We live in a time when we’re (sadly) exposed to many types of bacteria, fungus, viruses, parasites, and other pathogens. Fortunately, we have our immune systems to protect us from these foreign invaders.
As a way to thank our immune systems and help them grow stronger, we can take specific supplements or include certain foods into our diet.
In this article, we’ll share five potent supplements that are known to regulate immune function, generate vital t-cells, and help us become indestructible against disease.
Read along to find out which natural supplements made the list!
1. Mushroom Tea
Several types of mushrooms are loaded with vitamins, minerals, terpenes, antioxidants, and can even offer liver protection. Plus, many of them are also anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, and the list goes on.
In a 2017 critical review report on the health benefits of mushrooms, researchers found that “mushrooms act as prebiotics to stimulate the growth of gut microbiota, conferring health benefits to the host.” So when you increase your microbiota (diversity of bacteria in your gut) you’re directly improving the health of your immune system.
Common Types of Medical Mushrooms
- Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi): Works to module the immune system.
- Coriolus Versicolor: It can be immensely valuable in treating patients with diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS.
- Maitake: Cordyceps fall under this category of mushroom and are praised for their ability to prevent viral infections.
- Chaga mushroom: Traditionally used as a tea to help eliminate viral and bacterial infections, and improve gastrointestinal disorders.
Buy some of these mushrooms and brew them up as tea, or find a reputable brand that sells pre-packaged mushroom tea or coffee.
Probiotics is a very similar word to prebiotics, which we mentioned while discussing medicinal mushrooms. So, let’s briefly cover the difference between these two.
Prebiotics come from a variety of food sources. They act as assistants to probiotics, which work to repopulate healthy gut flora in the intestines.
It’s vital to ensure we have a healthy gut because over half of our immune system resides in our gut. When you take a probiotic supplement or eat foods that are rich in probiotics, they increase your good bacteria and can generate t-cells.
If you want to take probiotics in a supplement form, consider the following points before selecting a product.
- Look for a probiotic with 5 to 20 billion colony forming units (CFUs).
- Find a product that contains the well-studied probiotic strains — lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, or saccharomyces boulardii.
Sources of Probiotic Foods
To get probiotics from food, here are a few of the best choices:
- Coconut kefir
- Picked vegetables
Zinc is a mineral that’s critical for our immune system. Because our bodies can’t make or store this essential mineral, it’s absolutely necessary that we supplement with Zinc or get plenty of it from the foods we eat.
One study examined the effects of zinc in human health and found that zinc deficiencies led to immune dysfunction because of the increased risks of infections.
As an essential mineral that can strengthen our immune system, using a supplement is a great idea or eating more foods that contain zinc. If you go the supplement route, know that the ideal dose for adults is around 10mg, with a maximum daily limit of 40mg.
Foods With Zinc
We listed these foods in ascending order based on their levels of zinc.
- Baked beans
- Pumpkin seeds
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D earned its nickname, the “sunshine vitamin” for a reason. The sun supplies the biggest source of Vitamin D on the planet. Sadly, many people avoid sun exposure or don’t make time to go outside, for various reasons. Because of this trend, 1 billion people in the world have a Vitamin D deficiency.
But, hope is not lost. Research shows that you can reduce your risk of Vitamin D deficiency by spending 20 minutes in the sun daily with more than 40% of your skin exposed. Only 20 minutes — that’s amazing!
When you get adequate levels of Vitamin D, your T-cells become enhanced which helps regulate immune function and ward off pesky invaders.
5. Cannabidiol (CBD)
Supplementing with CBD could prove to be another way to increase your immune strength. You see, we have these receptors in our bodies, called CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are highly concentrated in the brain, and CB2 receptors exist in large quantities within the immune system.
These two receptors, the endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG, and certain enzymes collectively make up the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
When you consume cannabidiol, it interacts and influences the CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as the ECS.
You didn’t see Vitamin C on this list because we felt it was too obvious to include. Instead, we wrote about the lesser-known immune-boosting supplements, that are equally, if not more important, than Vitamin C.
We want to thank you for reading. It’s our hope that you learned something new or insightful today and feel empowered to build stronger, healthier immunity.
Let us know what your favorite supplement from this list is and why. Write your comment below and help us get the conversation going!