Which immune system supplements boost your body's natural defenses?

Far too often, people wait until they're not feeling their best to take immune boosting supplements. But were you aware that there are immune system supplements you can take daily to help with your body's natural defenses?

Don't wait until you're feeling under the weather to reach for immune support supplements. There are supplements you can take year-round to keep yourself feeling your best even during the bleakest part of winter.

There are a number of supplements that can help you have a strong immune system.

Get a boost with vitamin D

Vitamin D increases anti-microbial activity while it decreases the production of inflammatory cytokines. Anti-microbial means that vitamin D helps your body to kill invading microorganisms or stops their growth. Cytokines are proteins produced by cells that can create inflammation in your body.

Although vitamin D is well known to help bone health, it is critical for your immune system as well. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to conditions relating to poor immune system health. It's a vital component for a well-balanced and healthy immune system. Ensuring you get enough vitamin D can help reduce the amount of time that you aren't feeling your best.

Your body does make vitamin D from exposure to the sun, giving it the name, "the sunshine vitamin." Yet, for many people, sun exposure may not be the best way to get vitamin D.

Dermatologists recommend that you limit your sun exposure and always wear sunscreen when you are outdoors. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that people do not get their vitamin D from the sun. Instead, they recommend that you get vitamin D from diet and immune system supplements. This can make it difficult to get enough vitamin D that your body needs to function healthily through diet alone.

This is where the support supplements come in. Although you can find foods fortified with vitamin D, choosing high-quality, immune-boosting supplements will ensure your body gets the right amount of this critical vitamin.

Zinc abounds in your body

After iron, Zinc is the second most abundant mineral in your body. It's a micronutrient that plays a critical role in healthy immune system functioning. It supports your immune system by aiding natural responses such as antibody production and phagocytosis.

Antibodies are the proteins that your immune system produces when it meets foreign invaders. The process of phagocytosis is when your immune system cells surround a foreign cell to attack and destroy it.

Zinc helps the everyday functioning of your immune system. Maintaining an adequate supply of zinc in your body can help you to feel your best. But it can also shorten the duration of feeling unwell if you start taking it right at the time once you've begun to feel under the weather.

Zinc is found in foods such as meat and shellfish. Vegetarians and vegans may have difficulty getting enough zinc from their diets. You can find zinc in nuts and seeds. However, iron and calcium can inhibit the body's absorption of zinc, requiring you to increase your zinc intake by adding a supplement.

When choosing a zinc supplement, look for products that contain zinc gluconate. Zinc gluconate is a form of zinc that is easily absorbed in the body and commonly used in immune system boosting supplements.

The power of vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals as it boosts your body's natural production of white blood cells. Your white blood cells are key to keeping you from feeling under the weather. When a foreign pathogen enters your body, your white blood cells move through your body to find and attack it.

Your body does not produce vitamin C on its own. Instead, it gets it entirely from your diet. Vitamin C is found in foods such as citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers and spinach.

Although found in many healthy foods, researchers have discovered that the amount of vitamin C you get naturally from your diet may not be enough to keep your immune system healthy.

Researchers found that the amount of vitamin C required to keep adults healthy was much higher than the current daily recommended allowance. This means that you may need to add a supplement on top of maintaining a healthy diet to keep your immune system working strong.

Researchers have also discovered that people with low levels of vitamin C were associated with poor health outcomes. Although vitamin C can't completely prevent attacks to your immune system, it can help fight them and shorten the duration that you aren't feeling your best.

The bottom line on immune system health

The immune system is an amazing part of the human body. It works overtime defending you from harmful microorganisms that threaten your health. Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising daily and getting plenty of rest are crucial to help your body function at its peak. Immune boosting supplements can help keep you feeling well all year long.

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