Everything about ‘immunity boosters’
Ever since the beginning of the corona pandemic, the importance of supporting our immune systems has become ever more apparent, especially during the colder months. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misleading information about our immune system, nutritional myths and supposedly effective remedies that neither strengthen the immune system nor contribute to general health. So, what can you really do to boost your immune system? In this article, we’ll give you our top tips on the dietary supplements and so-called ‘immunity boosters’ learn everything you need to know about our natural defense system.
What is the immune system?
Immunity is the ability of the body to fight off certain pathogens. These can be bacteria, viruses, and any other nasties that will make us sick. In most cases, our bodies are amazing at fighting off things that make us sick. Our white blood cells, more specifically ‘T’ cells, are constantly on the hunt for things that could make us ill, and they do their work without us even knowing about it. When we feel ill or get a fever, it is often because our bodies are working overtime to get rid of a bacteria or virus. Yet there are certain products with vitamins and minerals that may help support the body do its immune system job; we go into these and explore the different types of immunity below.
Our immune systems are made up of two parts: the innate and adaptive system. As the name suggests, the innate system includes everything we’re born with. For example, our effective in-built physical and chemical barriers. Your skin, eyelashes and nose hairs physically prevent intruders from entering the body. When something does manage to squeeze through, chemical things like stomach acid are on standby ready to destroy pathogens and other cellular mechanisms. The other half of immunity — your adaptive or ‘active’ system — is developed over time as diseases are introduced into the body. Since this includes all mechanisms that your body learns through exposure, it is much more specific to the disease compared to the innate immune system.
Did you know?
A person gets sick with a cold an average of two to four times a year.
Viruses cause 99% of colds.
How can I boost my immunity fast?
This is an interesting question. Nothing can actually boost your immunity; it’s all about supporting your immune system and taking good care of your body. We recommend thinking a step ahead, because prevention is always better than cure. Keeping active is thought to help keep the immune system running right. It’s easy to go for a brisk walk or do some exercises every day.
Does working out put my body and immune system under stress?
While working out is a great way to work on your body, it also puts it under a bit of stress. That’s why it’s recommended for fanatic athletes — those who work out more than 3x a week for an hour or more — to take 200mg vitamin C, in addition to the recommended daily intake. This will contribute to normal functioning of the immune system during and after intense physical exercise.
If you want to keep getting after your goals when you’re not feeling great, our article exercise during a cold or the flu provides information on what you should keep in mind. In most cases, it’s best to get some well-deserved rest rather than keep pushing yourself. Don’t worry, though, you’ll get some great guidance on how to tell when you’re ready to get going again.
Find out more about vitamins & minerals for active lifestyles and make sure you get enough of these 8 important minerals. Also, check out our Instagram for the ultimate supplement glossary and some great tips on making sense of all the different ones out there.
What are the best vitamins, minerals or other supplements to help my immune system?
Lots of vitamins and minerals are vital for immune functions. They are, for example, involved in the health of skin, production of important immune cells, and regulation of inflammatory factors caused by external elements like pollution.
Vitamins that contribute to the normal functioning of your immune system are vitamins C, D, A, B6, and B12. Some important minerals are zinc, copper, and iron. If you find it difficult to get enough of them from your regular diet, you can consider supplementing them.
Vitamin C is already well-known in immunity
Vitamin C may be the most well-known of all vitamins and is found in all sorts of fruits and vegetables. It was first noticed as essential to the body in the 18th century, as sailors eating citrus fruit were less likely to get scurvy. Strawberries, kiwis, citrus fruits and cabbages, specifically, are examples of foods high in vitamin C. Vitamin C not only contributes to a normal immune system, but also helps protect your cells from oxidative stress. Moreover, it supports normal collagen formation, which in turn is important for normal functioning of blood vessels, bones, cartilage, gums, skin, and more.
We offer vitamin C paired with several other ingredients to fit your unique goals. Our Vitamin C + Antioxidant has a nice blend of rosehip extract, vitamin E, C, and more. If you want to pair up vitamin C with the popular Echinacea, Immune Support with Echinacea is your fit.
The superfood, Kale, is also a real vitamin C bomb and is high in vitamin A, vitamin K, magnesium and calcium. In our article, Food Fact: Kale, you can learn everything about it and get tips on how to integrate it into your everyday life.
Vitamin D and your immune system
The body with exposure to the sun creates Vitamin D. Your body is also able to store vitamin D for days when sun is scarce. This vitamin is found in some foods, mostly in fatty fish. Not only is vitamin D important for the normal functioning of the immune system, it does the same for muscles, bones, and more. Reason enough to start looking into a proper vitamin D supplement, especially if you’re not often in direct sunlight. We sell a Vitamin D3 — 1000IU supplement, or if you’re looking for a higher dosage try our Vitamin D3 – 3000 IU.
Vitamin A and immunity
Vitamin A is found in lots of animal-derived products, specifically liver. Don’t fancy pâté or foie gras? Luckily, your body is also able to create vitamin A out of carotenoids, which are found in plants. Carrots (and other roots) are famous for having high carotenoid levels, and it’s also found in spinach and kale. Vitamin A is also important for the maintenance of normal vision. Vitamin A is found in most multi supplements. Pregnant women should be careful with their vitamin A intake, so always follow the doctor’s advice.
Vitamins B6 and B12 and the immune system
B6 and B12 are important members of the B-vitamin family. Vitamin B12 is found in animal-derived products like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, which is why we advise vegans to take vitamin B12 in the form of supplements. This Vitamin B12 is vegan friendly. Instead of a capsule made from gelatine, we used a vegan-friendly alternative. Vitamin B6 is found in animal-derived products as well, but also in grains, legumes, and potatoes. Consider taking B6, which is found in most multi supplements, if you want to contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue as well as help your immune system.
In our article Veganism: Insights, Facts & Supplements, you’ll learn how to further enhance this healthy and sustainable lifestyle with vitamin B12.
Zinc and important immune functions
You can find zinc in many different types of food like grains, nuts, meat, and seafood. It’s an important mineral because it makes up enzymes that are needed for many important functions in your body, including the immune system. Another is the cognitive function and the metabolism of macronutrients.
Copper and immunity
You’re at an increased risk of a copper deficiency if you overdo your zinc intake. Just to be sure, the two are paired in this Zinc Complex. It has an extra benefit, because – you guessed it – copper too is important for your immune system and for transporting iron in the body.
Iron is important for immunity
Iron is another important mineral to support your normal immune system, low iron results in anaemia. We offer the synergetic combination of Iron and Vitamin C. Iron is also abundant in meat, grains, legumes, and nuts.
Immune support products combining multi-ingredients
It can be a lot to gather all the things your body needs (unless you’re already getting them from a balanced diet) which is why we offer all-in-one products that combine the best ingredients to support your immune system easily. Immune Support with L-Glutamine has vitamin C, D, Zinc, and more. The same goes for our premium Immune Support Duo. The duo-cap technology used in this supplement allows us to combine unique ingredients, so you’ll also find Wellmune® beta-glucans in it.
Why do you call your products immune support?
Many vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in immunity. But supplementing them only supports the normal functioning of your immune system. The key to healthy living is to have a varied and balanced diet, even before taking supplements. There are also many other factors in play with your immunity, which supplements have no effect on. That’s why we prefer calling our products supportive to your immunity. We want you to live the healthiest life possible and are always here to support you with our quality products and expert advice when you need it.
Our 5 top tips to support your immune system the Body&Fit way:
- Get enough sleep: Many studies have shown that getting enough sleep helps strengthen our immune system. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
- Eat healthily: Vegetables and fruits are high in antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Aim for at least 250 gm of veggies and 2 pieces of fruit a day. Eat healthy fats like Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Manage stress: While it can be easier said than done, try to keep your stress levels to a minimum. Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, is an immunosuppressive culprit. Your body is less likely to identify and act upon intruders under stress.
- Exercise: Activity, especially at a moderate intensity, has been shown to support our immune system. Try to do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity daily, such as brisk walking, cycling, gardening, cleaning, jogging, or swimming.
- Stay hydrated: water is important for transporting crucial things around in your blood and harmful things like infection out of your body.
Of course, you can always support your immune system with the help of supplements. Find even more great tips, insights and inspiration via our Instagram. If you have any further questions about immune support, products or health and nutrition in general, our Nutrition Experts are always on hand to give you their best advice. It’s all part of our mission to inspire the world to live a fitter and healthier life.
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