This is the time of the year we are most exposed to different viruses and need a strong immune system.
These are my proven supplements and remedies that work as a prevention against viruses and a strong immune system:
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Vitamin C has been studied numerous times as beneficial against cold and flu, especially when megadosing with it (6000mg followed by 3000mg) at the onset of any cold or flu-like symptom. The only downside is it can cause diarrhea or an upset stomach in some individuals. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of whole plant-based foods like citrus fruits (oranges, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit), bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Obtaining nutrients from whole foods is the preferred approach, but, if your immune system needs a boost, you may need to take a supplement.
My best vitamin C recommendations:
- Most rigorously vetted vitamin C supplement: Thorne Vitamin C with Flavonoids
- Best vegan vitamin C supplement: Amazon Elements Vitamin C
- Best chewable vitamin C supplement: NOW Chewable C 500
- Best chewable with extra antioxidants: Nature’s Bounty Vitamin C with Rose Hips
- Best vitamin C gummies: Nordic Naturals Vitamin C Gummies
- Best vitamin C supplement for kids: Llama Naturals Elderberry Gummies
- Best liquid vitamin C supplement: Pure Encapsulations Liposomal Vitamin C Liquid
- Best vitamin C spray: Garden of Life Vitamin C Organic Spray
- Best vitamin C powders: Swanson Vitamin C Powder and Bulk Supplements Vitamin C Powder
Vitamin D3, the sun vitamin, provides improved resistance to certain diseases together with the development and growth of bones and teeth. As we don’t get enough vitamin D during the winter months it’s important to take it as a supplement together with vitamin K2 to inhibit blood vessel calcification. Because vitamin D is found naturally in very few food sources, it can be difficult to meet your needs through diet alone. My daily recommended dose for adults during winter months is 5000 IU and even higher on the onset of any flu-like symptoms. People with autoimmune disease can take up to 10000 IU daily and get a routine blood test once a year to check the levels of vitamin D in their body.
Generally, 45mcg of vitamin K2 a day is enough for healthy people under the age of 50, but this recommendation only applies if there is no additional vitamin D3 intake from dietary supplements. Anyone who wants to ensure an optimal supply and guarantee that all vitamin K2-dependent proteins are activated in the body, should take at least 100mcg daily. People who have early indications of cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis can take a higher dose.
Note: If you are taking medication (anticoagulants) to prevent blood clots, please consult your doctor before taking vitamin K2.
My best vitamin D3 recommendations:
- Best high dose: Pure Encapsulations D3 10,000 IU, NOW Foods D3 10,000 IU
- Best vegan: Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 (Vegan) Liquid, HUM Nutrition Here Comes the Sun
- Best gummies: Nordic Naturals Zero Sugar Vitamin D3 Gummies 1,000 IU
- Best drops: Thorne Vitamin D/K2
- Best liquid: Designs for Health Liposomal D Supreme
- Best chewable: NOW Foods Chewable Vitamin D3 5,000 IU
- Best for kids: Carlson Labs Kid’s Super Daily D3 + K2
- Best for infants: Nordic Naturals Baby’s Vitamin D3
My best vitamin K2 recommendations:
- Vegetable capsules, naturaly sourced vitamin K2 from Natto: Solgar Vitamin K2
- Natural Vitamin K2 with MK-7 from fermented chickpeas: Doctor’s Best Natural Vitamin K2 Mk-7
- Liquid drops: Marry Ruth’s Vegan Organic K2 Mk-7
Zinc can disrupt the replication and infectivity of respiratory viruses and shorten the duration of illness. The best natural sources of zinc can be found in oysters, red meat, poultry, other shellfish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and dairy. There are several types of zinc supplements. Some forms, such as zinc picolinate, zinc citrate, or chelated form of zinc may be better absorbed than others. The tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of zinc is 40 mg per day for adults, 4–7 mg per day for infants, 7–23 mg per day for kids, and 23–34 mg per day for teens.
My best Zinc supplement recommendations:
- Best overall zinc supplement: Thorne Zinc Picolinate
- Best chelated zinc supplement: NOW Zinc Glycinate Softgels
- Best vegan zinc supplement: Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc
- Best liquid zinc supplement: Metagenics Zinc Drink
Selenium plays an important role in the health of your immune system. This antioxidant helps lower oxidative stress in your body, which reduces inflammation and enhances immunity. The best natural form of Selenium is in Brazil nuts, but do not eat more than two a day as just two of these nuts cover your daily needed amount of selenium. Other natural sources of selenium can be found in fish, meat, eggs, mushrooms, dairy, spinach, lentils, or bananas.
Probiotics are essential for a strong microbiome. The stronger the microbiome the stronger the immune system. Natural sources of probiotics are in fermented food like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, or miso. Taking probiotic supplements during winter months is a good way to help strengthen your immune system.
My best Probiotics supplement recommendations:
- Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics Once Daily
- Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care Probiotic 50 Billion
- SBO Probiotics Women’s, Digestive and Immune Support, Bloating Relief for Women, Gluten Free, Superfoods Blend
Fish oil. Recently, scientists have found that omega-3 fatty acids can help remodel the cell membrane (or lipid rafts) in T-cells (immune cells), which means that consuming omega-3s from fish oil can strengthen the immune cells. Other best natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish and shellfish, codliver oil, flaxseeds, pastured or omega-3 eggs, and avocado.
My best Omega-3’s supplement recommendations:
- Liquid fish oil supplement: Carlson – The Very Finest Fish Oil, 1600 mg Omega-3s
- Omega-3 softgels: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega, Lemon Flavor – 180 Soft Gels – 1280 mg
Oil of Oregano
Oil of Oregano. Essential oils from oregano are widely recognized for their antimicrobial activity, as well as their antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Oil of Oregano supplements are usually mixed with a carrier oil so they could be taken internally. My favorite is Oil of Oregano with Carvacrol and Thymol from Garden of Life.
Ginger is one of the best natural and cost-effective remedies to strengthen your immune system. Ginger is the ultimate antispasmodic and helps us be less reactive. You can drink a ginger shot, add ginger to your morning smoothie or tea, or add it to your meals like in my Dairy-Free Creamy Butternut Squash Soup.
Turmeric can help boost the health of your immune system through the amazing anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties it holds. Studies suggest that turmeric can help provide a boost to the white blood cells that help your immune system fight off bacteria, viruses, and other ailments. For its effectiveness, it’s important to combine turmeric with a little bit of black pepper. If you don’t like the taste of turmeric there are many turmeric supplements available on the market like Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine 1500mg.
Cayenne pepper. When you consume cayenne pepper regularly, it can help with inflammation reduction, which positively impacts immune function. There’s also evidence that spicy foods like cayenne peppers can boost the good bacteria in your gut.
Bone broth. Since bone broth helps improve gut health, it’s no wonder that it improves immune health too. After all, the majority of our immune system lives in our gut! And the nutrients present in bone broth help boost your immunity, too. You can make your own bone broth or get it as a supplement. My favorite Bone Broth Formula is designed by Dr. Josh Axe from Ancient Nutrition.
Optimal hydration may help support communication and biochemical pathways in the immune system. Clear water or herbal teas are the best way to stay hydrated. Aim for at least 8- 8 oz glasses of clear water per day.
Getting enough sleep is proven to be effective for a strong immune system. Your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
How many of these vitamins or remedies do you already use? Are you struggling with your immunity or have gut health related issues. Let’s connect in my free 30 minutes discovery call!
Note: This information is not a substitute for medical advice. All information, content, descriptions, and material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. The use of this content is at your sole risk.
FOOTNOTES: Healthline, Vitaminexpress