps to prevent foreign pathogens from entering
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.
Zinc deficiency has a great affect on your system’s ability to function properly. According to research, 16% of all deep respiratory infections worldwide have been found to be due to zinc deficiency. Supplementing with zinc can protect you against respiratory tract infections and may be especially beneficial for those who are already sick.
Our Recommendation: Wild Nutrition - Food-Grown Zinc
4. Medicinal Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms have long been used in ancient medicine to help prevent and treat disease and illness. These mushrooms have been studied for their immune-boosting potential.
There are over 270 types of mushrooms that are known to have immune-enhancing properties but there are two that have gained popularity and recognition: cordyceps and lion's mane.
This mushroom is also known as Himalayan Gold due to being harvested from the Himalayas. Cordyceps are traditionally used in Chinese and Tibetan medicine to help cure illnesses like diarrhoea, headache, cough, rheumatism, liver disease, kidney disease, and much more.
Many studies have shown that cordyceps can be beneficial to help relieve muscle fatigue, have an anti ageing effect, and help with the management of type 2 diabetes.
Our Recommendation: Hifas Da Tierra - Cordyceps Vital
b. Lion's mane
Lion’s mane is another popular mushroom commonly used in medicine and cooking in Asian countries like China, Japan, Korea, and India.
This medicinal mushroom helps to boost the immune system by increasing the activity of the intestinal immune system, protecting the body from pathogens that enter the gut through the mouth or nose.
Our Recommendation: Rainbo - Lion's Mane: Brain Power Super-Mushroom
Black elderberry has a long history of being used to treat infections and has been researched for its effects on immune health.
Elderberry extract has demonstrated potent antibacterial and antiviral potential against pathogens which are responsible for upper respiratory infections. It has also been shown to enhance immune system response while helping to shorten the duration and severity of colds as well as reduce symptoms related to viral infections.
Our Recommendation: Lab Tonica - Fend Tea
More Ways to Boost Your Immunity
While taking supplements is a great way to give your immune system a boost, it’s important to remember that there are also great ways to enhance your immune system naturally. This can involve:
- Not smoking
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Washing your hands frequently
- Exercising regularly
- Having a balanced diet
- Getting the recommended amount of sleep
Many supplements have been shown to help improve immunity function and health.
Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, and Elderberry are just some of the many supplements that can help add a boost to your immune system.
Taking these supplements along with practising a healthy lifestyle by incorporating a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep can help you make sure that your immune system is working at its optimal levels.
Speak with a healthcare professional first before adding a new supplement to your diet.Check out our selection of immune boosting supplements, or wider range of organic vitamins and supplements, to further support you and your lifestyle.