As the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread rapidly across the globe, many people are left wondering if there is anything they can do to help prevent themselves from contracting the virus.
While practicing social distancing, as well as maintaining proper hygiene and making healthy lifestyle choices can help, there’s an area people often overlook – supplements.
Let’s look at the best supplements to boost immune systems.
What is Your Immune System and Why is it Important?
The immune system is made up of several components, including the skin, gut, mucus, and lymphatic system. All of these areas play an essential role in protecting your body against harmful viruses, bacteria, germs, and toxins.
Without the immune system acting as a protective barrier, the body wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between good cells and bad ones. This is why it’s important to make sure your immune system is supported and healthy all year long.
Some ways you can support your immune system is by consuming a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and of course, using supplements.
Keep in mind that no supplement will cure or prevent the coronavirus from attacking the body. Still, the hope is that by boosting your immune system, your body will be able to fight it off more easily and potentially recover faster.
Below are some supplements to boost immune systems.
1.) Vitamin C
There are many vitamins to boost the immune system, Vitamin C being the most well-known. Vitamin C is a supplement prized for its ability to protect the body against infections such as the flu, common cold, and other upper respiratory infections.
This powerful antioxidant encourages the production of white blood cells, which protect the body against infections. Vitamin C also helps strengthen the skin, an important barrier in immune health.
2.) Vitamin D
Vitamin D, otherwise known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it primarily comes from exposure to sunlight, is an essential vitamin that helps support the immune system.
According to a study, it’s estimated that 24 percent of the population are at risk of low vitamin D levels, and 8 percent are at risk of a more severe deficiency.
Furthermore, research shows that low vitamin D levels are associated with a higher risk of respiratory infections, so it’s especially important to be eating Vitamin D rich foods like fish and milk or supplement it into your diet.
Zinc is an essential mineral found in cells throughout the body. Without zinc, our immune system wouldn’t be able to function properly and fight off inflammation.
According to the World Wide Health Organization, “zinc deficiency is responsible for approximately 16% of lower respiratory tract infections.”
If you suspect you are deficient in zinc, it’s worth adding it to your daily supplements. You can even take zinc if you feel like you’re getting sick to boost the immune system and reduce the duration of your symptoms.
4.) B Complex Vitamins
Vitamin B complex comes in the form of eight different vitamins, including B12 and B6. Both of these vitamins are important for a healthy immune system and help the body convert food into energy.
If the body is deficient in B vitamins, it can negatively impact the immune system and make a person more likely to contract illnesses and diseases.
Learning to cook with vitamins in mind is key. Vitamin B can be found in foods like meat, nuts, avocados, milk, cheese, mushrooms, and yogurt. However, you can also use a vitamin B complex supplement that provides all eight essential B vitamins.
Among the many components of your immune system is your gut.
When the body’s gut is in poor health and filled with harmful bacteria, you can become more prone to illness, as well as many other problems, including digestive issues.
Probiotics provide your gut with the healthy bacteria it needs to support areas like the immune system. Many studies have found that probiotics boost immunity and reduce the duration of upper respiratory infections.
There are many herbs on the market that help to promote the immune system – black elderberry being one of the most popular.
Elderberry is a plant that has been used for centuries as an antibacterial drug. This herb is effective at enhancing the immune system and warding off viral infections, including influenza.
Elderberry is a supplement that can be found in liquid, capsule, or gummy form.
Echinacea is a medicinal plant native to the daisy family. This herb is effective at combating cold and flu-like symptoms.
Echinacea can also help improve immune systems and keep viruses at bay thanks to its antiviral effects. You can find echinacea supplements available at your local health food store.
8.) Astragalus Root
Astragalus root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to help fight off bacterial and viral infections.
Evidence shows that the active compounds found in the plant’s roots can help the body produce white blood cells, which are essential for boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation.
Astragalus root can be taken in the form of a capsule, liquid, powder, or tea.
9.) Medicinal Mushrooms
There are over 10,000 species of mushrooms on the planet, a handful of which have been used since the beginning of time to help prevent and treat infectious diseases.
Medicinal mushrooms include cordyceps, lion’s mane, chaga, maitake, shitake, reishi, and turkey tail. All of these mushrooms have been shown to improve immune function and provide the body with essential antioxidants.
Since medicinal mushrooms have been on the rise the past few years, you can now easily boost your nutrition by adding them into your diet via tea, coffee, chocolate, and more.
Stock Up on Supplements to Boost Immune Systems
We all want to stay healthy during a time like this. By including a few of the supplements to boost immune systems mentioned above, you can increase your chances of fighting off the coronavirus more quickly.
Just remember to keep your distance from others, wash your hands frequently, and be kind to your body by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising.
For more articles on how to prevent catching the coronavirus, check out our blog. And don’t forget to take a look at our medication and supplement options!