Health & Wellness

6 Immune Boosters: Supplements & Lifestyle Changes

Many of us are back into our offices and have resumed contact with friends and extended family, making now is the perfect time to learn about natural immune boosters.

From lifestyle tips to my most recommended supplements, keep reading to learn all about how to strengthen your immune system naturally in the days ahead.

 

6 Great All-Natural Immune Boosters

Here are a few of my most recommended immune boosters

1. Get plenty of sleep.

As we’ve discussed before, sleep is critical for optimal health because your body repairs itself and strengthens your immune system during REM sleep

In fact, according to one study following 153 people who came into contact with rhinovirus, those who slept less than seven hours at night were 2.94 times more likely to develop a cold compared to those who slept eight hours or more. [1]

Additionally, those with lower quality sleep were 5.5 times more likely to develop a cold than those who experienced high-quality sleep.

The researchers concluded that poor sleep quality and duration prior to rhinovirus exposure were associated with lower resistance to the illness

If you need some tips for getting a solid night of restful sleep, check out my article on how to beat insomnia.

2. Take a multi-mineral.

While it’s likely that you’ve heard that multivitamins are great immune boosters, you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually a multi-mineral you need.

You see, there are several minerals that have been shown to help support the immune system. Minerals you should look for in a solid multi-mineral include selenium, manganese, magnesium, and calcium.

So, why these minerals? Let’s take a look at what the research has to say about a few of these minerals.

While it’s long been known in the scientific and medical communities that having adequate selenium levels are crucial for maintaining optimal immunity, studies have shown that selenium positively impacts the barriers to infection in the immune system, while a selenium deficiency impairs their function. [2]

Specifically, selenium has been shown to strengthen the body’s epithelial barriers, which help stop invasive bacteria from entering the body.

Additionally, studies have shown that being deficient in selenium results in greater lung problems in those with the flu than in those who have adequate amounts of selenium in their bodies! [3]

Another mineral well-researched for its ability to help serve as an immune booster is magnesium. Here’s why: It has more than 800 different essential roles within your body, making it necessary for many bodily processes, including regulating blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, building proteins, and supporting the immune system.

It’s also a co-factor in over 300 enzymes—which means that it is essential for making those enzymes work properly. Basically, any process that requires energy requires magnesium.

Magnesium also helps transport potassium, calcium, and sodium into and out of your cells, which helps to maintain proper electrolyte balance.

If you’re looking for a well-sourced multi-mineral, check out my Total Mineral here.

3. Take zinc.

One of the best ways to support your immune system is by taking zinc. And while zinc is often included in a great multi-mineral, you may find that you need a bit more and should consider a zinc supplement as well.

So, what does the research have to say?

According to a 2011 study, using a minimum of 75 mg each day of zinc lozenges reduced cold duration by up to 42 percent! [4]

Why is it so effective?

According to a 2010 study, zinc activates your body’s T-cells, which are known to not only stimulate and moderate your immune system but also help attack invaders (such as viruses, bacteria, and even cancerous cells). [5]

Now, there are a lot of zinc products on the market—and some are more bioavailable than others. To get a rundown of which you should consider, and which to avoid, click here.

And if you want to take out the guesswork completely, head over to Total Heath Apothecary and check out my Total Zinc.

4. Reduce everyday stress.

We’ve previously discussed how stress can make you sick.

Basically, when you’re in a state of stress, your immune system loses its ability to fight off bacteria and viruses effectively—leaving you more vulnerable to illness.

In fact, study published in June 2020 revealed that patients with positive COVID tests who had the highest cortisol levels (indicating greater stress) had a significantly higher risk of mortality than those with lower cortisol levels.

How much higher? The patients whose cortisol concentration doubled were 42 percent more likely to die from COVID-19! [6]

Other research published in May 2021 revealed that stress can cause you to make poor lifestyle choices, which can accelerate the aging process of your T-cells (cells critical for proper immune function), explaining this connection. [7]

So, what are you supposed to do? After all, we can’t just eliminate stress from our lives.

I’ve found that supporting your adrenal health is the single best way to help boost your body’s ability to handle stress and, in turn, makes the list as one of my top immune boosters. Click here to learn more about supporting your adrenal health and preparing your body to handle any stress that comes your way.

5. Consume probiotics.

There’s one supplement I recommend to all of my patients: a good probiotic. You see, in order to have great immune health, you must have great gut health. And probiotics have been shown to do just that.

In fact, studies have shown that taking probiotics during a viral infection can actually shorten the duration of the illness and even lessen symptom severity by up to 34 percent. [8]

I find that a minimum of 20 billion CFU probiotics is great for maintenance while 100 billion CFUs help the most when fighting off or preventing an illness.

If you’re looking for a well-sourced probiotic you can trust, check out my Total Probiotic, which I take myself!

6. Take a B complex.

Finally, one of the last immune boosters I want to highlight is to take a vitamin B complex. Here’s why …

When you’re experiencing more stress, your body burns through more B vitamins. And because vitamin B is required for every metabolic process in your body, from your ability to break down your food to your energy production to even your mood, this can become a real problem.

Not only are B vitamins essential for supporting your body’s stress response, but they’ve also been recently found to play a role in immune regulation. [9]

If you’re in search of a solid vitamin B complex, check out my Total B Complex here, which is great for supporting cardiovascular and mental health, a healthy nervous system, regulating gene expression, proper energy metabolism, and immune and nerve cell function.

 

Immune boosters - Dr. Pingel

 

Key Takeaways

  • Many of us are back into our offices and have resumed contact with friends and extended family, making now is the perfect time to learn about natural immune boosters.
  • Some of my most recommended natural immune boosters include lifestyle tips such as getting better sleep and reducing your everyday stress.
  • Additionally, I’ve found that taking high-quality supplements such as probiotics, B vitamins, a multi-mineral, and zinc help to support immune health.
  • If you’re looking for quality-sourced supplements and need a place to start, check out Total Health Apothecary.

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