When the days get short and the weather gets chilly, the last thing you want is to be slowed down by a virus. Giving your immune system the support it needs can help give your body a fighting chance against illnesses like the common cold and flu (have you gotten your flu shot yet?). Here’s how.
How Do You Boost Your Immune System?
The body’s first line of defense against germs and bacteria is a healthy lifestyle. This looks like enough sleep, regular exercise, frequent hand-washing, avoiding smoking, reducing stress, and a healthy diet. What they say about vitamin C’s ability to help fight colds is true—but it’s not the only important nutrient. Vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc play key roles in maintaining a strong immune system.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can weaken the immune system, so it’s important to ensure that you’re eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables. But, many still struggle with doing that. If you suspect that you’re not getting enough, then daily supplements or superfood powders made from whole food ingredients can help meet your body’s needs. As always, consult your doctor before starting any new supplement. Here are some of our recommendations:
Taking your daily vitamins can be easy to forget, but it can be critical going into cold and flu season. Founded in 2009, Canadian brand Herbaland saw a gap in the gummy vitamin market. So, they jumped in and made gummy vitamins that are vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, palm oil derivative-free, nut-free, halal, and kosher. Plus, they made them taste good enough to mistake for candy and ensure that their ingredients are sustainable, plant-based, and organic whenever possible. The company also ensures that its production processes are as kind to the planet as possible, from seeking zero-waste packaging solutions to its Eco-Forming process for depositing gummies into steel molds.
Herbaland’s Immune Plus Gummies for Adults are made with antioxidant-rich ingredients that help fight cold symptoms while giving your immune system a boost. These vegan gummies (no gelatin here!) contain a powerful blend of vitamin C, elderberry, and echinacea, which work together to support the body’s ability to fight colds. These sugar-free gummies have a raspberry lemon flavor, making taking your daily vitamins practical, especially compared to regular pills and capsules.
Along with keeping your immune system in check, it’s important to ensure that you’re taking your vitamins. Enter the D3 & B12 Gummies for Adults. These sugar-free gummies contain vitamin D3, a powerhouse that helps support the immune system, boost energy, and maintain strong bones and teeth. Vitamin B12, which needs to be supplemented on a plant-based diet, plays a key role in the metabolism of every single cell in the body and red blood cell production. They’re sugar-free and have a delicious raspberry flavor.
2. Your Super
The story behind Your Super is personal. Co-founder Kristel de Groot began making superfood mixes for her fiancé Michael after he was diagnosed with cancer at age 24. The more the pair learned about the connection between diet and good health, the more determined they became to share their knowledge of healthy, whole food ingredients with the world. Your Super makes superfood blends—inspired by the ones Kristel made for Michael while he was in recovery—made with five to six organic, plant-based ingredients and no sweeteners, stevia, artificial flavors, fillers, preservatives, or additives.
The Immunity Bundle boosts the body’s first line of defense against germs and bacteria with four super-charged superfood mixes. Here’s what’s in it:
Super Green mix: Like an instant green juice, made with wheatgrass, barley grass, moringa, baobab, spirulina, and chlorella. One scoop is the equivalent of a handful of greens and it’s packed with micronutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and iron.
Forever Beautiful mix: A fruity blend for glowing skin made with antioxidant-rich ingredients like chia seed, acai, maqui, acerola, maca, and blueberry.
Golden Mellow mix: A slightly spicy blend of inflammation-fighting and stress-reducing ingredients: turmeric, ashwagandha, ginger, cinnamon, lucuma, and black pepper.
Magic Mushroom mix: A chocolatey drink that helps support the immune system and boost your mood with cacao, chaga and reishi mushrooms, ashwagandha, lucuma, and cinnamon.
This bundle also comes with a digital copy of Everyday Super Smoothies, featuring more than 25 recipes for healthy, whole food smoothies for any time of day.
Use the code LIVEKINDLY for 15 percent off your purchase.
3. Gaia Herbs
The Immune Shine from Gaia Herbs is a powder blend made with ingredients used in folk remedies to support the immune system, including elderberry, ginger, astragalus, and maitake and chaga mushrooms. A study found that maitake, a mushroom that has been grown in China and Japan for centuries that’s also known as hen-of-the-woods in Western cuisine, has immune-enhancing effects. Chaga, a type of black mushroom, has traditionally been used to treat various ailments and illnesses in Russia and Eastern Europe. It blends easily into smoothies, plant-based milk, and other beverages.
4. Hum Nutrition
When we trade hot, sticky, humid days for the cool, crisp fall air (and hot lattes, finally), we also lose some sunlight. Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” has a surprising amount of benefits, including regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and helping the immune system function properly. Your body produces vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunlight, it makes sense that so many peoples’ levels drop during winter. Hum Nutrition’s vegan Here Comes the Sun softgels contain vitamin D3 derived from lichen, a moss-esque organism that arises from a symbiotic partnership between algae and fungus on trees, rocks, and walls.
5. Four Sigmatic
The Four Sigmatic Mushroom Blend Mix is a powdered drink mix with a slightly earthy flavor that’s best stirred into coffee or tea. It combines 10 organic mushrooms that have been used in traditional medicines for centuries: chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, cordyceps, shiitake, enokitake (a long, thin white mushroom that’s also delicious in stir-fries), agaricus blazei, mishima, and tremella.
6. myKind Organics
The result of a team-up between actress and vegan activist Alicia Silverstone and wellness brand Garden of Life, myKind offers 100 percent vegan multivitamins and herbal supplements. The Elderberry Immune Syrup is a concentrated formula made from black elderberry, echinacea, vitamin C-rich amla berry, and zinc derived from organic guava. It’s sugar-free and you can take it by the spoonful or mix it with water of the flat or sparkling variety.
The Immune Support powder from Hilma is formulated with vitamin C derived from camu camu berry, echinacea, ginger, turmeric, zinc, ivy leaf extract, and no fillers. It blends easily into hot or cold water and has a refreshing lemon ginger flavor, so it’s like drinking a cup of tea (which means you absolutely should pair it with vegan cookies).
Remember: vitamin C and zinc can help support your immune system, but it can’t do the work alone. Sticking to good hand-washing habits all throughout winter is your body’s best line of defense against getting sick.
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