We have received lots of questions recently about what people can do to help bolster their immune systems since you can’t guarantee that you won’t be exposed to a sickness. Washing your hands often, not touching your face with unwashed hands, and keeping a distance from others, especially those who are coughing or sneezing is always recommended, and is even more important during flu season. While it is good to follow these recommendations, it may also be good to provide your body with the nurients it needs to be healthy. Let’s review some of the many supplements and habits that may help support immune system health naturally.
Consuming mushrooms has been shown to improve cognitive function, energy levels, and immune system health. Cordyceps, for example, have been shown to increase natural killer cells, which are a type of white blood cell that may help the body fight off infections, and they’ve also found that cordyceps may help increase the ability of cells to utilize oxygen, which could potentially improve respiratory health. Turkey tail is another type of mushroom that may help support the immune system by activating certain beneficial immune cells. In one study, shiitake mushrooms were found to improve immune system markers on blood work and decrease inflammation levels. These are just a few of the benefits of the many mushrooms found to have health benefits. Some people don’t like eating mushrooms, and many wouldn’t like eating them every day, so taking Immune Essentials might be easier. It contains cordyceps, turkey tail, and shiitake mushrooms which were mentioned above, along with several other types of mushrooms and green tea extract.
It’s important to get all of the necessary vitamins each day, but a few vitamins may be particularly beneficial for the immune system. One of the most common things people think of when they want to support their immune system is vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, which means your body cannot produce it, so you must get it from your diet and/or supplementation. It can be found in oranges, bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, etc. Vitamin C has many important jobs in the body like growing and repairing tissue, keeping cartilage healthy, and fighting off free-radicals that may contribute to the development of certain cancers and other health conditions. Explaining the immune-enhancing effects of vitamin C can get quite technical, but to summarize it, vitamin C supports many different cellular functions of the immune system, and helps support the body in making B- and T- cells, which are a crucial part of an immune response.
Vitamin D is another vitamin that is great for immune system health and many other things. It has effects on the immune system similar to vitamin C, but vitamin D may also help prevent autoimmune disorders by supporting T cells. In autoimmune disorders, the body has usually lost its ability to differentiate between what is healthy tissue, and what is a dangerous invader, causing the body to attack healthy tissue. T cells help the immune system know what is healthy and what needs to be attacked, so it is very important to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D each day. Supplementation is often recommended due to how common vitamin D deficiency is, and how difficult it can be to get enough from sunshine and your diet.
While taking care of yourself doesn’t guarantee that you won’t ever get sick, it can give your body a better chance at being able to fight things off. So, consider taking some of these supplements, and make sure you’re eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and high-quality meats and fats. Exercise has also been shown to improve immune system health, so be active when you can, even if it’s just a short walk. Remember to continue practicing good hand-washing habits, and support your body’s natural defenses with good nutrition. Fear can lead to stress, which has been shown to dampen the immune system, so focus on the positive!