5 Vitamins and Supplements to Boost Immune Health for COVID-19
Who doesn’t want a healthy immune system? With COVID-19 cases on the rise, people are seeking ways to boost their disease defenses.
Experts say that a good diet, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise will get you started in the right direction, along with practices like meditation or yoga for stress relief. But some supplements may have some infection-fighting benefits.
Here’s what to know about popular vitamins and botanicals often advertised as immune boosters:
Generally, vitamin C can help you fight a cold faster or ease your cold symptoms if you were taking it prior to getting sick. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help reduce inflammation—and lung inflammation is a severe symptom of COVID-19, which can lead to respiratory distress or even death. So, if you’re still healthy, it doesn’t hurt to start taking vitamin C now.
Vitamin D plays a role in the production and proliferation of key immune cells, and its active form helps regulate several antimicrobial proteins. There are few sources of vitamin D, but you can get the nutrient from certain foods like fish and egg yolks. Your body produces vitamin D through sun exposure, but this can be difficult in the winter months. Since it can be tough to get enough of it naturally, many people are deficient and need to take daily supplements.
We suggest: Now Vitamin D-3 10,000 IU
Zinc is an essential mineral that you need to consume daily since the body lacks the ability to store the mineral. Zinc supports the functioning of immune cells like neutrophils and macrophages, and as a result, a zinc deficiency can lead to a higher risk of infections. The nutrient is thought to potentially drive down the duration and severity of symptoms associated with the common cold by preventing the entry of the virus into cells and stopping it from multiplying in the body.
We suggest Now Sports ZMA Zinc + Magnesium
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are crucial for both gut and immune health. It’s worth pointing out that about 80% of the immune cells are located in the gut! Some research has shown that probiotics may help treat and prevent seasonal allergies. And other studies suggest that probiotics may have some benefits for immune-related diseases and viral infections. The effects of each probiotic product depends on what bacterial strains it has, so not all will work for allergies or the immune system. Scientists have found that the probiotic combination of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium have been specifically helpful in treating hay fever symptoms and providing general support to the immune system.
There are many ways to take probiotics — through supplements or even foods, like yogurt and sauerkraut. Which form and dose you should take will depend on your individual needs. Our suggestion is: Garden of Life RAW Probiotics 50+ 85 Billion
Full of antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, elderberry syrup is used as a remedy for colds, flus, and bacterial sinus infections. Elderberry works by reducing swelling in the mucus membranes.
Some studies suggest elderberry extract reduces the duration of the flu, which is why some believe it may also help your immune system against coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Our warm recommendation is Elixir Black Elderberry Capsules
Many supplements on the market may help improve immune health. Zinc, elderberry, and vitamins C and D are just some of the substances that have been researched for their immune-enhancing potential. However, although these supplements may offer benefit for immune health, they should not and cannot be used as a replacement for a healthy lifestyle.
Maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, engaging in regular physical activity, and not smoking are some of the most important ways to help keep your immune system healthy and reduce your chances of infection and disease.