Our immune system plays a key role in protecting us from a variety of ailments. It actually serves as the defense system of our body and helps fight against a number of disease causing microorganisms. It comprises special cells, tissues, organs and cell products that battle against various pathogens including bacteria, virus and fungi. However, the immune system needs certain nutrients to run smoothly. Lack of these essential nutrients or other factors such as age, stress and pollution can hamper immunity. A weakened immune system makes a person vulnerable to a number of diseases. Hence, it is very important to keep our immune system healthy to prevent various health problems.
Best Immunity Boosters
As said earlier, the immune system requires specific nutrients for smooth functioning. These nutrients or boosters help in boosting the immune system and enhance its function, thus protecting us from various infections.
Several vitamins play a key role in strengthening the immune system and prevent the occurrence of various diseases.
Vitamin A – It helps in the growth and repair of cells and tissues and strengthens them by making them capable of fighting against bacteria, virus and fungi. Vitamin A also helps in keeping the mucous membrane moist so that it can trap the germs that try to gain entry into the body.
Vitamin B – Studies show that regular intake of vitamin B increases the count of white blood cells, which are a vital part of the immune system. They also supply energy to the body and maintain efficiency of this system.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is considered as one of the most important immune system vitamins. It boosts immunity by aiding in the manufacture of interferon, an immunologic protein. It also helps in the production of some anti stress hormones. It increases the level of glutathione in the body, a tripeptide that is beneficial for the normal functioning of the immune system.
Vitamin E – Vitamin E has powerful antioxidant properties that boost immunity and protects the body from a number of infections and diseases. Its main role is to provide protection against the harmful free radicals. It also aids in the manufacture of white blood cells, which are the primary fighting components of the immune system.
A variety of herbs serve as great immune system boosters. The best part of using herbs as supplements is that most of these herbs are free of side effects and show excellent end results.
Garlic – Garlic is believed to be a powerful immunity booster. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties that enhance the functions of the immune system and keep us away from a variety of illnesses including common cold, whooping cough, bronchitis and influenza.
Echinacea – This herb is responsible for stimulating various components of the immune system such as macrophages, lymphokines and interferon. Echinacea has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties and also improves the overall circulation by increasing the blood supply to different parts of the body.
Astragalus – Astragalus is known for its ability to increase phagocyte activity as well as increasing the levels of antibodies in the body. It is generally used for regular cold and cough, influenza, autoimmune diseases, hepatitis and viral infections.
These were some vitamins and herbs that serve as immune system supplements. Some other nutrients which strengthen immunity are as follows:
Zinc is a valuable mineral that increases the production of white blood cells in the body and helps in fighting against the various pathogens more aggressively. It plays an important role in stimulating the production of killer cells that fight against cancer cells.
This is another mineral that increases production of the killer cells and thus mobilizes cancer cells. You can obtain selenium from food sources such as shrimp, tuna, lobster, egg yolks and whole grains.
Beta carotene is beneficial for increasing the number of natural killer cells, infection fighting cells and helper T-cells. Moreover, it has powerful antioxidant properties that help in combating the harmful effects of free radicals.