5 Non-Scary Ways To BOO-st Your Immune System
With flu season upon us, and Covid-19's hovering presence, we should all seek ways to boost our immune system. While Halloween and the holiday season may look different this year, we need to be sure we're doing all we can to arm our bodies against any virus.
In addition to the things we already know - exercise, get enough sleep, hydrate - there are many powerful supplements and vitamins we can take to fend off those dreaded germs. Read on for my top five ways to boost your immune system.
There are about 30 types of Elder plants and trees around the world. The European version, also known as Sambucus Nigra, is the one most closely tied to your health and healing. The berries and flowers of Elderberry are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that can boost your immune system. They could also help lessen inflammation, reduce stress, and help protect your heart, too.
Elderberry comes in a variety of forms. While supplements are the most common, you can also find Elderberry syrup, lozenges, tea, and my favorite, gummies. I take one gummie daily for prevention. They taste great and would be a popular choice for kids!
Vitamin D is often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. Vitamin D has several important functions. The most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of Vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth. It has also been proven to help to reduce the likelihood of getting the flu.
Although you can get Vitamin D from sun exposure and certain foods, many people are deficient and require a daily supplement to get their levels where they should be. Some foods that naturally contain vitamin D are salmon, sardines, egg yolk, and shrimp.
Zinc is a nutrient that plays many vital roles in our bodies. Because our body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, we must obtain it through supplements or food. Zinc is critical for the development and function of immune cells. Taking Zinc supplements may reduce the length of the common cold by up to 33%. It also significantly reduces the risk of infections and promotes healthy immune responses.
Many foods are naturally rich in Zinc - oysters, crab, lobster, beef, turkey, salmon, chickpeas, lentils, beans, seeds, yogurt, eggs, whole grains, mushrooms, kale - to name more than a few! Whether you get your Zinc from food or supplements, get it somehow!
We are all familiar with honey, but do you know what propolis is? It is a bee product, like honey, but completely different! While honey is the bees’ food, propolis functions as the ‘hive immune system’. Made from collected plant resins, this sticky substance is plastered to the walls of the hive, where it keeps germs and other threats at bay. Just as it protects the bees, it protects humans, as well!
Propolis is one of nature’s most powerful germ fighters. While everyday honey contains trace amounts, to get the full benefit of this super-star ingredient, you’ll need to take it in supplement form. You can also find propolis in specially formulated honey and throat sprays. I’ve been taking it as a throat spray daily and I love it! It tastes great, soothes a scratchy throat, and boosts the immune system.
Vitamin C (obviously) -
This list wouldn’t be complete without Vitamin C, which boasts a ton of scientifically proven benefits. Vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells, which help protect the body against infection. Additionally, it helps the white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage, such as free radicals. Vitamin C is an essential part of the skin’s defense system, which is why topical Vitamin C is a must-have skincare ingredient.
While we can get Vitamin C from certain foods, the most effective way to make sure you have the optimal amount is by taking supplements.
Elderberry, Vitamin D, Zinc, Bee Propolis, and Vitamin C - which will you choose to boost your immune system?