Nowadays, most of us are growing concerned about the immune system. Marketers detected and immediately took advantage of the growing concern about infections and COVID-19. And, even though we have supplements that boost your immune health, we need to adopt a responsible approach and only recommend what really works.
But before that, what does it mean to boost the immune system? What happens inside your body when you boost your immune health?
What improvements make your immune health stronger?
The immune system involves a series of cells (white blood cells), tissues (lymph nodes), and substances (antibodies, cytokines) that work together to prevent disease. They have complex connections between one another, and each component should be in the right proportion.
When the components of the immune system are not aligned with each other, you could have an overly active immune system (as in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, or allergic disease like asthma), or a deficient immune function (as in HIV, and to a lesser degree in older adults and people with chronic health problems).
So, stronger immune health is not always a more active function. What you need to have is a correct balance between the cells, tissues, and substances in your immune system.
Autoimmune disease and allergies combine an overly active immune system and a predisposition to the disease. So, in most cases, increasing your white blood cell count or helping your body create more antibodies is actually good news, and what you would expect from an immunity booster.
Natural ways to boost your immune system
The best thing about boosting your immune system is that you don’t really need to buy expensive treatments unless you have a severe problem like HIV. In most cases, 2 main lifestyle changes will be enough to stimulate your immune health:
- Eating properly: This aspect is fundamental if you want a strong immune system. You need to eat enough calories, even if you’re trying to lose weight. Not doing so will repurpose the available calories to your brain and heart, leaving insufficient energy to your immune function. It is also recommended to eat enough proteins, which contribute to creating antibodies and other substances.
- Exercising: Your immune health is also responsive to exercise. According to studies, your white blood cells circulate faster in the body of those who exercise regularly. You can also clear your airways faster and your body temperature increases temporarily, restricting the growth of various microorganisms.
Supplements to boost your immune system
You can also use supplements as an extra boost. Many herbal remedies can have a small effect on your immune function, but I will only recommend what I consider effective and scientifically proven:
- Probiotics: The most extensive network of lymphoid tissue is associated with the gut. By promoting your gut microbiota, probiotics can regulate your immune function, adding up to your natural defenses.
- Vitamin D: It might be required as a supplement during winter, and in countries where you don’t get sufficient sun exposure. This vitamin is essential for cell differentiation and contributes to the immune function in many ways.
- Zinc: This nutrient is required to replicate your white blood cells. It is also a key element to obstruct the bacterial colonization in your lungs and airways.
- Antioxidant foods and supplements: These supplements are extremely important to prevent damage by free radicals, and counter the deleterious effects of inflammation and an overly active immune system.
- Antibacterial foods and extracts: There are plenty of herbs and extracts with potent antibacterial potential. For example, peppermint leaves, garlic, lemon, onions, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, and more.