To keep your family healthy this year, consider these 7 supplements for immune support that have been proven to help prevent and heal illness.
The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself when given the right tools. But sometimes our bodies need extra help in order to fight infections, recover from illness, and ward off disease.
That’s where supplements come in.
I’m a big fan of eating healthy, exercising regularly and doing everything I can to support my body, but when winter hits, I find that having these supplements on hand helps keep my family healthy. When we do get sick, these can help speed up recovery time naturally.
Before we dive in, I have to remind you that I am not a doctor and this information is simply educational. Before starting any supplement regimen, please consult your own doctor. Some supplements can interact with prescription drugs, so it’s best to talk with your own doctor first.
7 Best Supplements for Immune Support to Keep your Family Well
The best way to get vitamin D3 is from a limited about of unprotected sun exposure—experts say we need about 5-30 minutes of sun exposure 2-3 days a week for our bodies to produce enough vitamin D3 to maintain optimal amounts. After that time period, it’s recommended to apply sunscreen to protect from skin cancer.
In some studies, high levels of vitamin D have been linked to less cancer, as well as higher cancer survival, and greater resistance to viruses.
But, in the winter, most of our skin is hidden by heavy clothing, or the sun is literally hiding in the clouds. If you’re wearing sunscreen everyday, this can make it even harder. When we don’t get enough vitamin D3, it can lead to depression, fatigue and low energy.
It makes perfect sense why I felt more down and lethargic in the winter while living in Chicago—it was grey nearly everyday in the winter.
That’s when a vitamin D3 supplement comes in handy.
There are many different types of vitamin D3 supplements on the market. My functional medicine doctor recommended a vitamin D3 + K2 supplement as the K2 can help with absorption.
If you look at any over the counter cold medicine ingredients, you’ll probably notice that zinc is listed. So, why take zinc supplements? According to this article, zinc helps your immune system by activating enzymes that break down the protein in viruses, making it harder for them to spread.
You should take a zinc supplement for colds because they’re proven to shorten the length of a cold, especially when used when the symptoms first come on.
What zinc supplement is best? There’s not one single product that will be best, but always look for supplements from a trusted supplier. Here are a few that we use often in our home.
Boiron ColdCalm Tablets, safe for kids 3+
Vitamin C is probably one of the most well-known supplements for immune system support. Vitamin C helps to repair tissue, heal wounds and fights free radicals. Like zinc, vitamin C can potentially help shorten the length of a cold.
We immediately think of oranges when we think vitamin C, but there are lots of fruits and vegetables that have plenty of vitamin C. Try cantaloupe, broccoli, red cabbage and bell peppers, as well as citrus fruits.
When you’re short on vitamin C, a supplement can come in handy.
Elderberry is a dark purple berry that is packed with antioxidants and vitamins. It’s been used for ages to naturally support the immune system and help fight off colds. It’s often found in either liquid or gummy versions, and is a great supplement for immune support for kids.
Often these elderberry supplements have zinc and vitamin C included in them, which makes them a great option to get in multiple supplements in one simple vitamin for immune support!
These are great for kids too because they taste good, and the gummies are easy for them to chew.
This lesser known supplement for immune support, echinacea, is a popular herbal remedy that’s been used for centuries. It’s often found in Chinese medicine and echinacea health benefits include preventing illness and help you heal faster when you do get sick.
You’ll often find it in tea form, liquid drops and pills. You see it combined with other supplements too. I’ve seen it in elderberry syrups before. Again, always check the labels to make sure you’re not taking too large of a dose.
Turmeric curcumin is known to help with inflammation in the body, and is another amazing herbal remedy. It is used in yellow curry and is known for warming up the body and the immune system. It’s an easy herb to add to your cooking, and a powerful one for your health.
That being said, it can be hard to get enough turmeric from eating foods that contain the spice, so taking a supplement can help you get more benefits from the spice.
Something else I’ve repeatedly heard over the years is to always pair turmeric supplements with black pepper as the black pepper helps the absorption of curcumin—by taking your turmeric with some black pepper, you increase the benefits. Most supplements already include the black pepper, so you don’t have to worry about that.
You can also make these homemade immunity shot, which I love and are a great supplement for immune system boost!
Lastly, this supplement for immune system support is a newer one to me, but one we keep stocked in our cabinet now. Propolis is made by bees and fights bacteria, viruses and fungus and might even help heal skin according to this article.
At the first sign of a cold, spray this into your mouth and throat to help fight off illness. This one is great because my kids think that it’s fun to spray it in their mouth, so I don’t have to fight them to take it when they’re sick either.
Do note that if you are allergic to bees, do not consume!
This list is full of the best natural supplements for immune system support that will help you and your family stay healthy and happy.
BTW, 9 ways to stay healthy this winter, and how to develop a better relationship with food.