If you have a weakened or compromised immunity there are several things you can take to boost the immune system. Here are some of the best immunity boosting things you can take.
What Can I Take to Boost My Immune System?
So, you want to boost your immune system and are wondering what the best things are to take.
A powerful immune system requires suitable nutrition so you need to make sure you are making sensible food choices and eating enough of the right things.
If you are eating a well-planned, healthy diet that is low in saturated fats you will already have a headstart.
If you are not, and a strong immune system is your goal, you will need to make the necessary changes.
A healthy diet needs to contain at least five pieces of fruit and vegetables.
It also needs to provide adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrate, omega-3’s and dietary fiber.
You need a little fat too, but try and go for the unsaturated kind.
If you need help to understand the kind of foods you should be choosing, the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate website is a good place to start.
The site provides easy-to-understand guidelines and it’s also possible to download a handy ChooseMyPlate app.
Immune System Boosting Food Vs. Immune System Boosting Supplements
There are many kinds of supplements you can take to support good health. Immunity boosting zinc lozenges are very popular at the moment.
Many of them will also boost the immune system by providing it with the nutrients it needs.
The simplest option is to take a good vitamin and mineral supplement – Vitamin D3.
If you want something that offers more far-reaching benefits, you could try taking a supergreens powder each day.
It’s also possible to buy highly specialized products that are designed specifically for enhancing immune function.
However, good nutrition has to start with food. Real food.
Not a pill you shake out of a bottle or a powder you drink with water.
Health supplements work best when you use them to “supplement” an already healthy diet. They aren’t a lazy man’s short-cut to good health.
Call it laziness if you want or blame it on social conditioning.
Either way, a lot of people these days are looking for magic pills that will solve their problems for them.
If they have a problem pooping, they buy laxatives instead of looking at their diet to see what has gone wrong.
Constipation is often due to a lack of dietary fiber.
A laxative may deliver a quick-fix but it won’t prevent the problem from occurring again.
When they need to lose weight, people start searching for diet pills.
There’s nothing wrong with that but they should be looking at their diet first.
It’s the same when you want to boost your immune system.
Diet first, supplements second. It’s the sensible pecking order.
A healthy diet should provide your immune system with everything it needs but a supplement may be handy for improving results or bridging the gaps.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (Yes or No?)
Vitamins and mineral supplements have been around for a long time.
The good thing about them is people tend to see them for what they are: a supplement to their meals.
A few decades ago vitamin and mineral pills were always hard tablets or solid torpedo-like capsules.
Now there are other options available, such as effervescent products you can consume as a drink.
A lot of people chose to go for simple multi-vitamin and mineral capsules they can take once per day, but it’s possible to buy all the vitamins and minerals as standalone options and in various combinations as well.
Some people who are specifically interested in boosting their immune system opt for a product that provides Vitamin C.
Others choose zinc instead or a combination of the two.
Often added to cold remedies, Vitamin C’s ability to boost the immune system is scientifically proven.
Research suggests it works by supporting various immune functions at the cellular level.
Among other things, Vitamin C supports epithelial barrier function against pathogens and enhancing the function of the B Cells and T Cells that are so crucial to the body’s defense against pathogens.
Zinc plays such an important role in immune function it’s often used as a treatment for the common cold.
Vitamins D and Vitamin E also play major roles in immune function. As does Vitamin A so your immune response relies on a lot of different nutrients to keep it fighting fit.
Some manufacturers provide supplements that only contain the vitamins that are specific to your immune system needs.
There is nothing wrong with taking vitamins and minerals to improve your immune response. Just remember to remember a nutrient-rich diet should come first.
Immune System Boosters: The Role of Herbal Teas
Herbal teas of all types are popular.
One of their strong points is they are quick and easy to use.
Although it’s often praised for its calming abilities, chamomile tea also improves immune response.
The individuals who took part in one study drank five cups of chamomile tea each day for two weeks.
The researchers took urine samples before and after each dose of tea.
The post-tea samples showed increased levels of hippurate and glycine, both of which are associated with increased antibacterial activity.
Echinacea is another flowering plant that’s often brewed as a tea and, like chamomile, it may improve immune response.
Not all study results support the use of echinacea as an immune system-boosting tea, but some of them do.
As far as expert opinion goes, things are still up in the air.
However, some research shows echinacea increases the number of white blood cells in the blood.
These are the blood cells the body uses to fight disease.
A clinical review of over a dozen studies also supports using echinacea to boost immune system function. The data shows it offers “very slight” protection against colds.
Several other teas also have reputations as natural immune system boosters.
Green tea is one of them.
Green tea is associated with numerous health benefits and its proven metabolism-boosting abilities make it a very popular option with people who are trying to lose weight.
So, how does green tea benefit immune function?
Research conducted at Oregon State University suggests it may be due to a compound in the tea having the ability to help the body produce extra T Cells, which play an important role in fighting disease.
Smoothies and Fruit Juices
Drinking fresh orange juice is a good way to boost your Vitamin C intake. Grapefruit juice can do the same thing.
So can a lot of other fruit juices and they may contain other immune system boosters too, such as vitamins D and E.
However, it could be argued that smoothies are even better. Instead of providing just the juice, they contain the entire fruit.
That makes them good for providing dietary fiber as well.
Should You Use Probiotics to Boost Your Immune System?
Probiotic yogurts and other similar products deliver a dose of beneficial bacteria to fight alongside the other good bacteria that’s already present in your gut.
The main thing this good type of bacteria does is control the bad type of bacteria and prevent it from reaching levels that may make you ill.
Research shows probiotic bacteria help modulate immune function and may support the growth of natural antibodies.
Although many people eat products that contain probiotic bacteria, you can also boost levels by consuming prebiotic fiber.
When you do so you provide the probiotic bacteria with the food it needs to increase and multiply.
However, although there are many arguments for using probiotic products they may not be suitable for people who already have weak immune systems or other medical problems.
If you are unsure if probiotics are a safe option for you, your doctor should be able to offer you the right advice.
Can Supergreens Boost Your immune System?
Like smoothies, supergreens often contain the whole plant but they are sometimes fortified with juices as well.
Apart from providing your immune system with the nutrients it needs, they often also contain other beneficial plant extracts such as ginseng.
In China and other countries in the Far East, ginseng is considered a “life-giving” herb.
Some good supergreens powders also contain ginger and it too has a strong reputation as an immune system booster.
Supergreens powders often provide prebiotic fiber too, along with natural antibiotics such as garlic and onion.
When it comes to warding off disease, for all-round ability, supergreens powders deserve a place at the top of the tree.
What Things to Take to Boost the Immune System – Summary
There are many things you can take to boost your immune system.
Some of them, such as vitamin pills and fruit juices will be easy to buy from a local store. Others, such as many of the best supergreens powders may only be available online.
However, no matter what type of product you choose, it’s important not to just take it and think “job done”. Remember: food first, supplements second.
If you want to get the best from your immune system you need to eat healthily.
That doesn’t just mean eating the right foods. It also means avoiding unhealthy options that are overly processed and/or are high in fat and sugar.
Although the right foods and supplements can boost immune function, making unwise food choices is a good way to throw a massive spanner into the works.
Activities like smoking and alcohol abuse will do the same thing.