Are you looking to strengthen your immune system? With all the different things that can break down our immune system it is important to provide our bodies with the help and support they need to thrive. Personally, I have always been a food first kind of gal myself. Unfortunately, we can’t always get everything we need from the foods we eat. Whether we have a compromised digestive system (leaky gut), or we are eating all the right things just not enough of them, the majority of us are unable to get everything our bodies need from nutrition alone. What is the next solution? Adding in the proper supplements can greatly increase your bodies ability to defend itself and give you some added bonuses.
Don’t Overthink It
With so many different options out there it can be difficult to figure out which supplements are best for your health. Luckily, I have taken the time to highlight my top 5 picks that are bound to help improve more than just your immune system. Because the list of supplements come with a variety of additional health benefits you are bound to see even more reasons why adding in these few key supplements can help improve your health and wellness. It is important to remember that some supplements even the ones our bodies crave can be harmful when taken in high quantities. As a safety precaution you should always discuss any additions to your daily supplement routine with your primary care physical prior to taking them. This will prevent any unwanted interactions that may occur with any pre-existing medications.
Keep It Simple
Now, I realize that for most of us we just can’t seem to get enough of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need through nutrition alone. Luckily, I have put together a list of the top five vitamins and minerals that are sure to get your immune system on the right track! The following is a list of the top five vitamins and minerals for improving your immunity:
- Probiotics & Prebiotic’s
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
One of the most important minerals for your immune system is hands down Zinc! Zinc can be difficult to acquire in our daily nutrition to the levels needed for our bodies to function at optimal efficiency. Some of the signs that can develop due to a deficiency are: poor neurological function, weak immunity, digestive issues, food allergies, thinning hair, leaky gut and skin issues such as acne or rashes. Zinc is essential for gastrointestinal support, the central nervous system, reproduction, stable metabolism, balancing blood sugar, and the immune system. You can increase these levels by consuming the following: peas, oats, beans, spinach, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and eggs. The daily target amount for men is 11mg and 8mg for adult women. Because it is so difficult to achieve this dosage via nutrition alone it is strongly suggested to take an additional supplement.
Probiotics & Prebiotic’s
Now before you go running for your favorite yogurt you may want to check the ingredients list first! Yogurt tends to be everyone’s go to for pre and probiotics. However, during the pasteurization process all bacteria (good and bad) are killed off. With that said, yogurt is still a great option when you make it at home (it’s easier than you may think). One of my favorite ways to increase my pre & probiotics is with my homemade kombucha! Probiotics and prebiotic are essential for a healthy gut. They line the digestive tract and breakdown all of our food. This in turn helps our bodies absorb the much needed nutrients that are often discarded. Think of it like Christmas or your birthday. All of the foods we eat are prepackaged as gifts. The pre & probiotics remove all the wrapping for us and even pop in some fresh batteries.
Unlike other vitamins, vitamin A falls into two categories retinol and carotenoids. The retinol forms of vitamin A can be acquired via animal products while the plant based forms are referred to as carotenoids. Some of the signs and symptoms that can indicate a deficiency include: weakened eyesight, dry or scaly skin, brittle nails, and dryness of the eye. However, there are several natural sources in which you can restore your vitamin A levels such as: dairy products, egg yolks, carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, kale, and parsley. When you have sufficient vitamin A levels in your body your immune system benefits, your eyesight benefits, and your skin, nails and hair health improve dramatically. If you are like most of the world and can’t seem to be able to get enough vitamin A in your daily nutrition you may want to look into the addition of a supplement.
One of the most commonly known benefits of Manganese is its ability to promote bone health. However, Manganese comes with a wide range of health benefits such as: reducing inflammation, strengthening muscle and connective tissues, aids in the regulation of blood glucose levels, pain relief, lowering risk of epileptic fits, immunity, and mood stimulant. People suffering from a deficiency of Manganese may present with the following symptoms: brittle bones, imbalanced hormones, a weak immune system, and fertility issues. Some of the ways you can increase your Manganese levels nutritionally are with: pineapples, raspberries, garlic, lettuce, bananas, carrots, and green leafy vegetables. The recommended dosage for an adult male is 2.3mg and 1.8mg a day for women. If you are looking for a great way to insure you reach your daily dose I would suggest taking a supplement that can cover a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Perhaps one of the most commonly known vitamins, vitamin C is water soluble which means you cannot overdose on it. Before you ask, yes, it is possible to overdose on vitamins and minerals. In order to do this, however, they must be fat soluble. When something is water soluble we urinate any excess. Fat soluble, however, is stored in our fat and can be much harder to absorb and utilize. Deficiency in this vitamin can result in: the clogging of hair follicles, fatigue, rapid breathing, fluid retention, bleeding gums, and irritable mood. When you are ensuring that you are receiving enough vitamin C you can enjoy the following: improved immunity, increased energy levels, youthful skin, improved mood, better oral hygiene, and increased production of collagen. That’s right it’s an anti-aging heavy hitter! Vitamin C is relatively easy to get by consuming any citrus fruits, most fruit contains vitamin C.
For those of you looking to eat your way to better immunity here is a tasty recipe that can help you do just that. You will find that a number of vitamins and minerals that were highlighted in this article can be found in this dish.
Strawberry Apricot Pie
Gluten-Free Vegan Serves 6
- 3 Cups Fresh Apricots Cubed
- 1 Cup Fresh Strawberries Cubed
- ⅓ Cup Almond Flour
- 1 Cup Coconut Sugar
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Milk
- 1 Gluten-Free Vegan Pastry Double-Crust (9 inches)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss apricots, strawberries, sugar, four, and cinnamon. Once tossed drizzle with lemon juice and mix well. Line a 9-inch pie dish with the bottom crust, add in filling. Roll out the remaining pastry to cut for lattice crust. Place crust over filling, sealing, and pinching edges. Brush with coconut milk and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar on top. Wrap edges in foil to keep filling from getting out. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove foil, let cool for 15-20 minutes and enjoy!
Need a Helping Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!