Disclaimer: we are not medical professionals and this article should not be construed as medical advice. Consult with your doctor or medical professional before starting any supplementation program.
As you know, we are in the midst of a very challenging viral outbreak. In this article, we will discuss nutrition and supplement ideas that can provide support to your body’s immune system.
As a whole, your immune system does a wonderful job of protecting you against many disease-causing germs and viruses. Most people know that wintertime is when many people get sick from the viruses that cause the common cold and flu. Viruses are able to survive longer during the cold and dry conditions, which gives them more chances of getting passed around in tiny droplets of water in the air.
Research has shown that there are several ways you can boost your immunity.
These include modifying your diet, your activity level, and taking dietary supplements that support your immune system. There are also other strategies that can help you avoid getting sick that you would probably never have thought of.
Your first line of defense is to adopt healthy-living strategies. Choosing a healthy lifestyle is the single best step in building a strong and healthy immune system. What does this mean to you?
First Line of Defense
• Eat a healthy diet consisting of nutritious foods including lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and small amounts of healthy fats. Minimize processed foods and sugar. Sugar has a negative effect on your immune system.
• Exercise regularly and stay active
• Maintain a healthy body weight
• Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
• Don’t smoke or vape
• Get plenty of rest/sleep and avoid stress
• Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and avoid taking your hands to your face.
Diet alone may not provide you with all the nutrients your body needs. Let’s face it, some people may not meet all their daily servings of vegetables. That’s where vitamins and supplements come in. Let’s take a closer look at some supplements that support the immune system.
Those with low vitamin D were one and a half times more likely to get a respiratory infection compared to those who have higher levels according to a study conducted in Finland. On another study done on bone mineral density with a subject population consisting of African-American women, determined that the non-placebo group taking Vitamin D reported three times fewer cold and flu symptoms than those who were taking placebo. Recommended usage: 5000 IU per day
According to WebMD, Vitamin C is thought to be one of the safest and most effective nutrients, experts say. It may not be the cure for the common cold (though it’s thought to help prevent more serious complications). But the benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. Recent reports are showing that high dose intravenous Vitamin C is shortening the time that coronavirus patients spend on ventilators by up to 25%.
Recommended usage: minimum of 1000 mg per day
Glutamine is an amino acid needed by your body in order to produce cytokines, small proteins that are released by your body’s white blood cells in response to infection. By increasing the cytokine levels produced by your white blood cells, you increase your body’s ability to fight off colds and flu. Glutamine also provides support to the health of your intestines. Your gut is your body’s largest user of glutamine. Much of your body’s immune activity takes place in your intestines, so increasing glutamine supplementation should be a high priority.
Recommended usage: 5-10 grams per day
Experts have long known that vitamin A plays a role in infection and maintaining mucosal surfaces by influencing certain subcategories of T-cells and B-cells and cytokines. Vitamin A deficiency is associated with impaired immunity and increased risk of infectious disease. On the other hand, according to one study, supplementation in the absence of a deficiency didn’t enhance or suppress T cell immunity in a group of healthy seniors.
Recommended usage: 10,000 IU/ day
Several studies have suggested that a vitamin B6 deficiency can depress aspects of the immune response, such as lymphocytes’ ability to mature and spin-off into various types of T and B cells. Supplementing with moderate doses to address the deficiency restores immune function, but mega doses don’t produce additional benefits. And B6 may promote the growth of tumors.”
Recommended usage: 50mg/day. Note, you can get B6 from a B-complex vitamin supplement.
In addition to taking your vitamins, certain foods can also help you build a healthy and stronger immune system. You have heard the adage that your parents and grandparents have told you when you were a child, “eat your vegetables or eat your broccoli.” Well great news, there are lots of benefits to eating your vegetables especially broccoli. Research indicates that brightly colored vegetables and fruits boost immunity better than most supplements. Eating at least eight servings a day helps keep the immune system in top form, and prevents it from overreacting—the cause of many immune-related diseases.
Strengthening your gut microbiome is another effective way of ensuring a healthy immune system. This is because the microbes that live in your gut not only help your body digest food — they also help regulate your metabolism, hunger, weight, and immune system.
Probiotics have been shown to help your gut. They provide support to your body to reduce inflammation, prevent infection, and support the immune system. Yogurt is a great way to get probiotics and a healthy snack to add to your diet.
Be sure you are getting plenty of exercise too. Staying active is another great way to keep your immune system strong and healthy. Try to do activities you enjoy doing. We recommend lifting weight and cardio, which can be done either in your home. If traveling to a gym is impractical, jogging, walking, riding your bicycle, or climbing up and down your stairs are all excellent activities.
Follow the helpful tips in this article to provide support for a strong and healthy immune system.
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.