I am very thankful that iHerb is sponsoring this post and is supporting my mission to spread good health to you guys. I only recommend products that I have personally tried and believe are of value to my readers. All opinions in this blog post are my own.
WELCOME TO THE BEGINNERS GUIDE ON HOW-TO SUPPORT & BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM NATURALLY
There are many different ways you can boost your immune system, but knowing which ones are best can feel a little overwhelming. But don’t be discouraged! Even small changes can make a big impact on your immune system. You can start with any of the following tips, just pick and choose what works for you.
NUTRIENT DENSE FOODS
If you’re consuming processed, unhealthy foods, this can cause inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation lowers the body’s ability to fight off infection. Definitely not what you want during cold and flu season! You may need to start making more of a conscious effort to consume more nutrient dense foods such as; organic leafy greens, colourful fruits and vegetables, grass-fed and organic meats, organ meats, fresh seafood and eggs as they will provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed to support a healthy immune system.
For example; zinc is an immunity-bolstering mineral. Zinc in your diet is very important for the development of white blood cells, the immune system cells that recognise and destroy invading bacteria, viruses and pathogens. Zinc found in grass-fed beef, lamb and oysters is well absorbed by the body, so incorporating quality, slow cooked red meat or fresh oysters can help to boost your zinc levels naturally.
PROBIOTIC RICH FOODS
Eighty percent of the immune system surrounds the gastrointestinal tract. The bacteria in the gut communicate with the immune system as to what is friend or foe, so making sure that what you eat nourishes the body and the integrity and health of the bacteria in the gut is key to keeping the immune system working well. One of the best and most powerful ways to boost your immune system is through consuming probiotic rich foods. You can find loads of easy and delicious probiotic rich foods HERE.
MY TOP 11 IMMUNE BOOSTING SUPPLEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM IHERB
Even if you’re eating a healthy diet, getting all the needed vitamins and nutrients from food can still sometimes be tricky. Taking quality supplements is a way to fill in what an otherwise healthy lifestyle is missing. The following supplements are what I personally take because they benefit my overall health in a variety of ways, as well as support and boost my immune system. I order most of my holistic herbs and supplements from iHerb because it carries over 30,000 natural products that are really affordable, shipping is really fast and they provide free or discounted shipping to over 150 countries around the world. They even have a great selection of specialty foods and baking supplies which I order regularly. iHerb also has a guarantee that their products will be the best value and the best quality and their customer service team provides support in 10 different languages.
As an extra bonus from iHerb, new customers can get a discount on their order. Simply use my discount code ‘CJJ916’ to receive 10% off your order if you would like to shop for my recommended immune boosting supplements and foods, or just dive into their huge selection of products.
Camu Camu is one of the highest food sources of vitamin C, in fact, it’s 460x higher in Vitamin C than the average orange. Vitamin C helps with;
Colds and flu
Improved blood sugar levels
Reduced inflammation and more
Just 1 teaspoon (5g) of this organic camu camu powder provides 239 mg of Vitamin C, which is 265% of the RDI for this nutrient. Try adding it to your smoothies, chia pudding, raw slices, bliss balls, juices, gummies or ice-blocks.
LIPSOMAL VITAMIN C
Regular vitamin C is an awesome all-purpose antioxidant. However, it does have a disadvantage. It’s quickly absorbed, distributed throughout the circulation and then eventually filtered, and excreted by the kidneys. So if you want more from your regular vitamin C (camu camu), several doses need to be taken throughout the day. It will offer antioxidant protection but the amount that gets into the cells is much less than the amount that’s in the blood stream outside the cell.
This is why liposomal vitamin C offers greater benefits. It provides a greatly enhanced bioavailability (delivery into the bloodstream) and greatly improved delivery into individual cells. However, one form of vitamin C doesn’t, nor shouldn’t, replace the other. It’s best to have both forms to ensure maximum benefit! That’s why I take both camu camu powder and this LiposomeUp™. Each packet contains a high dose (1000mg) of Liposomal Vitamin C, it encapsulates the C molecules in liposomes made from Phospholipids, which protect the vitamin C from destruction in the digestive system. Within minutes of taking LiposomeUp™ Vitamin C, liposomes filled with vitamin C are transported directly into your bloodstream, and into your cells.
It’s common knowledge that bone broth is one of the best medicines to have when you’re sick and need to boost your immune system. The gelatin, collagen and amino acids contained in bone broth helps to soothe the gut and reduce inflammation. It’s also rich in a component called carnosine which has been shown to inhibit damage from viruses in the body and it contains minerals that support the immune system. We’re so lucky to be able to buy bone broth in powder form these days, like Ancient Nutrition Chicken Bone Broth Protein Powder or Vital Proteins Organic Beef Bone Broth Powder so all you have to do is add the bone broth powder into meatballs, spaghetti sauce, gravy, curries and stews, or simply mix it with hot water and enjoy it as a soothing hot drink throughout the day. I also like to mix in a little turmeric powder for it’s incredible anti-inflammatory properties.
Approximately 80% of immune system cells are located in the gut, which means your immune system is a reflection of your digestive health. By strengthening the mucous membrane layer of the stomach and healing and sealing the gut lining, gelatin can help support and strengthen immunity based on its positive impact on gut health. I use the Great Lakes Gelatin or Vital Proteins Gelatin (from grass-fed animals) whenever I make panna cotta, marshmallows, berry jelly and gummies. You can also add gelatin powder into soups or hot drinks like hot chocolate, turmeric lattes and even coffee as it dissolves once heated.
Garlic has been used for centuries for both food and medicine because it’s a natural antibiotic and is also extremely rich in anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Garlic also boosts the immune system and aids the body’s natural detoxification process. I love adding fresh and/ or organic dried garlic powder into curries, soups, stews, meatballs, bone broth, scrambled eggs and vegetable purees.
Everyone could probably benefit from a little more turmeric in their lives. Curcumin is the active component in turmeric, it contains very powerful antiviral, anti-fungal, anticancer, antibacterial and incredible anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant that can fight free radicals which damage the immune system. It’s also particularly great for those people experiencing respiratory infections and common flu symptoms. I often try to sneak as much organic turmeric powder into as many different dishes as I can, such as; bliss balls, slices, banana bread, curries, bone broth, chicken soup, scrambled eggs, homemade GF bread, smoothies, spaghetti and more.
Ginger is an immune system booster and is commonly used as a natural treatment for the common cold and flu. It helps to remove mucus and nasal congestion, ease coughs, and can relieve a mild fever by inducing sweating. When I’m feeling run down, I often add organic ginger powder into brownies, smoothies, hot chocolate, chicken soup, stews as well as ginger tea.
Warming herbal drinks are invaluable during the winter months. Consuming enough fluids supports all of your bodies’ functions including the immune system. My favourite herbal teas are echinacea, tulsi, peppermint and ginger.
Echinacea; is widely known for its immune-boosting properties. I like to have organic echinacea tea on hand during cold and flu season.
Tulsi; is another favourite because of the anti-flu properties of Tulsi tea, plus it improves the body’s overall defence mechanism including its ability to fight viral diseases.
Peppermint; peppermint tea is great for all digestive disturbances and for lowering fever.
Ginger; can help with high fevers and headaches. You can use fresh ginger root or organic ginger tea bags can be steeped in boiling water to make a tea that is very effective against sinus symptoms and congestion.
Did you know that spirulina contains immune-boosting properties? It’s also rich in vitamin B12, selenium and easy to absorb iron which are both powerful antioxidants in the body. All of these help the body to decrease the activity of free radicals that damage the body, and enhance immune function. If you need to boost your greens intake, you can do this easily by mixing organic spirulina powder into yoghurt, ice-blocks, nice-cream, smoothies and slices.
COD LIVER OIL
Every morning I (try to) begin my day with a spoonful of quality cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is a great source of vitamins A and D, both of which have antioxidant properties and the omega-3 fatty acids found in cod liver oil are strongly anti-inflammatory, support cognitive and emotional health as well as immune system function.
Buying these gorgeous herbs from iHerb is my secret to managing an expensive adaptogen habit. I regularly add ½ tsp of these amazing adaptogen powders into smoothies, smoothy bowls, hot chocolates, matcha or turmeric lattes, Bulletproof coffee, slices, bliss balls and more. Here’s a few of my personal favourites;
CORDYCEPS - is amazing for oxygenation of the body, boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation in the body. I love the Sun Potion Cordyceps powder.
ASHWAGANDHA - contains a full spectrum of healing properties and helps to tonify the immune system, reduce the effects of mental, emotional and physical stress. I love the Sun Potion Ashwagandha powder.
HE SHOU WU - Regular consumption of this herb helps to tonify and nourish the blood, hair, skin and nervous system, improve stamina, good for resistance to colds and flu, promotes red blood cells, enhances immune function and increases antioxidant activity. I love the Sun Potion He Shou Wu powder.
RHODIOLA - has been found to improve fatigue, exhaustion and anxiety, plus it increases your body’s resistance to stress. Rhodiola also boosts brain function, fights oxidative stress, fights infection, decreases inflammation and boosts the immune system. I love the Sun Potion Rhodiola powder.
DON’T FORGET THE FREE MEDICINE
Studies have shown that vitamin D reduces the risk of colds and flu, and has natural antibiotic properties. The best way to get a dose of vitamin D is through sunshine! Spend some time outdoors in the sun and soak up the vitamin D goodness, even if it’s for as little as 10-15 minutes per day.
Sleep is one of the main pillars of health. Getting enough good sleep can strengthen your immune system. It does this by enhancing the ability of T cells to adhere to and destroy cells infected by viruses and other pathogens.
Chronic stress can have a negative impact on immunity. To keep your stress in check, try to incorporate relaxing practices like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing into your daily routine, or have an epsom salt bath before bedtime.
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Disclaimer: As always, I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be one. I cannot treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any illness. If you have concerns about any sickness, talk to your family physician. Do your own research on natural remedies to ensure that you think they are safe. I earn a small commission through the links above that helps me keep the site going (and it does not increase the cost for you). If you do not wish to use my affiliate link, go to the site directly. If you are pregnant or nursing, consult a qualified specialist before taking any herb or supplement.