Your immune system is designed to protect you from disease and illness. But factors like stress, poor diet, environmental pollutants, and even changes of season can lower your body’s defenses. While everyone gets sick sometimes, there are ways to help boost the immune system all throughout the year. Below are the top six supplements that can help support your body in protecting you.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a popular eye vitamin because of its vital role in maintaining your vision. It’s also crucial in supporting your body’s immunity and fighting inflammation.
Your body converts beta carotene from foods into vitamin A. Beta carotene-rich foods include:
- Sweet potatoes
In addition, pantothenic acid helps convert beta carotene into vitamin A for your body to use. That’s why some immune-boosting supplements contain vitamin A and/or pantothenic acid.
2. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is one of twelve B-vitamins your body needs to make energy and stay well. Specifically, vitamin B6 supports your body’s immune function. It promotes the creation of lymphocytes (white blood cells) and proteins that regulate immune protection. Getting enough vitamin B6 is one of the best ways to boost the immune system daily.
Vitamin B6 is found in many foods, such as fish, chicken, chickpeas and some vegetables, and can also be taken in supplement form.
3. Vitamin C
Many people are familiar with vitamin C as a cold remedy. But most don’t know why it’s important for immune health. Vitamin C supports many cellular functions vital to immune health. A deficiency in vitamin C can lead to decreased resistance against viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.
Many fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of vitamin C, including broccoli, kale, strawberries, oranges and bell peppers. Garlic is also a popular cold remedy that contains both vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin C supplements can also be helpful in cold and flu season and during times of high stress and low sleep.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a primary antioxidant in the cellular membranes of your body. It protects the cells from free radical damage and fights off bacterial and viral invaders. That makes it crucial for boosting and maintaining immune function. Optimal levels of vitamin C along with vitamin E can help enhance vitamin E’s immune-boosting qualities.
Vitamin E is common in dietary supplements for both overall health and immunity. You can also get vitamin E from foods like nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and leafy greens.
Echinacea is a plant native to the United States and Canada. People have been using its flowers, stems and leaves for hundreds of years for their medicinal properties.
According to WebMD, some research on echinacea has shown it can increase the number of white blood cells in the body. White blood cells are necessary to fight colds and other types of infection. Some studies have also shown echinacea extracts may support the immune system.
You can take echinacea as a tea, extract, or in supplement form, making it one of the best ways to boost the immune system as a supplement.
Zinc is an important mineral for many reasons. Found in cells all throughout your body, zinc helps with wound healing, growth during childhood and pregnancy, and supporting your immune system.
Zinc is very common in multivitamins, as well as supplements for colds and immune support. It’s also found naturally in foods like oysters, red meats, seafood, whole grains and nuts.
Quick Immune Response to Boost the Immune System
Michael’s® Quick Immune Response™ formula contains all of the above vitamin and mineral supplements, along with garlic, to help support the body’s natural defenses. Combining high-quality supplementation with healthy lifestyle choices is one of the best ways to help boost the immune system.
Other Ways to Boost the Immune System
You can enhance the effect of immune-supportive supplements by caring for your body and mind, too. Remember to:
- Eat colorful whole foods
- Drink plenty of water
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid or quit smoking
- Think positively, be around good people, and reduce stress
- Make time for relaxation
The Bottom Line
No matter the time of year or season of your life, eating, living and supplementing responsibly is important for immune health. Your body is fighting for you every second of the day. You can help boost its efforts through the right vitamins, minerals and other supportive supplements.