There’s nothing quite like the crisp feeling in the air, the beauty of changing foliage, or the stillness that comes when days start to shorten, and we balance school, work, rest, and community living.
But this season is notorious for illnesses starting to rear their ugly heads. And with coronavirus here to stay for the long term, we are all trying to do our best to equip our bodies and our families with the nutrients we need to thrive.
Thankfully, our bodies are well-equipped to fight off foreign invaders as we support our immune systems with foods rich in vitamins and supplements as needed!*
Vitamins for the Immune System
A balanced diet with fruits and vegetables and daily exercise outside can help your body fight off potential invaders and keep you strong when you’re fighting an illness like the common cold and flu. While foods can give us nutrition, and the sun provides Vitamin D, we still may want to utilize vitamin supplements, adaptogens, and herbals to strengthen our immune health.
Here are the best foods for a quick health boost and then some supplements that can help your family stay strong through the fall and winter months.
How to Boost Your Immune System Quickly with Vitamins
Here are five of our favorite immune-boosting vitamins or minerals and their sources!
Vitamin C — Eat the rainbow and focus on organic citruses, berries, and bell peppers! If you’d like to supplement, you can take 500 to 2,000mg for preventative measures. Just be sure your stomach can handle it as it can cause some digestive upset and may contribute to kidney stones developing.
Vitamin D — Taking a walk outside is a tremendous source of Vitamin D. This vitamin helps your body absorb calcium, limits inflammation, and helps cells grow. You can absorb it through a limited number of food sources that include oily fish (wild-caught salmon and sardines), grass-fed red meat and liver, and free-range organic egg yolks. If you aren’t getting enough Vitamin D, you can deliver a powerful immune punch with a simple VItamin D supplement. Men and women can ingest 2-3,000 IUs for regular maintenance in the fall.
Vitamin B6 — This is a potent vitamin that helps as a host of bodily functions, including your immune system. Some foods to incorporate into your diet are beef liver, tuna, salmon, chickpeas, dark leafy greens, and bananas. Women only need 1.3 mg, so you can most definitely focus on nutrition for this vitamin.
Vitamin E — This is a potent antioxidant that helps your body avoid blood clots and supports the immune system. One tablespoon of wheat germ oil provides 135% of your daily intake. But Sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, salmon, and avocado also offer a good amount of this vitamin.
- Zinc — A potent immune-boosting mineral, Zinc helps fight infection and heal cuts and wounds. You can ingest Zinc through whole grains, raw dairy products, oysters, red meat, poultry, and nuts.
BONUS VITAMIN! We couldn't end this list without mentioning an often overlooked vitamin for immune health, Vitamin A! It's a super antiviral that fights against inflammation and viruses. We've used it in our home for immune support, fighting off viruses (even warts!), and for healing cavities. Fantastic food sources including cod liver oil and salmon, cooked liver from pasture raised animals including cow, chicken, duck, turkey, sheep, goat, as well as carrots and sweet potatoes.
Other Ways to Support Your Immune System
Vitamins, minerals, adaptogens, and herbals can all support your immune function when focusing on a holistic wellness routine. Here are the top essential nutrients to focus on for immune wellness.
Vitamins. While vitamins cannot cure illness, they can prevent disease and equip your body to help fight against infection.
Powerful Antioxidants. Found in many fruits and vegetables, help the body to tame “free radicals,” or toxins that can damage your DNA. Many foods that are high in Vitamins C + E also are high in antioxidants. Think green veggies, berries, coffee, pomegranate, and citruses!
Gut-support with Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Postbiotics. From kombucha and kefir to whole grains and fruits and vegetables, your body needs naturally alkaline and healthy acidic foods to help your body function well. From brain and mental wellness to your immune system, your digestive system plays a key role.
Adaptogens and Herbals for Wellness. Herbal medicine and adaptogens have long been used in other cultures to help the body heal. We have seen a considerable focus lately on Elderberry as well as Ashwagandha and other adaptogens. We love these natural wellness agents and utilize them in our wellness teas for women.
- Other holistic habits to support your body. From exercise to meditation, you can use a variety of wellness routines to promote wellness every day.
We hope that through these vitamins for your immune system and other nutrients, you will find you feel better and feel more confident to approach the fall and winter months with your family!
*We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before starting a new regimen of supplements or herbal/adaptogenic products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.