Natural strategies for boosting the immune system are in much demand these days, and it’s not surprising to see why.
As the globe prepares itself for the uncertainty of what lies ahead, one thing is for sure: actively working to maintain a healthy immune system is a trend we’d all be prudent to follow not only for ourselves but also for the health of others.
Immune System: What is it, and how does it work?
Your immune system is a defense mechanism that aids protect the body from invading pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses . It encompasses a diverse group of immune-associated cells that can be broadly categorized as either adaptive or innate immune cells, based on their different mechanisms and properties.
Innate immune cells (such as neutrophils, macrophages, and N.K. cells) serve as the body’s first defense line against pathogens. Though they are swift to respond to threats, innate immune cells carry out less appropriate responses to specific pathogens.
Conversely, adaptive immune cells (namely B cells and T cells) are slower to respond but respond and produce antibodies, enabling the immune system to remember past infections for future defense.
For instance, B cells develop antibodies against the pathogens they encounter, which allows them to respond more efficiently during a second encounter.
Importantly, how well these different immune cells can coordinate their activities determines how effectively the host can mount an immune response, and finally, their ability to stay healthy.
One way immune cells usually accomplish this task is by producing cytokines —molecules that attract other immune cells to the place of infection and regulate their suppression or activation.
So, what aspects contribute to the quality of a body’s immune response? Although many different variables (e.g., underlying health, age, sleep habits, stress levels, etc.) contribute to an organism’s immune health, the significance of proper nutrition cannot be overstated.
Let’s discuss some of the dietary supplements and nutrients that have been found to have benefits for immune health and immune-regulatory effects.
[Also Read: Tips to Boost Immune System]
The significance of limiting sugar and eating a nutritious diet
What we take plays a significant role in how well our bodies can shield us against disease and battle it off. Some of the finest nutrition advice, which will never fade away, is to eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, ideally from various colors.
In other words, eat the rainbow! Eating many foods from other food groups will also help ensure your body receives the right blend of nutrients since different foods contain different nutrients.
Why and how supplements can boost immune system
Some experts believe that taking daily supplements can help ensure you’re meeting at least your minimum daily requirement for specific nutrients. Vitamins that are crucial for immune function include vitamins A, C, D, and E. Selenium, zinc, and magnesium are minerals that our immune system requires to function at its best. These minerals are also vital for the function of various enzyme reactions in the body. Your body and the immune system can’t function at their best without the primary building blocks they need to work correctly.
Best Supplements for Immune System
Here are some supplements good for the immune system.
1. PureFormulas’ Melatonin – 60 Tablets
In the advent of a novel virus, the functioning of your innate immune system (i.e., the faster but less precise set of immune responses) is specifically crucial. This is because viral strains constantly undergo genetic mutations, which essentially enables them to evade pre-established adaptive immune responses.
When a virus is new, the possibility that exposed people will have built up the relevant antibodies to fight it is slim . Here’s where PureFormulas’ Melatonin – 60 Tablets can help.
The prescribed dosage of PureFormulas’ Melatonin is 1 capsule before bedtime, unless otherwise advised by your physician. Each tablet provides a healthy dose of 3milligrams. One 60-tablet bottle should last for at 2 two months.
2. Pure Encapsulations’ Probiotic G.I. – 60 Capsules
A study suggests that probiotics—live microorganisms that, when administered in sufficient dosages, confer a health advantage on the host—also play a crucial role in immune health.
Although it might be challenging to wrap your mind around how consuming microorganisms (generally bacteria) can help the body fight off harmful pathogens, research shows that these beneficial microbes promote immune health by activating multiple immune mechanisms  .
For instance, one of the ways probiotics promote immune health is by inhibiting pathogenic bacteria’s growth. Take 1 or 2 capsules every day‚ in divided doses. You can take it either with or between meals. At the recommended dosage‚ each 60-capsule bottle of Probiotic G.I. by Pure Encapsulations should last for about 1 or 2 months.
3. Pure Encapsulations’ Zinc 15 – 60 Capsules
Zinc is an essential mineral that we get from our diet, and it helps our bodies generate immune cells. Studies show that zinc plays a vital role in reducing the severity, risk, and duration of infectious disease, and it also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Even mild zinc deficiency can cause immune dysfunction. Zinc supports the absorption of many minerals and vitamins . It works with more than 24 enzymes to store and metabolize the carbohydrates you intake in your diet, while being significantly helpful in B complex vitamins’ actions.
Every capsule provides 15 milligrams of zinc picolinate, a highly absorbable zinc chelate, for a mild boost of your levels. Take 1 to 4 vegetable capsules daily, in divided doses with meals. At the recommended dosage, every 60-capsule bottle of Zinc 15 by Pure Encapsulations should last from 15 days to 2 months.
Best vitamin C supplement for your immune system
1. Wise Woman Herbals’ Elderberry Syrup – 8 fl. oz (240 ml)
This powerful plant has traditionally been used for various health uses and medicinal benefits, particularly for its role in helping to activate the immune system and antiviral properties  .
One research of 60 adults with flu symptoms who used 15 mL of elderberry syrup 4 times a day experienced enhanced symptoms 4 days sooner than those who didn’t use elderberry.
Elderberry is most commonly used in syrup form but can also be found in tinctures and lozenges. Consult with a physician provider for dosing specific to you.
2. Herb Pharm’s Super Echinacea – 1 fl. oz (30 ml)
Echinacea is another herb that was prevalently used as a medicinal plant in many ancient cultures, and some even use it today. Some studies show that short-term use of echinacea may shorten the severity and duration of upper respiratory infections and colds when given as soon as symptoms begin .
Like elderberry, echinacea also comes in various forms, including capsules, syrups, and lozenges. Dosing will vary based on the requirement, so it’s best to consult with an herbalist or other healthcare professional before using it.
While nutritional strategies for improving immune health are certainly not infallible, the supplements reviewed here suggests that increasing your consumption of immunity-enhancing dietary factors represents a wise strategy for optimizing overall health and immune functioning.
[Also Read: Natural Ways to Support the Immune System]