What to Look for in Immune-Support Supplements
We are quickly approaching the depths of cold and flu season, and making sure that your immune system is supported and bolstered is more important than ever. There are a number of ways to support your immune health, but it can be overwhelming to find the best foods and supplements for your body or specific needs. Additionally, you want to make sure that you get supplements that are not only safe, but effective. From deficiency fixers to elderberry gummies, here are a number of things to look for in immune-support supplements.
Know What You’re Fighting
While there are a few universal dietary needs, many people need more help in certain areas than others. For instance, the climate you live in can have a large effect on what you need. So before you start looking into what supplement to get, develop an understanding of the deficiencies you may have.
If you live in a place that has low sunlight, or you are unable to get regular sun exposure throughout the week, you will likely need a Vitamin D supplement. Are you an athlete, do you have a sensitive stomach? A magnesium supplement may be good for you. Is the cold and flu going around in your area? Taking zinc can help prepare your immune system for fighting off bugs.
Spend time researching your own physical struggles and ailments, as well as your region to get an idea of any supplements that you may especially need, and then factor that into your decision as you find individual supplements or multivitamins.
One of the biggest enemies to our bodies’, and one of the reasons why getting sick can cause us so many problems is inflammation. Inflammation is how our bodies respond to foreign objects—whether they be germs, viruses, or even a splinter—and there are a number of supplements that can help our bodies combat inflammation.
Vitamin E and Vitamin C are two necessary vitamins for your daily consumption that not only help the body fight off inflammation, but also serve as powerful antioxidants. These help combat infections, and help your body to get rid of foreign bacteria or viruses faster. You can get both of these in supplemental pill form, in products like Emergen-C, or through a carefully selected diet.
Another inflammatory-fighter is folate, or folic acid. You can get this naturally as well, but it can be difficult to get the necessary amounts to produce new healthy tissue—which is the main effect of folate. A supplement that includes folate or folic acid can have a huge effect on your overall health.
Flavonoids are another inflammation fighter that you can find in a number of substances. One great place to find them is in elderberry gummies, which are chock full of flavonoids! This will help your body experience more mild symptoms if infected with the cold or flu, and actively fight inflammation while boosting the effectiveness of your immune system.
Our bodies need materials to build immune defense cells, repair tissue, and even keep our bones and muscles strong (which helps prevent body aches). A lot of people actually have significant mineral deficiencies which can effect their health, or make fighting infections more difficult. Minerals like zinc, magnesium, selenium, and iron are all critical materials for our bodies to rebuild and combat invaders.
Sometimes you can get these naturally in your diet, but if you are immune deficient, it may be a great decision to introduce one of these in supplemental form to ensure that you are regularly giving your body all that it needs. If you are already aware of one of these deficiencies, then make a move accordingly. If you think that you may be vitamin or mineral deficient, any primary care provider can order you a blood test that checks for almost all of them.
What Not to Look For
Our bodies need a number of vitamins and minerals that they produce either through a healthy lifestyle, or receive from foods. The purpose of a supplement is to give us these vitamins and minerals each day even if we aren’t able to get it naturally throughout the day. The point of this is the word natural.
You don’t want supplements that are full of unnatural chemicals and compounds, or have strange, difficult-to-pronounce words littering the ingredients list. Your supplement should list what you are taking in simple forms, where it was obtained from, and what percentage of your daily value it is, which leads to the last thing to look out for.
If you take too much of some vitamins or minerals, your body can end up treating them as though they are toxic. So make sure that you aren’t taking extreme amounts of anything in your supplement, in order to avoid damaging your body in a different way.
If you pay attention to all of these things, then you will be able to launch your body toward excellent immune health.