How to Give Your Immune System an Extra Boost

by | Aug 12, 2020 | Health and Fitness, HERC's Winnipeg, Lifestyle

Our immune systems keep us healthy.

Although it’s hard to notice all the work they do, our immune systems are responsible for staying on constant guard so they can recognize and destroy foreign microbes quickly before they multiply and make us sick. Put simply, this critical system – made up of cells, blood, bone marrow, tissues, and organs – protects our bodies against illness and disease. But our immune systems need protection too.

With viruses and bacteria surrounding us everywhere we go, and with colder weather quickly approaching, it’s time to give our immune systems a helping hand. To best protect our immune health, it’s important to control what we eat, what supplements we take, and how we treat our bodies on a daily basis.

We’ve put together a list of our favourite supplements for boosting your immune system:

1. Glutamine

What is glutamine? Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the blood and in muscle cells. It works to boost immunity and recovery in disease conditions, and also improves the metabolism in animals. The body is normally capable of manufacturing enough to meet its metabolic needs, but additional glutamine may be required under certain conditions. For example, some athletes can have high intakes of L-glutamine due to their prolonged exercise periods. Heavy training is associated with a decrease in the plasma glutamine concentration and has been suggested to be a potential cause of the exercise-induced immune impairment and increased susceptibility to infection in athletes.

2. Zinc

Zinc is a vital element that is necessary for a healthy immune system. It boosts immune function, supports growth and development during childhood, adolescence and pregnancy, and is required for protein and DNA synthesis.

According to the European Journal of Immunology, the human body needs zinc to activate T lymphocytes (T cells). These T cells help the body in two ways:

  1. Controlling and regulating immune responses
  2. Attacking infected or cancerous cells

A lack of zinc can make a person more susceptible to illness. In fact, a Cochrane review concluded that taking zinc is “beneficial in reducing the duration and severity of the common cold in healthy people, when taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms.” Since our bodies cannot make zinc themselves, we must obtain it from our diet and other supplements.

3. Multi-vitamins

Eating nourishing foods that are rich in certain vitamins is essential for maintaining your immune health. Vitamins C, B6 and E are all powerful immune system boosters. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help reduce inflammation, which is often associated with COVID-19 and the respiratory distress that it places upon an individual. A lack of vitamin C can make you more susceptible to illness, while vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. If you would like to give your immune system an extra boost, consider taking multivitamins! On top of maintaining your immune health, our quality supplements can also help increase energy and mood while reducing stress.

4. Probiotic and Prebiotic Immunity Gummies

If you’re new to taking supplements, starting off with some delicious immunity gummies are not a bad way to start! We carry different wellness gummies that support immune function and provide antioxidant support. Brett Ash and Jessica Waite, the owners of HERC’s Nutrition in Winnipeg, recommend Optimum Nutrition’s Prebiotic + Probiotic Gummies. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are naturally found in our bodies. Although you may think of bacteria as something bad that causes disease, probiotics are known as a good kind of bacteria. They’re beneficial organisms that can help crowd out harmful bacteria, making it harder for them to thrive. In addition, probiotics can influence the activity of our immune cells, regulating inflammation and improving barrier function. On the other hand, prebiotics are a type of dietary fibre that the human body cannot digest. They serve as food for probiotics, aid digestion and enhance the production of valuable vitamins.

While vitamins and supplements can help boost your immune system, it is still important to remain conscious of your food choices. The best way to load up on essential nutrients is to include a wide variety of proteins, fruits and vegetables in your diet. Staying hydrated, or eating hydrating foods such as cucumbers, celery or watermelon, can also help your body produce lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells.

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The products and the claims made about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by Hercs.com or Health Canada and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Information about each product is taken from the labels of the products or from the manufacturer's advertising material. Hercs.com is not responsible for any statements or claims that various manufacturers make about their products. We cannot be held responsible for typographical errors or product formulation changes. Sport supplementation should be used by persons 18 years and older.