In this post, we will talk about how you can boost your immune system naturally using supplements, foods, and herbs. I am also going to share how you can implement some immune-boosting strategies that will work well for your children.
Boost Your Immune System Naturally
Even though this post is about supplements and foods that boost your immune system, it is important to realize that lifestyle practices – like reducing sugar, sleeping well and exercising – are also extremely important.
Immune System Boosting Foods
Let’s start with some of my favorite immune system boosting foods:
- Foods rich in vitamin C: Citrus fruits usually come to mind when we talk about vitamin C rich foods. However, did you know that red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C ounce for ounce?
- Cruciferous vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables are excellent healing foods all around! They have powerful anti-cancer properties and they are an essential element of the Wahls protocol.
- Garlic: The immune-boosting properties of garlic are fairly well-known. Years ago, I would take a garlic supplement for boosting my immune system. Today, I have other favorites (which you will discover below), but garlic is still an excellent option.
- Ginger: Ginger is a powerful healing food and it helps relieve sore throats.
- Green tea: Green teas contain flavonoids, which are antioxidants. Moreover, green teas contain another form of antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been shown to help modulate immune cells, which means a healthy immune system.
- Fermented Foods: I cannot overemphasize the importance of your gut health for your overall health, including immune function. The probiotics found in fermented foods will help treat and prevent upper respiratory tract infections.
It’s a great idea to consume these foods regularly. You will notice that many of them are also part of my Top 17 Anti-Inflammatory Foods. It’s no coincidence! The foods that help your immune system not overreact also help it function properly and react when appropriate. It’s all about helping your immune system function properly.
Drinks That Boost Your Immune System
You can’t really eat enough of the immune system boosting foods when you are sick to really make a huge difference in the duration and severity of your illness. That’s why we will cover supplements to boost your immune system. However, there are some drinks that you can sip, which hopefully will deliver enough antioxidants and nutrients to your body to speed up the healing process. Here are some dinks I recommend to boost your immune system:
- Fire cider: Fire cider is a traditional remedy that has been used to boost the immune system. The ingredients included in this remedy vary, but the basics are apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, ginger and horseradish, and hot peppers. You combine all the ingredients in a Mason jar and let it sit for a month before using it. Some people swear by it. I purchased some online and I am looking forward to trying it. I am also intending to make some at some point.
- Fresh juices: Fresh fruit and vegetable juices will give your body a greater boost of nutrients than eating them would because you get to consume so many more fruits and vegetables at once. When you make fresh juices, your body absorbs readily all the vitamins and minerals. Many juices recipes are specifically formulated for immune support. My favorite is a mixture of apples, carrots, oranges, and ginger. I also love green juices made with celery, cucumbers, lemon, ginger, and pineapple.
- Ginger and green teas: We already talked about how powerful green tea can be as an immune-boosting food. Since green tea has caffeine, you should be careful to not overdo it, so you can also sip on ginger tea. Ginger is also helpful to help your body heal.
- Elderberry syrup: Elderberry syrup has been shown to help reduce cold duration and symptoms. Just like fire cider, you can purchase it or make it yourself.
Top 3 Supplements to Boost Your Immune System
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is found in most fruits and vegetables, but keep in mind that the amount is reduced when the food is cooked or stored for a long time. That’s Why I recommend vitamin C as my number 1 supplement to boost your immune system.
Does Vitamin C Boost Your Immune System?
In case you are not convinced that vitamin C boosts your immune system, let’s talk about it. While opinions are divided on this topic, I have found enough evidence to support its immune-boosting properties and I have experienced its healing powers often enough to be satisfied that vitamin C does indeed boost your immune system.
Evidence That Vitamin C Boost Your Immune System
The most compelling evidence so far is a 2013 review of 29 randomized trials with more than 11,000 participants. The researchers found that taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C a day reduced your chance of getting a cold by half. Moreover, it appeared to reduce the duration of the cold by 8% in adults and 14% in children.
How to Pick the Right Vitamin C Supplement
There are three types of vitamin C: ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, and calcium ascorbate. Most brands of vitamin C contain ascorbic acid because it is the most easily absorbable. For maximum benefits, it is best to find a brand that as all three types plus bioflavonoids. Your body can only absorb 500 mg of vitamin C at one time, so it’s best to take this dose multiple times a day rather than take 2,000 mg at one time. Vitamin C is water-soluble and whatever your body doesn’t use will be eliminated through your urine.
My Favorite Vitamin C Supplement
My favorite vitamin C supplement is made from whole foods and contains bioflavonoids. I read an article online that claimed that vitamin C supplements made from whole food were inefficient because you cannot easily assess the amount of vitamin C provided by the whole foods. As most claims found online (including my own) this is incredibly biased. It has no basis in reality. We have attributed fairly accurate nutritional values to all whole foods. I don’t see why it should be any different with the superfoods used in vitamin C supplements.
My favorite vitamin C supplement is C From Nature. The fact that it is made with superfoods means it is highly bioavailable. Vitamins from whole foods work in synergy and they are always preferable. Each capsule contains around 770 mg of vitamin C from Armia Berry, Acerola Cherry, Camu Camu, Rosehips and Citrus Bioflavonoids.
2. Astragalus, Goldenseal, and Echinacea
Technically, these are immune-boosting herbs, but we can use the terms interchangeably since herbs can supplement your diet to speed up healing Years and years ago, I noticed a dramatic decrease in the duration and the severity of my colds when I took any one of those herbs. You can purchase a tincture from your health food store. That’s what I used to do and I was very happy with the results. Lately, I have been using a supplement that contains astragalus, green tea extract (remember green tea?), self-heal herb (the name says it all), and cat’s claw bark among other things.
Immuno-Max has made a huge difference for me. I take it almost every day, but when I feel a sickness coming on, I up the dosage and can really tell that it’s helping within 24 hours.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is another one of my long-standing supplements that boost the immune system. The importance of vitamin D for bone health is well known, but it is also critical for proper immune function. Vitamin D can be obtained from food, but your best source apart from supplements is the sun. Winters are long here, and one Spring, I became vitamin D deficient (I confirmed with by a blood test). I felt exhausted and my muscles ached. It was not pleasant! I am trying to make a better effort to go outside in the winter months. It doesn’t take that long, 15 minutes of sunshine on your face a day should be enough. You can always experiment with purchasing a vitamin D3 supplement and see if it helps boost your immune system, your energy, and your overall well-being.
Immune Booster for Kids
A word about kids. It may be hard to get them to eat and drink all the immune-boosting foods and beverages I mentioned in this post. For this reason, I use a herbal tincture that seems to be very effective as an immune booster for kids.
The Immune Shield is a pure organic formula that will support your child’s immune system. It contains echinacea, astragalus, elderberry, and more.
If you purchase any of the products using the links above, you will receive a $50 discount. You can also Contact Me if you have any questions or concerns regarding these supplements to boost your immune system.
Top 3 Supplements to Boost Your Immune System Video
Colds and other sicknesses are unavoidable. Fortunately, there are things you can do to get sick less frequently and reduce the severity of your symptoms. Make sure your diet includes the delicious immune-boosting foods I mentioned. Spend time outside, eat well, sleep enough. As soon as you start feeling the symptoms of a sickness coming on (or if someone in your family is ill, take supplements to boost your immune system. You will notice a difference. Believe me! I have lots of experience with 7 children in the house!