Ahh, the winter is upon us. It's the time of year that most of us focus on boosting our immune systems and staying warm.
When temperatures drop and we spend more time hiding indoors, we’re exposed to more germs and lower amounts of essential vitamin D from sunlight. Both of these, among other allergens and toxins, can lead to more days feeling "off" or unwell.
Our immune systems seem to be weaker and more susceptible to getting sick during the chilly winter months, which is all the more reason to turn to supplements for a little extra help to get us through.
It can be difficult to stay healthy during this time of year, but it’s certainly not impossible to maintain a strong and healthy immune system. So, whether you are an avid supplement taker, or are looking to start a new health routine, it may be time to consider ramping up your holistic wellness with immune-boosting vitamins, nutrients, and herbs.
The following nine natural dietary supplements may potentially help strengthen your immune system and aid your body in fighting off winter-related germs and toxins. More so, there are plenty of other health benefits that come from these supplements - from mood-boosting nootropics to skin-supporting vitamin D.
Along with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle, many of the top nutritionists and doctors recommend (and likely even use) these natural remedies when attempting to strengthen a weakened immune system.
Are you ready to find out what some of these herbal remedies might be that can help you boost your body's natural defenses? Read on!
It's important to remember that when it comes to herbal medicine, these supplements are not a one-size-fits-all and it's always best to consult with a medical professional to construct an individualized immune-boosting game plan.
These herbs are generally best used as part of a holistic lifestyle, and shouldn't be relied on solely for immune support. For complete immune support, we more strongly recommend smart dietary choices, a healthy lifestyle, and targeted supplements that contain foundational elements, such as vitamins C, D3, B6, probiotics, and minerals such as zinc.
However, there are other supplements (that we will discuss) that may not seem so obvious when it comes to supporting your immune health.
For example, probiotics help balance your gut microbiome and keep your digestive system working smoothly, but they are also vital to your immunity as the gut is tied so closely to all other bodily functions.
Supporting your immunity should become a daily practice. What is your health without a strong immune system?
This doctor-recommended list is stacked with supplements that are known to help boost your immune system and keep you well all winter long. So let's dive in!
1. Sleep Supplement
Your immune system depends on a good night's sleep. That's because while we sleep our bodies get the chance to restore and regenerate T cells which are the cells that help fight off toxins that enter the body. Without a good night's sleep, your immune system cannot function at its best.
Despite all the health benefits that come from a solid 7-9 hours of sleep per night, many people still don't prioritize getting the amount of sleep they need. This is for a number of reasons, and some are not for lack of trying.
With daily stress and jam-packed schedules, it can be hard to drift off to a restorative sleep each and every night. This is where sleep support supplements come in. These sleep support supplements feature holistic ingredients such as calming lavender, valerian, and melatonin to improve your quality of restful sleep.
So, if you find yourself unable to get the recommended 7-9 hours per night (for healthy adults) then your first step to a stronger immune system and a happier, healthier you, might just start with a supplement for better sleep.
An ancient Indian superfood used in Ayurvedic healing for centuries, the curcumin in turmeric has been shown to have some pretty amazing health-boosting abilities.
Curcumin has been a hot topic amongst medical researchers in recent years and more and more studies continue to be released on the powerful potential abilities of curcumin to help promote whole-body wellness. This is especially true when it comes to supporting healthy inflammatory responses and general immune health.
A turmeric complex promotes optimal inflammatory responses and joint comfort while also supporting a healthy brain, heart, and digestive system. All of these benefits help strengthen immunity and keep you healthy year-round.
Pro Tip: Look for a turmeric complex that features black pepper, as this ingredient will help your body absorb all the benefits of turmeric.
Over 70% of your immune system’s cells reside in your gut. That’s why healing any gut-related issues is by far one of the best things you can do to help maintain a healthy immune system.
A diverse strain, a high-quality probiotic supplement that contains prebiotics can do wonders when it comes to preserving healthy gut bacteria and strong immune function. Probiotics support digestion, energy, and regularity.
Among those benefits, probiotics also help regulate the bacteria in your gut so there are more "good" bacteria vs. more "bad" bacteria (which is what causes upset stomachs and other digestive concerns).
If you regularly deal with discomfort in your gut or irregularity, you may want to consider adding a probiotic to your winter supplement routine.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is definitely a must-have during the winter months, according to the majority of doctors and nutritionists. Perhaps the most well-known immune-boosting supplement, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that may help relieve cold symptoms and shorten the length of illness by protecting against free-radical damage and oxidative stress.
A vitamin C supplement, when taken in the correct doses, may help support general immunity, in addition to natural food sources like citrus fruits, broccoli, and tomatoes.
A good multivitamin can work wonders on your overall health. Instead of taking a ton of different capsules a day, you can get a bulk amount of vitamins and minerals in a single multivitamin. That's why these supplements are super popular among the health community.
Multivitamins support immune response, energy levels, and overall daily performance. Get your vitamin C and vitamin D (among others) for a potent, immune-supporting start to each day.
6. Vitamin D
One of the most common deficiencies in the winter season is vitamin D deficiency. It can become hard to get adequate vitamin D levels when we spend more time indoors and away from the sun. This is because the main source of vitamin D comes from the sun.
Vitamin D supplementation can help you get enough vitamin D for a stronger immune system, healthier skin and bones, and increased energy levels. But how much vitamin D is enough vitamin D?
Professionals recommend around 600-800 IU per day. According to Harvard Health professionals, if you're taking too much vitamin D per day it can actually cloud the positive effects from the supplement.
One of the most popular supplements as of the past few years is cognitive-supporting nootropics. Nootropics are supplements or other substances that promote clarity, memory, creativity, and motivation.
You might be wondering how these supplements help your immune system, but the truth of the matter is, when your cognitive function is working optimally it's easier to make better decisions for your health.
Mind fuel supplements also help support a healthy stress response which can also increase your immune health. Stress causes a lot of health concerns, makes it harder to sleep, and can ultimately lower your immune response. So, if you're supporting your brain, you're likely going to see benefits in your overall health.
Studies have found that if 70mg of zinc is taken at the immediate onset of flu symptoms, it can possibly stop the oncoming sickness in its tracks.
A popular ingredient in many throat lozenges, zinc may help decrease the length and severity of colds and flu. However, take caution with the correct dosage and be careful not to overdo it. Zinc can actually suppress the immune system if taken in excessive amounts.
Some studies show that supplementing with magnesium may help your body manage stress more effectively and keep your immune system healthy, by increasing GABA levels. This makes magnesium highly important to immune health because feeling overly stressed or anxious can wreak havoc on an already weakened immune system.
Often deficient in most people’s diets, magnesium helps strengthen bones and muscles, support healthy cognitive function, and regulate essential female hormones.
Magnesium’s important role in your body’s stress-response system may help promote feelings of calm and improve sleep quality, both of which are important facts in healthy immune system function.
Let us know if you'll be trying one or more of the above supplements this winter by joining our Facebook Tribe group!