The cliché “health is wealth” mantra is timeless and now, more important than ever. Immune system supplements are flying off shelves and everyone (including myself) wants to do everything in their power to avoid illness and seasonal issues like allergies and the flu. But not so fast. Straight-forward as it may appear, it’s vitally important to remember that supplements made specifically for supporting your immune system aren’t a magic bullet cure for anything, though taking one certainly isn’t a bad idea either.
Your immune system, aka the part of your body that helps prevent disease and illness, is composed of many, many cells and chemicals that work together toward one common goal. The upside of attempting to bolster this singular system is that there is actually more than one way to do it. Outside of the always-recommended healthy eating/drinking and daily exercise guidelines are supplements with the potential to give your body an extra layer of security against the bad stuff. Of course, it’s best to consult with a physician before starting one (especially if you have a health condition or take prescribed medication), but there are some options that are generally okay for most of us to try.
As someone who swears by daily supplements but definitely isn’t a doctor, I knew getting the 411 on immune system boosters from Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C was a smart move. The best-selling author just so happens to be the founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com, two very popular destinations that thankfully still have plenty of immune boosters in stock. Keep scrolling for his top-recommended options and why you need each one.
‘Survivable’ Probiotics That Can Take The Heat
“Immune health is tied to gut health — there are no two ways about it. Today, we know your gut houses between 70 percent and 80 percent of the cells that make up your immune system, which is why I believe maintaining the integrity of the gut is a crucial, and often underappreciated, form of supporting your immune system health. And this is nothing new. There’s a reason cultures all around the world relied on probiotic-rich, fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt and apple cider vinegar over the centuries. In general, probiotics possess the capacity to support healthy immune system function and more.
Choosing ‘survivable’ probiotic strains, though, is key in my viewpoint, because these strains are known to survive higher temperatures and a harsh environment (i.e., stomach acid). So while you may think you need to choose probiotics that require refrigeration, that isn’t necessarily true. Our bodies generally run at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, so we selected hardy, no-fridge-required probiotic strains for Ancient Probiotics-Immune so they can make it to your digestive tract.”
“How many times growing up did your mother remind you to get enough vitamin C? Kiwi fruit, spinach, strawberries, oranges, and black currants serve as rich natural sources, but for times when you need more, we created a body-ready capsule version.” (Editor note: Alternative above until Dr. Axe’s recommendation is back in stock.)
An Immune-Focused Multi
“One-third of Americans take multivitamins to help fill nutritional gaps, but how those vitamins are created varies greatly. Some contain filler ingredients, food dyes, artificial sweeteners, GMOs and even synthetic nutrients. These ingredients are often cheaper than sourcing the real thing, but I believe in feeding the body with what it knows and recognizes: whole food sources. That’s why our multivitamin helps you build a foundation with food-based ingredients and no fillers or synthetic ingredients, ever.”
“Vitamin D is involved with healthy immune system function, and our immune cells actually contain receptors for this vitamin. We can get vitamin D from foods like wild-caught salmon, beef liver and egg yolks, and our bodies naturally manufacture vitamin D, which is actually a hormone, with sun exposure.
But according to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey statistics, we’re falling short. More than 90 percent of people with darker skin pigments living in the United States now suffer from vitamin D insufficiency, while 75 percent of the white population is deficient. Of course, this is one statistic, but the bottom line is that we are often coming up short on vitamin D.”
“An essential trace mineral involved in hundreds of enzymatic functions in the body — including supporting healthy immune system functions — zinc plays a crucial role in overall wellness. Generally speaking, zinc catalyzes nearly 100 enzymes and is essential for proper protein synthesis in the human body. Zinc supports immune system health in its own right and also relies on vitamin C to maximize its role in the human body.
As humans, we need to take in zinc each day because our body doesn’t manufacture it. Zinc-rich foods, including pumpkin seeds, lentils, chickpeas and cocoa powder, can help us get the zinc we need, although animal sources like grass-fed beef or kefir are often more bioavailable in the body. If supplementing is what you’re looking for to hit your zinc goals, I recommend my supplement below because it pairs organic vitamin C with zinc to support zinc’s potential.”
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