Boost your immunity naturally with these immune health staples

Oct 25 2021

Boost your immunity naturally with these immune health staples

It’s important to look after your immune health all year round, but especially so during the colder months when we’re more likely to fall ill with a cold or the flu. There’s plenty you can do to bolster your body’s natural defences, but here are five immune health essentials that you won’t want to be without this winter.

Echinacea

Echinacea is one of the most widely used herbal remedies in the world. There are several varieties of Echinacea plant, but Echinacea purpurea, also called purple cone flower, is the most researched and in our opinion, the most effective variety of Echinacea. It is best known for its beneficial effects on the immune system, and works by improving the way the immune system responds to bugs, especially the common cold.

There are plenty of ways to supplement with Echinacea but A.Vogel Echinaforce Tablets is our go-to Echinacea remedy for colds and flu. If you are prone to recurrent colds or flu, you can start taking it at the first sign of an infection or longer term for more general immune support.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is probably the first vitamin you think of when it comes to boosting your immune system, and you’d be right to do so. Vitamin C is well documented for aiding in the prevention of colds and other infections and one way it does this is by encouraging the production of white blood cells that help protect the body against infection [1].

There are plenty of vitamin C supplements to choose from but be mindful that many vitamin C products are made synthetically, which can cause absorption issues. The body has a hard time recognising and absorbing synthetic vitamin C, which can be quite acidic on sensitive stomachs. If supplementing with vitamin C, opt for a natural vitamin C supplement or one made from Ester-C, a non-acidic, buffered version of vitamin C that is kinder to sensitive tums. Try Solgar’s Ester-C + Vitamin C 1000mg or Lambert’s Ester-C .

Probiotics

With approximately 70% of your active immune cells found in your gut, it makes sense that your gut plays an important role in keeping you well. When you are first exposed to a virus, your immune system uses antibodies to bind to the virus in the respiratory and digestive tracts. These antibodies work to prevent the virus from entering the body further, and also identify it to be destroyed.

One way to keep your gut happy and healthy is to maintain a healthy balance of gut flora with a probiotic supplement. Some probiotic strains have been studied specifically for their beneficial immunomodulatory action. Try OptiBac Probiotics Immune Support , which has been formulated especially to help support the immune system.

Vitamin D

Research points increasingly to the potential benefits of vitamin D in connection with immune health. Specifically it would appear to play a role in activating your T cells [2], a type of immune cell that hunts down and eliminates germs and other pathogens.

Another study published in the British Medical Journal found that vitamin D supplementation could be useful in preventing respiratory tract infections such as colds, flus and bronchitis [3]. As with vitamin C supplements, there are plenty of vitamin D supplements to choose from. We’re rather fond of our own Jan de Vries Vitamin D, which is available in two strengths, 2500iu and 1000iu, for flexible dosing.

Zinc

The mineral zinc also helps to keep the immune system strong. Its first line of defence comprises your skin, mucous membranes, nasal hairs and stomach acid, and if a pathogen breaches this defensive wall and enters the body, responsibility passes to our immune cells. They must now respond efficiently so the pathogen can be killed, and zinc supports your immune cells in mounting an effective defence.

Even if your diet contains plenty of zinc rich foods, you could still be mildly deficient in zinc. A zinc supplement can help to keep levels of zinc topped up. Try Lamberts Zinc, available as zinc citrate, which is easier for your body to absorb.


[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25157026/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425186/

[3] https://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6583