We chat to health food store Go Vita about their top recommendations for immune support. In conjunction to scrubbing your hands often, getting more sleep, moving more (outdoors or in-home workouts) we got some tips on how to supplement – we know the supp wall can be intimating if you don’t know what you’re looking for! First and foremost is hygiene and diet, though if you are looking to boost your immune system here’s what they said:
Add Vitamin C & D
Vitamin C is probably better known and more widely used than any other supplement. Not only does it help support a healthy immune system, but it may also minimise the duration of cold symptoms if you do catch one. A review of six studies found vitamin C reduced cold incidence by 50 percent. Plus, it assists the absorption of iron, which is critical to immune health. One gram of vitamin C daily is a good dose to consider, used in conjunction with zinc. Low zinc status may increase susceptibility to viruses. Vitamin D is probably less well known but a recent study of 19,000 people showed those with low levels of vitamin D suffered more colds and flu. 2,000IU of vitamin D3 daily is our suggestion to help maintain a healthy immune system. You can also boost your levels with a 20-minute stint in the sun outside danger hours each day.
Take a probiotic
Besides keeping your gut in good health, probiotics can also help your immunity. Recent research has shown probiotics are helpful for strengthening the immune system and supplementing or consuming probiotic-rich foods is a useful strategy for maintaining a healthy immune system. Harvard Medical School found that intestinal bacteria bolster the immune system by feeding T-cells. With 70 percent of our immune system in our gut flora it flourishes with supplements such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Immune formula products can also be a good option as they contain a number of immune-supporting herbs such as andrographis, echinacea, astragalus, olive leaf and tulsi.
Garlic has been used for centuries for its anti-viral and anti-fungal benefits. Research also confirms that it helps support a healthy immune system. If you’re not a fan of fresh garlic, take a supplement of aged garlic extract.