The Easiest Rules to Follow to Save and Boost Immunity - Just Several Steps
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We walk you through the easiest ways to boost your immune system this winter season. Get your natural energy boost and daily antioxidant protection today!
Herbal supplements for Immune System
Herbal immunity boosters sit at the top of the food chain when it comes to legendary supplements that can fortify your body's natural defense system with little or no side effects at all. You see, remedies and supplements that originate from plants and herbs are the closest you can get to nature when it comes to recruiting potent allies for your immunity and health. Modern research and a collection of in depth studies also prove that the efficacy of these remedies that have been used in ancient and folk medicine for generations is above reproach.
Here is a combination of six easy-to-access immune boosters herbal supplements that you can add to your medine arsenal, either as a healing aid or an infection prevention booster.
Nothing says wellness like a herbal immune boost derived from the deep-purple wild berry that has taken the fitness and medical circles by storm in the past several years. Also known as sambucus, elderberry supplements play multiple roles as reliable antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial agents. It's no surprise that it is also very good at knocking out any bug or crud making life hard for you or yours. There's also minimal evidence that suggests that elderberry concentrates are effective against seasonal bouts of flu too.
Elderberry supplements mostly come in syrup form, but recently they have been a proliferation of other easier-to-consume forms such as tinctures (plant extracts made with glycerin or alcohol), gummies and lozenges.
As much as elderberry is considered generally safe, its advisable to exercise a bit of caution if you have an underlying autoimmune disorder. Remember that being a potent immune booster, it has a reputation of stimulating one's immune system which exacerbates your symptoms. Otherwise, take a tablespoon of the syrup or as otherwise directed to keep common infections at bay.
Another renowned herbal immune booster is coneflower aka echinacea. It derives its potency from the ability to stimulate the immune system to synthesize natural white blood cells and other disease-fighting mechanisms. In fact, its so efficient that a 2015 immune meta analysis study found out that coneflower supplements can tone down the risk of immuno-ompromised individuals contracting common cold by as much as 35%.
Echinacea is best taken as a tincture or if you are averse to taking alcohol-containing drinks, then a tea will still work as good. The best supplements, in this case, are those derived from echinacea angustifolia, as it is the most bioavailable variant of the herb. It is also important to note that this supplement can be sensitive for those with an existing ragweed allergy. Hence, you may want to stop taking the supplement should you begin manifesting telltale allergic reactions such as hives, itchiness, increased congestion and the likes.
Additionally, avoid echinacea-based supplements if you have a diagnosed autoimmune disorder.
Ginger is not just great for calming down an upset stomach - it's also a fabled herbal immunity booster that can help you stay illness-free in the depths of the dreadful wintry months. It's also a versatile plant that packs a punch of antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that come alive in ginger teas and ginger shots that you can find in juice bars near you. Alternatively, you could also choose to add it to your next cooking recipe and fortify your immune system even as you enjoy your favorite delicacy.
Although ginger-based supplements are considered to be generally safe to a wide demographic, pregnant women are advised to exercise a bit of restraint and caution with this tuburous herb.
The potency of garlic supersedes just making food delicious or palatable. It is also believed to stimulate the body's natural defense outfit and support the function of the lymphocytes aka the white blood cells. The best thing about garlic-based supplements is that they are widely available and you can also make them yourself at home by packing the bulbs into a jar containing honey and letting it sit for a few weeks. Chewing the bulbs raw is also known to keep common infections at bay.
What's more, lend a hand to your immune system by consuming several cloves of garlic a day when you are ill or eat a delicious garlic bone broth, you could also roast it lightly before chewing to make soften the harsher 'garlicky' notes that otherwise make it unpalatable to take raw.
Regular doses of garlic should be safe for a majority of people, although it is advisable to exercise caution if you are already on anti-clotting medications. Remember to brush your teeth too to get rid of the putrid aftertaste associated with chewing tons of raw garlic!
Fire Cider Supplements
Also known as the Master Tonic, fire cider is a mostly intense combination of horseradish, ginger, garlic, onion and hot pepper. Some manufacturers prefer to boost its potency by adding other immune boosters herbal ingredients such as turmeric, rosemary or lemon. You can also make it at home by marinating the above ingredients in apple cider vinegar.
Fire cider owes its efficacy in boosting the soundness of the immune system from the combined power of the constituent infection-fighting, sinus-clearing, warming ingredients. It also gets an additional boost from the underlying fermented ACV.
Fire cider is also easy to make at the comfort of your kitchen too. Whip up a serving and down it every night after dinner or take a shot whenever you feel like you are coming down with something. That said, steer clear of it if you have a history of GERD or stomach ulcers.
Adaptogens are a collection of therapeutic herbs that are known to protect the body from the ravages of severe stress or depressive episodes. They are excellent accompaniments for people who travel often, work in high-stress environments, find themselves getting sick every now and then or those that have a higher-than-usual exposure to disease-causing pathogens.
Good examples of adaptogens are reshi herbs, ashwagandha and holy basil. Apart from being good agents for immune support they also stimulate the body's infection-combating lymphocytes when taken in reasonable doses.
Immunity Booster Vitamins
Warding off infections and diseases is a fulltime job that requires as much support from your diet as possible. You can do this by supplementing in any (or all if you can afford to) of the following immune support vitamins.
Ascorbic acid is the most significant immune booster vitamins known to man. In fact, it is so potent at keeping various illnesses at bay that a deficiency in this nutriment is known to cause severe forms of scurvy. Food rich in Vitamin C include grapefruits, tangerines, oranges, strawberries, spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, kales and other dark green vegetables. Remember that your body can neither synthesize or store ascorbic acid; it is, therefore, paramount to incorporate these foods in your diet on a regular basis unless a doctor or trained nutritional specialist advises otherwise.
This vitamin is known for its fabled ability to support a host of biochemical reactions that make up the immune system. Food rich in vitamin B6 include the likes of cold-water fish e.g salmon and tuna. Free-range chicken is also another excellent source of vitamin B6, and for strict vegetarians, chickpeas and green leafy vegetables are also decent sources too. Vitamin B6 is also the main active ingredient in hummus.
It's a very potent antioxidant that is quite instrumental in helping your immune system ward off disease-causing organisms. Vitamin E is also part of more than 200 different biochemical processes that help maintain the integrity of the immune system response.
Foods rich in vitamin E include seeds, nuts, spinach, almond and other high-fat plants such as avocado, sunflower, safflower, soybean etc.
Vitamin A is a renowned infection-fighter that every health-conscious person ought to have in their arsenal. And it comes in two main forms; there is the preformed one such as those found in animal foods such as meat, dairy, fish and those derived from plant carotenoids. Tuna, in particular, is an excellent source of preformed vitamin A. On the other hand, when it comes to carotenoids, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cantaloupe, dark green vegetables such as spinach carry the day.
It is impossible for one to talk about disease-fighting vitamins without mentioning the sunshine vitamin. It is one of the most powerful nutrients when it comes to boosting the effectiveness of the body's immune system in warding off illnesses. If you can't walk in the sun - for one reason or another - then consider upping your intake of the following foods; mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines and vitamin D fortified orange juice, milk or cereals. Alternatively, vitamin D supplements also work extremely well for a majority of persons at risk of suffering a deficiency.
That being said, a rule of the thumb when it comes to consuming disease-fighting vitamins is Consistency is King. The idea here is to build your disease-fighting response by consuming vitamins to boost immune system regularly over time.
Immunity Booster Drinks
The crux of your immune system is constantly trying to figure out the cells that belong to your body and those that are alien and need speedy elimination. This means that it needs a healthy and constant dose of minerals and vitamins to keep at its best. The following immune booster juice recipes and teas are packed with a rich array of essential nutrients that ward off stubborn viruses such as seasonal flu or cold.
Grapefruit, Orange and Other Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are an excellent source of ascorbic acid, which is very important when it comes to protecting the body cells against both infection-causing organisms and oxidative damage. Infact, one of the key symptoms of a deficiency in Vitamin C is slow wound healing and a broken immune system response which is characterized by falling ill occasionally. Early clinical trials are also showing some promising results in the treatment of the infamous Covid-19 disease using intravenous infusion of ascorbic acid or vitamin C.
Carrot, Green Apple, Orange Fusion
Oranges, carrots and apples is a potent combination when it comes to supporting immune function and helping your natural defenses fight off colonisation by disease-causing organisms. The oranges and apples, in this immune booster juice, will give you ample vitamin C while the carrots will infuse a healthy dose of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. What's more, carrots also contain high levels of vitamin B6 which plays a very pivotal role in antibody production and immune cell organelles proliferation.
Beet, Carrot, Apple and Ginger
This combination gives rise to a delicious and fortifying immune booster drink thanks to the presence of the root vegetables that aid in the function of the body's immune system and lessening inflammatory symptoms. You see, inflammation is typically an immune system response to infections caused by either bacteria or viruses which includes common-place symptoms such as coughs, runny nose and body aches.
Persons battling rheumatoid arthritis, in particular, will find this immune supporting drink quite helpful in easing their symptoms due to the presence of ginger which has superb anti-inflammatory effects.
Might sound cheesy but fresh tomato juice is one of the best healthy drinks outside immune support teas that you can make within a couple of minutes. Unlike other recipes in this list, you don't even need a juicer or a blender to enjoy the goodness that well-ripen tomatoes pack. What's more, tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin B9, also known as folate and it is rather effective in lowering one's risk of disease-causing infections. They contain moderate amounts of anti-inflammatory magnesium.
Celery, Kale and Tomato
Kales are a staple in most anti-inflammatory immune booster juice recipes that are recommended to persons who are trying to recover from devastating illnesses. And it is quite easy to see why - unlike in other juices where the idea is to cut the rather repugnant taste of kales with sweetened fruit concentrate, this recipe utilizes tomatoes instead. Apart from making the resultant juice more palatable, it also infuses it with plenty of vitamin A needed to make a wholesome elixir.
To make it even more potent, you can consider sprinkling in some horseradish which boosts its anti-inflammatory benefits even further. The mild spiciness of the horseradish also goes a long way in ensuring that it is a stimulating enough drink to swap your morning coffee/tea.
Immunity Booster Foods
A balanced and healthful diet is exactly what you need to keep diseases at bay. The following immune system booster foods can go a long way in keeping your body primed against ailments.
Blueberries, contrary to what most people know, contain an active anti-oxidant known as theobromine. This antioxidant is responsible for the additional boost to the body's immune system that an individual enjoys when they eat blueberries regularly. In fact, a study carried out back in 2016 shows that these flavonoids have such a pivotal role to play in boosting the internal immune system of the respiratory tract that people who eat blueberries habitually were less likely to suffer from upper respiratory tract diseases and infection than those who never did.
Just like blueberries, dark chocolate also contains theobromine which protects the body's tissues from damage by free radicals. Free radicals, for those who may not be in the know, refers to the molecules that the body produces whenever it comes into close contact with pollutants or break down processed foods.
That being said, dark chocolate is also laden with high calories and a combination of saturated fat. Hence, exercise moderation should you decide to add it to your diet.
Turmeric is mainly used as a spice but that does not mean that its legendary immune-boosting properties can be understate or overlooked. It also has been a component of ancient and alternative medicine for quite some time now. Eating turmeric - whether as a food additive or plain - has been proven to be beneficial in stimulating an individual's immune system response thanks to the presence of curcumin in it. Curcumin, the active ingredient here, is also a known antioxidant and also packs a load of anti-inflammatory benefits that are absent in other immune system booster foods.
Pilchards, tuna, salmon and other oily fishes are traditional sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that long term consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can considerably reduce the probability of somebody developing debilitating autoimmune illnesses such rheumatoid arthritis.
Sweet Potatoes are a proven source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is responsible for its characteristic orange color. Beta carotene, on the other hand, is known to make the skin healthy by shielding it from progressive UV (ultraviolet) rays damage.
Spinach is a superfood that is rich in vitamin E, carotenoids, vitamin C and a host of several flavonoids. A combination of these active ingredients contributes in making it one of the most accessible immune system booster foods to the common man.
Red Bell Pepper
If you are looking for an immune system booster that is low in sugar or fructose content, the red bell pepper is an incredible alternative source of ascorbic acid. This is the legendary vitamin that most people will rely on to pull them out of a nasty cold.
A Checklist of Good Habits for Boosting Immunity in Kids
Giving your kids a healthy start in life is one of the few overlooked things that you can do for them that does not necessarily have to cost you a leg and an arm. Here's a collection of good habits, which when cultivated diligently, can be paramount in being a relatively affordable immune system booster for kids.
Breastfeeding is Key for Newborns
Although there are many conflicting opinions about this one, breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months can make a world of difference in ensuring immune support for kids even in their later years. Research shows that children who breastfeed exclusively for the first 180 days of life are less likely to develop allergic reactions and have a reduced risk for contracting serious disease-causing pathogens.
Teach Them that Regular Hand-washing is Part and Parcel of Life
Most of us are not aware that touching contaminated surfaces is responsible for close to 80% of new infections. Teach your kids early in life that it is mandatory (not just polite) to wash their hands thoroughly whenever after coughing, sneezing or visiting the toilet. Remember that you won't need a comprehensive and expensive immune system booster for kids if they wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds. In fact, just by doing that they can reduce the chances of contracting respiratory communicable diseases like Covid-19 by as much as 45%.
Immunization or Scheduled Vaccination is a Proven Immune Booster for Kids
It is important to follow your pediatricians or children's doctor advice to the letter when it comes to adhering to the childhood immunization schedule. Vaccinations done in childhood are vital in preventing common infections such as mumps, measles, chicken pox, whooping cough, rotavirus and other serious ailments later in life.
Consider getting the annual flu shot for your kids as well, particularly if they have asthma and other underlying chronic ailments.
Sleep Should be a Priority Until They Turn Ten
Sufficient sleep is one of the most overlooked immune boost for kids in our fast-paced world. Lack of enough sleep (at least 10 to 13 hours) limits a child's ability to produce the necessary essential proteins such as cytokines needed to combat disease-causing germs and lessen their body's inflammatory response.
Let the Learn that a Healthy Diet is Central to Good Health
Always encourage your children to eat a healthy diet that is rich in all four classes of nutrients and has as few as possible processed junk. Teach them the proper food choices which ought to include ample fruits and vegetables in each serving. Ensure that your kids are getting sufficient vitamin E and A through either their diet or via quality supplementation.
A properly working immune system is arguably one of the most important ingredients of a fulfilling life. As the adage goes, 'Health is the new wealth'. And true to this account, nothing trumps being 100% fit and blooming in the glorious warmth of a robust immune system. At the same time, a broken immune system can predispose you to a myriad of infection-causing organisms and chronic illnesses such as cancers and malignant tumors. The good thing, however, is that building a strong body defense is not necessarily expensive or complex. You only have to follow a few tips such as the ones discussed here and give yourself the best chance of living a long disease-free life, even deep into your sunset years.