Taking care of your health can quickly feel like a full-time job sometimes. By making sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet and get enough exercise each week, sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep yourself in peak physical condition.
While it’s important to take prescription medications that your doctor recommends for serious health concerns, it can also be a good idea to supplement your healthy diet and lifestyle with supplements that have been shown to boost your overall health and immune system. Whether you’re feeling tired, need to increase your gut health, or are trying to beat a virus quicker, you may be able to give yourself a leg up by adding the following supplements to your medicine cabinet.
Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic began, we started hearing a lot more about Vitamin D than we used to. With good reason too! Along with Magnesium, Vitamin D is something in which many of us are deficient. While Vitamin D, also known as calciferol, is found in some foods, we mainly absorb it endogenously through UV rays from the sun. Vitamin D is crucial for immune system function, and it reduces inflammation and helps with cellular production, glucose metabolism, and immune function. Basically, it’s a vitamin powerhouse.
You may have heard that our gut is like the second brain in our body; it controls a lot when it comes to vitality and immunity. By eating foods that are rich in gut-healthy probiotics, we can keep our overall immune system performing at peak levels. Foods rich in probiotics are yogurts, kefirs, kraut, miso, and even pickles. If you’re a picky eater and don’t fancy probiotic-rich foods or even have a tight schedule and make sure you want to get them in, supplementing with probiotic drinks or pills is a great way to keep you and your gut healthy and happy.
We all know the importance of Vitamin C when it comes to getting over a cold or flu, as our mothers or grandmothers likely made us guzzle a ton of orange juice as children when we caught a bug. But, a great way to keep bugs at bay and boost your immunity is by getting plenty of Vitamin C before you’re sick. Ways to get Vitamin C through food include citrus fruits, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and strawberries. You can also supplement your healthy eating habits with a Vitamin C pill every day to keep your immune system acting as a powerhouse.
While elderberries are good, they’re pretty tart, and you might not want just to pop them in your mouth as a snack. Elderberries have been shown to act as potent antivirals and can help you overcome the strongest colds and cases of flu. In addition to beating back viruses, they’re an excellent supplement for your immune system to stave them off, especially if you’ve been around someone who’s under the weather. Elderberry supplements are available in many forms, from gummies, syrups, and even shrubs to add to a mixed drink!
The WHO (World Health Organization) has reported that anywhere from 17 to 30% of the world has a Zinc deficiency – pretty staggering if you think about it! Zinc is a trace mineral that directly affects our body’s ability to beat harsh viruses. Zinc helps the cells and cytokines that affect our adaptive and innate immune systems.
You can boost your immune system by adding Zinc tinctures to your beverages each day or taking them in pill form. Zinc is also found in foods like beef and oysters, so if you’re a big meat eater, make sure you get your levels checked by your GP before adding this supplement to your daily regimen.
Leading a healthy lifestyle where you focus on a balanced diet, regular exercise, and getting adequate sleep will take your health and immune system to the heights they should be. However, whether from chronic illness, age, or other factors, many of us need to boost our immune system with supplements and pharmaceuticals as well. As always, check with your doctor if you’re taking prescription medications before adding other supplements to your routines. Here’s to your health!