In the midst of cold and flu season, you may be wondering how to boost your immune system so that you don’t get sick anytime soon. To be perfectly clear, the best way to build up your immunity is to eat a healthy diet full of plenty of fruits and vegetables, always wash your hands, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.
Still, that doesn’t mean supplements can’t help. While science is a bit iffy on exactly how effective supplements are, some research and experts do say that taking them can help. Here are the best ones to try if you want to ward off illnesses. As always, speak with your doctor or physician before you begin taking a new supplement.
Ingesting vitamin C is easily one of the best ways to give your immune system a little boost. A deficiency of it can even lead to illnesses or a compromised immune system. Vitamin C can decrease cold symptoms and prevent you from getting sick in the first place. You can take pills if you’d like, or you can eat plenty of vitamin C rich foods, like oranges, grapefruit, broccoli, kale, spinach, strawberries, and bell peppers.
Naturally found in foods like nuts, spinach, broccoli and seeds, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and protect cells from damage.
Zinc is a mineral with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Some research has found that taking zinc can reduce the duration of cold symptoms. It can also help with enzyme function and wound healing. You can take zinc supplements or get it from foods like seafood, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy products. Just be sure to discuss a dose with your doctor, because taking too much can be toxic.
You’ve likely heard of elderberry, which is really popular at the moment. Some research has found that elderberry helps reduce cold and flu symptoms. They’re rich in antioxidants that have antiviral properties and anti-inflammatory effects.
Vitamin D supplements are essential for people who live in areas that don’t get much sunshine, but they can also help support a healthy immune system. Studies have found that a deficiency in vitamin D can actually increase your susceptibility to infection. The vitamin can help balance out your immune system as well.
Some research shows that ginseng can help shorten the duration of a cold so that symptoms go away faster. It’s also been shown to boost your immune system and help prevent a cold from coming on. It can even help boost energy to keep you going.
A vitamin B6 deficiency can negatively affect your immune system. You can take vitamin B6 supplements or you can find it in foods like chicken, salmon, tuna, green vegetables, and chickpeas.
xx, The FabFitFun Team