The primary purpose of the immune system is to destroy the microbes before they can multiply and spread the infections. Our immune system comprises antibodies, white blood cells, bone marrow, spleen, lymphatic and complement systems. It is essential to have a robust immune system to keep the body safe and protected against infections.
Those people who maintain a healthy lifestyle, get adequate sleep, and exercise regularly are said to have a more robust immune system. Sometimes, supplements such as cranberry pills can help boost the immune system and fight against infections. Read on to learn how supplements can help boost your immune system in different ways.
Without an optimally working immune system, it would be difficult to protect the body from harmful microorganisms, which can cause illnesses such as colds and other infections.
Micronutrients such as vitamins A, C, D, and E and minerals such as folate, iron, zinc, and copper can help boost the immune system. These minerals and nutrients are recommended daily allowance to support a healthy immune system. Let us try to understand how these supplements can contribute to immune health.
Lack of vitamin C – common cold, fever, and chills
As Vitamin C supplements can boost the making of white blood cells and enhance their function, they can play an important role in strengthening the immune system.
Moreover, vitamin C acts as the first line of barrier against pathogens.
- Source: Citrus fruits and supplements
Lack of vitamin D – increased risk of respiratory tract infections and hospitalization
Another crucial supplement for immune function is that our body needs adequate levels to fight immune-related conditions and respiratory infections. Those with limited sun exposure must take vitamin D supplements, particularly during winter.
- Source: Sunlight and supplements
Lack of Zinc – increased risk of viral infections
Zinc plays a key role in promoting the development and enhancing the function of immune cells. Zinc supplements are highly recommended for those with inadequate dietary intake and those who are vegetarians or older adults.
- Source: Eggs, meat, fish, seafood and dairy products
Lack of Probiotics – poor gut health and higher chances of upper respiratory infections.
Probiotics are essential for gut health, and as gut microbiota carry a vital role in immune function, probiotics become essential for obtaining immune responses. Probiotic supplements can help preserve a healthy balance of these microorganisms.
- Source: Yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and miso
Lack of supplements – increased risk of common infections.
The leaves and aerial parts of the herb Andrographis are commonly used in traditional medicines in Southeast Asia. The plant’s active constituents carry anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and immune-stimulating effects that lower the risks of cold and influenza and boost the immune system.
- Source: Andrographis herb and supplements
Lack of supplements – increased risk of infections
Elderberry supplements have become immensely popular because of their immune-boosting property and control over respiratory infections. Studies indicated a faster recovery and relief from cold and flu symptoms. The fruit of a small deciduous tree contains many compounds, such as anthocyanins and phenolic acids, which carry anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating effects.
- Source: fruit and berries of Elderberry and supplements
As you can see, it is essential to maintain our immune system and consume the right supplements in adequate quantities. While a well-balanced diet and nutrient-rich foods are foundational for overall immune management, one may need supplements to boost the immune system. Consult your physician to pinpoint any deficiencies and discuss your health and immunity to determine the right approach to supplementation.