As we slowly crawl out of a global pandemic, most of us have one goal in mind: not getting sick. But finding the best way to boost your immune system can feel overwhelming, especially in a world of juice cleanses, superfoods, and keto diets.
“But I just figured out the last one?!” You shout. We feel you.
Unfortunately, even the healthiest and most balanced diet can often leave you lacking in the immune department. That’s where supplements come in.
To up your cold and flu protection game, we asked nutritionists and health experts about the best vitamins and supplements to keep your immune system in check. By adding these powerful supplements to your daily routine, you can improve your chances of staying healthy — even if everyone around you is sniffling up a storm.
Why is my immune system such a big deal?
Your immune system is your body’s way of protecting you against harmful bacteria, viruses and diseases. If it’s weak or not working properly, you’re more likely to get sick.
Unfortunately, keeping your immune system strong doesn’t just come down to drinking one green juice and calling it a day. There are a variety of factors that keep sickness at bay, like maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and minimizing stress.
*Eye roll* “Oh, is that all?” We know — easier said than done.
Ideally, you’d get all the adequate nutrients you need from a healthy and balanced diet. But when you’re juggling your job, relationships, and the stress of a pandemic (no big deal), that’s not always possible. Enter: supplements.
What are the best supplements to avoid getting sick?
If you’re not getting the right amount of nutrients through diet alone, supplements can help fill that nutritional gap and improve your immune response. These nutrients, in particular, are proven to help the immune system perform at its peak.
The real question is: what can’t this supplement do? Here are some highlights.
Vitamin C is an incredibly powerful antioxidant, which makes it a great bacteria and virus fighter. It’s been shown to reduce your risk of chronic disease and can even improve memory and brain function as you age. Most of all, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron and prevent iron deficiency. That’s why Ferosom Forte iron supplements are infused with vitamin C to dramatically increase absorption rates.
Sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D helps boost your body’s immune response. It has anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties and can even enhance the function of your immune cells — which is really a fancy way of saying that vitamin D prevents infection. Sign us up.
Plus, for Canadians who get approximately 2 weeks of sunshine per year, taking supplements during the winter can help prevent vitamin D deficiency.
Ever reach for a zinc lozenge when you start feeling a tickle in your throat? You aren’t the only one. The body needs zinc to keep the immune system strong, which makes it an effective supplement for fighting off colds and other sicknesses.
While low levels of zinc can leave you more vulnerable to colds, don’t go crazy with it. Too much zinc can actually reduce your immune function. It’s all about balance, friends.
Iron is essential to a healthy, resilient immune system. While men only need around 8 mg of iron in their diet, women need up to 18 mg (27 mg if pregnant). This makes women far more susceptible to iron deficiency or anemia, especially since they lose blood every month during menstruation.
To avoid infections, illness, and complications from low iron, take a high-quality iron supplement, like Ferosom Forte. Unlike other supplements that cause nasty side effects, Ferosom has a proprietary LCE coating that protects it from breaking down in the stomach. Plus, its liposomal form means it doesn’t have to be converted for your body to absorb it.
Seleni-what? This underrated nutrient is an antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and enhance immunity. Selenium deficiency has been shown to harm immune cell function and could even lead to a slower immune response.
Like zinc, taking too much selenium can lead to some not-so-fun side effects, from hair loss and muscle soreness to more serious intestinal and neurological symptoms.
Remember: loading your system up with more vitamins than it can handle won’t magically supercharge your immune system. And in some cases, it can actually lead to more damage. Make sure you talk to your doctor about the supplements you’re taking and how to optimize them for your health.
What are some of the best sources of vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, natural antihistamine, and anti-inflammatory that helps your immune cells identify and kill bacteria. We know, she’s kind of a big deal.
The only problem? Your body doesn’t naturally produce it. That’s why vitamin C is classified as an essential vitamin. While most nutrition experts recommend taking at least one vitamin C supplement every day, you can also up your intake with these immune-boosting foods:
- Red and green peppers
- Citrus fruits (especially oranges)
And as you now know, vitamin C is also necessary for your body to absorb iron. In fact, consuming just 100 mg of vitamin C can improve iron absorption by 67%.
Do your iron levels play a part in boosting your immune system?
Survey says: absolutely. Your immune system has two parts: the specific and non-specific (or innate) immune system. Iron deficiency can affect your non-specific immune system, which is your body’s first line of defence against germs. Long story short, low iron levels make you more susceptible to sickness.
Plus, healthy iron levels can reduce fatigue, improve muscle endurance, and improve concentration. Safe to say, iron is the key to your healthiest self.
What is the best way to boost my immune system naturally?
If there was one magic pill we could take to transform our immune system, we’d be first in line. But until scientists figure that one out, the best way to prevent sickness naturally is by maintaining a balance between:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Washing your hands often
- Getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night
- Taking immune-boosting supplements daily
Wondering which supplements your body needs most? Talk to your doctor about the best vitamins and doses for your unique health.
Ready to supercharge your immune system with an iron supplement? Ferosom Forte has the best absorption rate next to IV iron. Yep, you read that right. Click here to learn more.