The human immune system consists of an intricate collection of cells, multiple processes, and chemicals that constantly protect your body against the attacks of pathogens, including toxins, viruses, and bacteria.
Staying healthy and maintaining an optimal immune system throughout the year is crucial in preventing disease and infection. One of the fundamental ways of bolstering your immune system is changing your bad habits and making healthier life choices by consuming nutritious foods and getting enough sleep and exercise.
Additionally, research studies have shown that supplementing with particular minerals, vitamins, herbs, and other substances, you can boost your immune response and potentially increase your body’s protection against COVID-19. While vaccination has proven to be the best preventive measure against serious illnesses from the COVID-19 virus, you can certainly do more to improve your immunity against the virus.
We’ve all taken various vitamins in the past to help fuel our immune system, but the question is which combination and dosage are the best? Some supplements can interact with your current therapy and prescription medications, and some might not be appropriate if you have certain health conditions.
Here are several supplements known for their immune-boosting potential.
Vitamin C is usually the first choice as it has been hailed for years as the No.1 source for system. Vitamin C is crucial for the health of leukocytes which are a type of white blood cells in charge of fighting off infections. During a pandemic, this is an extremely important function in the body. The recommended intake for adults is a 1000 mg supplement twice every day.
Since our bodies aren’t capable of producing our own vitamin C, experts also recommend consuming vitamin C-rich foods. These foods typically include citric fruits and vegetables such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes and cranberries.
Most of the vitamin D that we need we get from the sun, but in times of a pandemic, additional supplementation is a wise decision. The right vitamins and supplement can improve your chances of fighting infections as numerous studies have shown that low vitamin D levels have been linked with a greater risk of developing respiratory issues in both children and adults. More precisely, studies have shown that people with vitamin D deficiencies are more likely to get infected by the COVID-19 virus.
For adults, the recommended daily dose of vitamin D3 supplement is 1000 International Units (IU) once or twice per day, taken during meals. Additionally, you can increase your intake of vitamin D by consuming more fish and other foods packed with the vitamin. In case you suffer from vitamin D deficiency, you should consult with your doctor or dietician to get an accurate and tailored dosage of the supplement for your body.
Zinc is essential for normal cell development and functioning of those cells that mediate part of the immune system. Studies have confirmed that increased concentrations of zinc can block the replication of viruses like SARS-coronavirus and poliovirus. The recommended daily dose of zinc for adults is a 40mg supplement or less.
Other supplements with immune-boosting properties
In addition to the substances listed above, many other supplements can help improve immune response. Selenium is one of them – this is a mineral essential for immune health. Selenium supplements can strengthen antiviral defence against influenza strains, including H1N1.
B vitamins, all eight of them including B12 and B6, are also important for managing your well-being and healthy immune response. These vitamins support the growth of red blood cells, promote proper nerve and healthy brain function boost cardiovascular health. However, many adults suffer from vitamin B deficiency which has a negative impact on their immune health.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric with very powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and as such, it can be very helpful in improving immune function. Echinacea is a part of the daisy family that has shown impressive properties in improving immune health and having antiviral effects against various respiratory viruses.
Propolis is a material produced by honeybees that they use as a sealant in hives as it’s resin-like in its texture. There’s still a need for more detailed research, but so far, it has been proven that it has impressive immune-enhancing effects and antiviral properties as well.
To strengthen our immune system, we need to improve our nutrition, get adequate sleep, manage stress, and do regular exercise. In addition to all that, vitamins and supplements are a great ally in helping us reach our goals of boosting our immune response and fighting illnesses.