Hello again! Now that I’ve given you some general information about how the immune system works, let’s talk a bit about supplementation to improve your health!
First of all, it is important to know that supplements are meant to do exactly what they claim; they SUPPLEMENT in order to provide our bodies with what we may be missing through our diets. Supplements alone do not create a healthy immune system, but when utilized properly they can definitely help improve one. The supplements that we will discuss consist of some vitamins, minerals, and even herbs which have been researched and found to have a positive effect on the immune system’s ability to prevent and fight off illness.
The importance of having a strong immune system has been heavily emphasized during this pandemic. It is true that those with robust immune systems are less likely to fall ill to Covid-19, and are known to have less severe symptoms if they do. Since we are currently entering the cold and flu season, keeping your immune system strong is of even greater importance.
But enough about all of that. Let’s get into it:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which plays a key role in modulating the immune system. An antioxidant works to fight the damage caused in the body by free radicals, which are molecules that come from normal metabolism and exposure to toxins. These molecules, when built-up in the body cause stress which is linked to disease. Vitamin C and other antioxidants help reduce the oxidative stress in the body to protect against bacteria and infections.
Vitamin D is mostly known for maintaining strong bones. However, it also plays a role in reducing inflammation and modulation functions like cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and glucose metabolism.
Vitamin A helps to regulate the immune system and protects against infections by keeping your body’s barriers, the tissues and skin, healthy. As the skin is your body’s first defense against invaders, the importance of vitamin A in maintaining its integrity should be noted.
Zinc works as an antioxidant and boosts the metabolism along with helping to heal wounds. When used while sick with a cold, it can help decrease the severity of symptoms and even shorten the duration of the cold.
Quercetin is another antioxidant known for its potent anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing abilities. It is especially effective for allergies and sinus conditions.
Echinacea is a powerful anti-viral herb. It is especially helpful for respiratory and sinus health. It modulates and stimulates the immune system, making it great to take during illnesses like a cold or flu. It also helps repair tissue damage caused by illness or injury.
Elderberry is an herb which works to improve immune function through increasing cytokine activity – signaling molecules that regulate immune responses and inflammation. It is especially useful for colds, flus, asthma, sinusitis, and other types of acute infections.
Remember when purchasing supplements to opt for high-quality ones, as many can be tainted with unnecessary chemicals. Some that you may find for cheap on big business supply chain websites (saying no names, but it rhymes with Scamazon), may be fakes altogether. It is best to purchase your supplements from a reputable source, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. It is equally important to discuss with your naturopathic doctor the proper therapeutic dosing of such supplements for your individual overall health.
If you happen to be looking for a good naturopathic practitioner, I happen to know one (she’s me, lol). Book a free 15- minute discovery call with me discuss your goals and how I can best help you reach them!