What a crazy time we are living through. This worldwide pandemic, and how we will eventually overcome it, will be in the history books. Whether it’s the coronavirus*, flu or the common cold, a healthy immune system is a great way to help our bodies prevent sickness. Below is a list of my favorite immune boosters. These also work great to boost your immune system even if you are already sick, helping many feel better faster. As with any supplements, check with your healthcare provider or do your own research for any contraindications for medicine, or conditions, such as pregnancy.
#1 Real Whole Food Vitamin C
Real whole food vitamin C comes from real food and is not created in a lab, like synthetic vitamin C, commonly known as ascorbic acid. Real whole food Vitamin C contains all the cofactors necessary for our bodies to properly absorb it. You need far less because it is highly bioavailable.
In fact, taking super high doses of ascorbic acid daily can cause health issues. A friend of mine was taking some mega-dose vitamin C product every day for a couple weeks and developed kidney stones.
She has four young children and home schools. One of them caught a cold and it was quickly spreading. She was trying to prevent getting the cold and started taking the mega dose of ascorbic acid.
What she didn’t realize is ascorbic acid needs the high doses because, without the cofactors, not much actually gets absorbed. And where do you think all this goes? That’s right in the toilet, but via our kidneys first. The high amounts of ascorbic acid flushing through her kidneys caused her kidney stones – she’d have been better off with the cold!
Nourishing World’s favorite whole food vitamin C supplements: Perfect Acerola, and Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C Plus.
#2 Antioxidant Super Nutrient Vitamin D3 – The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient for many parts of our immune system. And Yeah! we can get it free from sunshine! But, most of the year, many of us really can’t get enough of our skin exposed to the midday sun to get enough vitamin D.
But read on, we’ve got you covered.
There’s a good amount of scientific research demonstrating that vitamin D can help prevent SARS virus infections and helps prevent the worst symptoms from occurring.
For starters, people with low vitamin D levels in their bodies are more susceptible than others to upper respiratory tract infections — like a SARS virus. A meta-analysis study published in 2012 notes that people were less likely to develop acute respiratory tract infections if they supplemented with vitamin D. Especially if they had low levels to start with.
Vitamin D is a potent antioxidant that boosts your immune system in a number of ways, but specifically our natural defenses against viruses and bacteria. And it can reduce the severity of the symptoms because it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Every immune cell in our bodies has vitamin D receptors. The main functions of these receptors are to suppress inflammation, support immune-balance, and promote the proper function of our immune cells.
Our favorite non-synthetic Vitamin D3 supplement for children and adults of all ages is Perfect D3 Drops. Each drop has 1000 IU of naturally occurring, highly bioavailable Vitamin D3. A serving size is 5 drops, but I know I don’t need that much every day because I take cod liver oil, which is naturally high in Vitamin D3. But I never know if it has enough, so I like to supplement by adding two or three Perfect D3 Drops. I take a second dose on days of higher stress or if I’m feeling like I may be coming down with something.
#3 Cod Liver Oil – Grandma’s Ancient Remedy
Cod Liver oil has been used since Viking times as a general health tonic and sickness aid.
Good, minimally processed cod liver oil is loaded with naturally occurring antioxidants that promote the healthy function of the immune system,. This helps make our bodies more resistant to viral and bacterial infections. I already mentioned that cod liver oil is high in Vitamin D, but it is also naturally high in vitamin A, another antioxidant.
Along with great antioxidants, minimally processed, raw cod liver oil is loaded with naturally occurring EPA, DHA – Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It’s these essential Omega 3’s that promote brain building in all children.
We think everyone – children, adults and elderly – should take a daily dose of cod liver oil for its many benefits. And, as grandma always recommended, two or three times a day if your’r sick or under high stress.
Nourishing World’s favorite cod liver oil’s: Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil, Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil Blend, Dropi Pure Icelandic Cod Liver Oil, and Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil.
#4 Harness the Power of Natural Zinc
Zinc has gotten a lot of press over the past few years with good reason. Zinc is an essential trace mineral and our bodies do not produce it – we need to get it completely from our food.
Zinc helps regulate cell production and is necessary for the synthesis of proteins. Over 300 vital for life enzymes in our bodies require zinc to function properly! If you aren’t getting enough zinc through your diet alone, you need a good, natural daily supplement.
So, how exactly does zinc help our immune systems?
According to the European Journal of Immunology, our bodies need zinc to activate the all important T cells which our bodies use to control and regulate immune responses.
And this is currently very important as COVID-19 is still circulating throughout the country*. Dr. James A. Robb, an MD, pathologist, and molecular virologist from the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado wrote the following quote in an email to his colleagues:
“In my experience as a virologist and pathologist, zinc will inhibit the replication of many viruses, including coronaviruses.”
Whether you are trying to prevent coronaviruses or other cold and flu type illnesses, Zinc is one of the best supplements for improving your overall immune system. This is another supplement we take extra daily doses of when catching or experiencing a cold or flu type illness.
Our favorite zinc supplements come from whole food sources high in naturally occurring zinc – minimally processed oyster powder. We love that low heat, minimally processed oyster powder is nutrient dense – it contains a whopping 59 trace minerals! It also contains 12 different naturally occurring vitamins, 19 amino acids, and some of those amazing Omega 3’s in the form of both EPA and DHA.
Get oyster powder from wild caught oysters caught in the clean waters off Ireland from either of our all natural zinc supplements: Oyster Power from Traditional Foods Market or Oysterzinc from Smidge.
#5 Sovereign Silver – Feel Better Faster
Sometimes it just happens and we get sick. Colloidal Silver is an amazing immune booster. It has been used since ancient times to purify drinking water, speed healing, and improve overall health and wellness. We like Sovereign Silver colloidal silver best because it is ultra-purified, and manufactured without the salts and compounds that contaminate other brands. The particles in Sovereign Silver are the smallest size possible, enhancing bioavailability and absorption. Sovereign Silver has been shown to aid the body in combating bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections, and strengthen the immune system.
I personally love Sovereign Silver colloidal silver for flus and colds. As soon as anyone in my family isn’t feeling well, I start giving this to them every two hours – up to seven times a day. We always feel much better after just one day of seven doses! But we continue taking it, slowly reducing the amount to five times a day, then three times, etc. I like to take it at least twice a day until two days after I feel no symptoms. Like with antibiotics, if you stop too soon, some illnesses can come back with a vengeance.
#6 Fresh Air & Lots of Water – Get Outside – Fresh Air is Good For Us!
I know many of us are staying home, but get out in the yard and do some gardening, or play ball with your kids. Fresh air increases the amount of oxygen available in our blood which helps our white blood cells fight germs. And, bonus, being outside makes us happy which helps boost our immune system!
Drinking adequate amounts of water is one of the best things we can do to help our bodies detox. Our kidneys use a lot of water to flush toxins from our bodies. But, if we don’t drink enough, roughly 64 oz daily for adults, our kidneys don’t get what they need to properly do their job. Just remember the importance of filtered water.
Best thing about fresh air and water – they are free and unlimited!
*Nothing so far has been proven to prevent or cure the Covid 19 coronavirus. However, these remedies have worked on boosting the immune to prevent and/or speed the recovery from other sicknesses.