Sniffles, cold, flu ... all of which seem to be hitting everyone over the last couple weeks.
And that's why I'm talking to you today, because over the years ... I've been lucky enough to learn how to avoid any serious sickness or health issues.
I'd like to believe that's because of my knowledge of what goes into living a healthy lifestyle ... but also my knowledge in supplementation, since I've been in this space for 10+ years now.
I've learned that through living a healthy lifestyle, as well as through very simple supplementation ... that you can in fact put yourself in position to feel great all year-round, even through cold & flu season.
So today, I'm going to share with you some healthy lifestyle tips that can help keep your immune system strong ... as well as the top 5 immune health supplements.
What Is Your Immune System?
Before knowing what you should do or take to help your immune system function at its best ... let's take a look at what your immune system is.
Your immune system is responsible for protecting you against disease, sickness, germs, and infection. The word immune means "protected". The stronger your immune system ... the better protection you'll have against illness.
It's safe to say that when you have a strong immune system ... your quality of life will be much, much better.
How To Strengthen Your Immune System
It all starts with your lifestyle. Some of the most important lifestyle factors that play a role in your immune health include:
-Eating a balanced, nutrient rich diet (high protein, complex carbohydrates, veggies, etc.)
-Daily exercise (at least 30 minutes per day)
-Limiting alcohol consumption
-Improving your gut health (over 70% of your immune cells are located in your gut!)
-Quality sleep (7-9 hours per night)
...and really anything else that you would consider part of living a healthy lifestyle can play a positive role in your immune health.
But I know I'm not perfect when it comes to practicing the points above, and I'm sure you're not either ... and that's ok!
That's where immune-support supplements come in. These have been a part of my personal routine for a long time now ... and they can make a big difference for you too.
Top 5 Immune Health Supplements
1. Vitamin C - One of the first that comes to mind for most people when talking about avoiding sickness ... and one of the most effective. It's common to be low in vitamin C because it's hard to absorb the forms that are found in food.
Not only that ... but most people aren't eating enough vitamin-rich foods either way. I fall into this category myself, and it's why I started adding vitamin C to my daily regimen.
Vitamin C helps fight infection, shortens the time you're sick if you've already caught something ... and boosts your overall immune health.
2. Vitamin D - Also known as the sunshine vitamin because you use sunlight to make it. That's a big reason why it's such an important supplement ... especially this time of year. We don't get nearly as much direct sun exposure in the colder months. Vitamin D is crucial to a healthy immune system ... and low levels of vitamin D lead to unwanted sickness & poor health overall.
Vitamin D helps fuel the production of immune cells ... and plays a role in fighting off the damaging inflammatory issues that come with all types of illness.
It's a supplement I don't go a day without. The best part ... you can get vitamin D supplements for as little as $10!
3. Multivitamin - A multivitamin gives your body all the micronutrients it needs to function properly ... and this includes supporting your immune system. Your body uses micronutrients for everything, including fighting off sickness & infections. It's nearly impossible to get all the micronutrients you need through diet alone ... and that's where a multivitamin supplement comes into play.
This is also a daily staple of mine ... because I know I'm not getting what I need through my diet to keep me feeling my best.
4. Phytonutrient Powders - These will sometimes be referred to as greens and/or reds supplements. They provide your body with phytonutrients, which typically come from fruits & veggies. Now ... I know I don't eat enough fruits & veggies. In fact, only about 1 in 10 people even come close to doing so. Phytonutrients provide important antioxidants that help fight off illness & infection.
These supplements can provide a potent boost to your immune system ... and that goes back to the fact that almost all of us are lacking in phytonutrients.
5. Probiotics - I mentioned earlier how 70-80% of your immune cells can be found in your gut ... and probiotics are healthy bacteria that improve the health of your gut. A healthier gut means a stronger immune system.
You can certainly get probiotics through your diet ... but they're found in what I would say is not the most appetizing of foods for most people. Supplementing with them is much easier ... and allows you to reap the benefits when it comes to boosting your immune system.
I'd say these 5 product categories are the best place to start when it comes to immune health supplements, but if you're really feeling under the weather ... you can also consider throwing one (or more) of these into your routine as well:
- Folic Acid
These have all also been shown to positively affect your immune system ... and you can even find these ingredients added to other immune health products like vitamin C, phytonutrient powders, multivitamins, etc.
Now, you should have a much better understanding of what goes into staying as healthy as possible during cold & flu season ... but I know it's still tough to do consistently.
That's where we can help! Whether you need assistance putting together a balanced nutrition plan, a good workout program, or a supplement consultation ... we're always happy to help 100% FREE of charge at any Supplement Superstores location.
Just swing by & see us ... and we'll make sure you're set up for success!
*This article was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. He is also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.