Immunity Boosting for the Whole Family
Let’s face it, with schools back in session and the pandemic situation heating up yet again, boosting immunity is top of mind for most everyone.
Your immune system is designed to provide a barrier between you and foreign invaders, like viruses. To do that, your body has specialized infection-fighters located in various organs, tissues, cells, and proteins throughout the body, including the lymph system, spleen, bone marrow, and digestive tract.
Some of the immune system is tasked with identifying foreign agents, while others produce antibodies, which shield you against repeat infection from the same substance.
Generally speaking, the immune system is wonderfully efficient when it’s working properly. But things can go wrong—such as when a simple sniffle turns into a cold, then bronchitis.
This is why nurturing your immune system is so important. Healthy immune systems don’t just happen. You need to provide the right environment for all of the functions to work as they should.
Luckily, maintaining a strong, responsive immune system isn’t that difficult, as long as you’re vigilant and keep a few basic guidelines in mind.
The Basics for Good Immune Function
There are a few basics that, at the very minimum, you should follow daily to give your immune system a fighting chance:
- A nutritious diet consisting of mainly whole, organic foods and minimal or no processed fare
- Plenty of filtered water—8 cups a day is average, but drink more if you exercise or have been sweating a lot
- Move most days of the week; even a walk every day counts!
- Stress management
- Getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night
The last point cannot be emphasized enough! Research shows that healthy people whose sleep is cut short experience small changes in inflammatory markers, setting the stage for long-term health problems. In a major study of nearly 25,000 adults, researchers found individuals who slept the fewest hours were at risk for “almost all” chronic diseases.
Supplements Give that Extra Boost
Once you have those basics down, you may want to consider adding some supplements that have been shown to naturally boost immune function, which not only helps to prevent illness but also better fight one off if you do get sick. Start now, as it can take a couple weeks for supplements to truly get into your system and provide real benefit.
The Basic Three
At the very minimum, you should be taking vitamin D, a multivitamin, and probiotics every day.
Research shows an “indisputable relation between vitamin D and the immune system.” Zinc is another important nutrient for immunity. It is especially important in the fight against COVID-19. According to one study, zinc deficiency is a factor “predisposing individuals to infection and detrimental progression of COVID-19.” These researchers also wrote that, “Zinc administration is beneficial for most of the population, especially those with suboptimal zinc status.”1-2
Zinc and vitamin D are easy to find online and in stores, or you can get robust levels from a high-quality multivitamin like LifeMax from Newport Natural Health.
Probiotics are important too. You’ve probably heard that up to 80% of your immune system function is in your gut. All this is thanks to the robust environment of beneficial microbes that live there. Probiotic supplements help to support these living, thriving microorganisms.
But not just any probiotic will do. Several criteria make some probiotics far superior than the rest. For one, find a product that encapsulates the bacteria. This allows them to reach the intestines without being destroyed along the way by the harsh digestive tract.
You should also look for products that contain a blend of different types of organisms, with at least 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per dose.
Finally, it’s important to include prebiotics. Prebiotics are fiber-like compounds that feed probiotics and help them thrive. You can get prebiotics by eating onions, leeks, garlic, and asparagus. Or you can look for a probiotic supplement that includes prebiotics.
If you are looking for a probiotic that meets all these important criteria, look no further than Newport Natural Health’s Microencapsulated Probiotic with FOS.
“Extras” for Even Greater Immune Support
You may also want to add some herbs to your immune-boosting arsenal. The following three are excellent immunity enhancers.
- Reishi mushroom is an edible fungus that has been used for centuries in Asia for healing and longevity. These days, they are made into powders, which aids in fast absorption and delivery. They have numerous components that reverse many of the impacts of age-related immune system decline. They also boost the function of dendritic cells, which are involved in the process of recognizing foreign invaders and destroying them. Finally, Reishi mushrooms aid in the development of lymphocytes, which produce antibodies and fight off invaders.
Our Botanicals Reishi extract is a high-quality alcohol-free liquid supplement that is easy to use.
- Elderberry is packed with antioxidants and anthocyanins, which provide antiviral and ant-inflammatory benefits. It has a particular affinity for the respiratory system, and may be a great preventative supplement for viruses like COVID-19. Elderberry Comfort is an organic, alcohol-free elderberry extract, with the added benefit of Reishi mushroom and lemon balm added in.
Oregon grape is native to the Northern American West region, and has been used as medicine by many tribes throughout that area. Oregon grape is part of a family of plants high in a particular alkaloid called berberine, which is known for its beneficial effects on blood sugar, as well as antibiotic properties. The root of this plant has been shown to help the body fight off a myriad of infections, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and yeasts like Candida.
Our Botanicals makes a wonderful Oregon grape liquid extract that is simple to add to water or juice, or straight under the tongue.
- Martens P, et al. Vitamin D’s Effect on Immune Function. Nutrients. 2020 May; 12(5): 1248.
- Merzon E, et al. Low plasma 25(OH) vitamin D level is associated with increased risk of COVID-19 infection: an Israeli population-based study. FEBS J. 2020 Jul 23;10.111/febs.15495.
- Wessels I, et al. The potential impact of zinc supplementation on COVID-19 pathogenesis. Front Immunol. 2020;11:1712.