Psst! We know you are enjoying the chilly air of winter and the holiday season that comes with it, but that also means we gotta bring our A-game when it comes to our immune health; After all, it is flu season.
It can be difficult enough to stay consistent and motivated when it comes to health and wellness, but if it’s one thing we should be strengthening right now, it’s our immune system! So let’s just keep the ball rolling by continuing to feed and nourish our bodies in a way that will help them to fight off viruses, toxins, and bacteria...after all, no one likes being sick.
Remember when we were kids, and they used to say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, it turns out that parents and teachers were just trying to keep us healthy by making sure that we were consuming some essential nutrients. Unfortunately, we are adults now and it’s going to take a heck of a lot more than an apple a day to keep our immune systems happy and healthy.
So let’s get right into it and discuss immune-boosting vitamins and supplements that will help keep you in tip-top shape this winter.
One of the easiest ways to boost your immune system is by making healthy lifestyle choices. Seems simple enough, right? In a perfect world, we would all eat a nutritious and well-balanced meal 3x a day, we would sleep for no less than 8 hours a night, and we would engage in some sort of physical activity for at least an hour a day. Raise your hand if you currently can check off every item on that list.
There may be a number of people who are reading this who probably did raise their hand, but it's more likely that most people could probably work to improve one or all of those areas.
One way to eat better is by adding nutrient-rich foods to your diet at every meal...even if you're indulging in pizza or a burger, try to balance it out with a salad or a vegetable. Some great immune-boosting foods rich in nutrients are:
- Citrus fruits
- Red bell peppers
There may be times when you need to fill these so-called nutritional gaps by simply supplementing your diet with some extra nutrients, vitamins and supplements are the way to go — and hey, they even offer adult gummies as vitamins so it’s kind of a win-win! But if you’ve ever strolled down the vitamin aisle at your drugstore, you know how overwhelming it can be. There are soooo many vitamins and supplements and it can be hard to know what to buy. So let’s go over some of the top immune boosters to help you stay healthy throughout the year.
SUPER IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: Some vitamins and supplements can react with prescription drugs, so be sure to talk to your physician before starting any new vitamins or supplements.
Vitamin D: Although we can get this vitamin naturally through the sun, it’s essential to get your daily dose in other forms. Vitamin D helps to decrease inflammation which in turn supports a healthy immune response.
Zinc: This essential trace mineral is vital to immune system function. Not only does it serve as a defense mechanism by protecting tissue barriers in your body, but it also may reduce the duration of sickness.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is the most popular and well-known immune-boosting vitamin because of its powerful antioxidant properties that protect against free radicals.
Curcumin: Curcumin is a natural chemical produced by the Curcuma longa plant, also known as turmeric — a name that you are probably more familiar with. This ancient spice has next-level anti-inflammatory properties that also may help to boost immune response.
Garlic: Unless you want to eat a raw clove of garlic, you can find garlic supplements that contain the same anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties as the vegetable.
Echinacea: This supplement is from a flowering plant that is native to the U.S. and Canada. It has long been used to support the immune system and shorten the duration of a cold.
- Daily Digestion Collagen Peptides: Show your insides some love with this balance of grass-fed collagen and digestive aids that support digestion and immune health to keep you groovin’! Features 5 billion CFUs of Probiotic DE111®, which is clinically researched to support digestive and immune health, plus prebiotic fiber to stimulate normal gut microflora, and vitamin C to support collagen production. Available in a calming Honey + Cinnamon flavor.
Aside from immune-boosting vitamins and supplements, there are tons of other ways to help prevent colds and the spread of bacteria. Things like washing your hands, staying hydrated, and more recently, social distancing. Oh and if you do happen to catch a cold, try to stay home.
For some, this is easier said than done but it could shorten the time you are down and keep those around you from getting sick. This list of immune boosters is meant as a guide to help you bridge the nutritional gap that may be missing from your life, but the bottom line is that nothing will be as effective as living a healthy lifestyle.
So this flu season, let’s make a pact to increase our nutrient-dense food while getting more sleep and exercise! And remember, the best offense is a great defense...so let’s build up our defense now!