Immune System Boosting Supplements And Foods To Keep You Healthy

As we move into winter, we have many great things to look forward to, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but along with the holiday season, comes cold and flu season, which is definitely a season that most of us would like to skip. In order to stay one step ahead of Mother Nature and ward off these horrible germs that can leave us feeling stuffy and bed ridden, fight back and fill your diet with supplements and foods that can strengthen your immune system.

So where should you start?

Immune System Boosting Supplements Although it may sound a little too obvious, the best way to maintain a strong immune system just in time for winter is simply by following a healthy diet that includes vitamins, antioxidants, herbal supplements, and whey protein as well as living healthy lifestyle This can be achieved by:
  • Not smoking
  • Eating well
  • Exercising on a regular basis
  • Keeping your weight down
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • And washing your hands

What foods should I be eating?

To begin you battle against cold and flu season, make a trip to your local grocery store and make a b-line for the produce aisle. Once there, stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, for these foods are packed with immune system building antioxidants.  If you don’t already know, antioxidants are the vitamins and nutrients needed to protect and repair the cells damaged by free radicals. There are 3 major antioxidant vitamins: beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E, and all 3 can be found in your produce aisle. But remember, in order to get all the immune system boosting benefits from these foods, simply eat them raw or lightly steamed.  Don’t microwave or boil these foods, for the heating process can remove some of the healthy benefits. Foods Rich in beta carotene include:
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Green peppers
  • And spinach
Get your vitamin C from:
  • Berries
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit
  • Honey dew
  • Kale
  • And tomatoes
And load up on vitamin E with:
  • Chard
  • Turnip greens
  • Mangoes
  • Nuts
  • Papaya
  • Pumpkin
  • And sunflower seeds
Other important antioxidants to fill your body with include: Zinc (which can be found naturally in red meat, poultry, beans, whole grains and dairy) and Selenium (which can be found in tuna, beef, poultry, and grain products). But if you can’t seem to get all the vitamins necessary from food alone (maybe you detest vegetables), there are daily multivitamins and mineral supplements available that can also have a positive effect on your immune system. But be cautious, while a multivitamin can be beneficial, a large dose of a single vitamin probably won’t be.

What about herbal supplements?

Garlic herbal supplement Although further scientific study is needed to verify if certain herbal supplements can in fact improve the immune system, there are many out there that swear by certain holistic remedies and will get as much as they can, especially when they feel the onset symptoms of a cold.
  • Garlic—thought  to have infection fighting properties
  • Ginseng—Asian ginseng is thought to stimulate immune function
  • Probiotics—good bacteria that can safely live in the digestive tract
  • Astragalus membranes—marketed as an immune system stimulant
  • Echinacea—an immune stimulant that supposedly limits the severity of colds
  • Licorice root—used in Chinese medicine to cure many illnesses
Whey protein is another supplement that is good to help boost your health because it is made up of essential amino acids. Dairy products such as curds and cottage cheese from grass-fed cows made of whey protein can naturally boost your immune system. So whether you choose to fill your fridge up with fresh, immune system boosting supplements, or you decide that produce is more up your alley, this winter take the steps necessary to put your body on the track towards a healthy holiday season. And although supplements to boost your immune system can’t guarantee you a cold/flu free winter, they just might give you the extra bit of protection your body requires to keep strong and healthy once the temperature drops.
Ronald K. Wright