The immune system is made up of organs, muscles, tissues and cells, that function as a team to protect the entire body against harmful foreign elements. These harmful foreign elements generally consist of germs, bacteria and viruses that cause common ailments such as the flu and cold.They also include more serious attackers (pathogenic or infectious parasites and agents) that cause our bodies to fall victim to more dangerous illnesses. Therefore, we need to take as gentle and thorough care of our immune system as the important set of tasks and responsibilities it is loaded with.
These ‘foreign agents’ that attack our immune system have also come to include more than just germs and bacteria: they now also refer to non-physical elements of daily life, such as stress. Stress due to overwork and other tensions all take their toll on our body’s immune system by demanding competing amounts of attentionfrom limited energy reserves. When we add to this scenario the fact that we don’t take care of our diet and are often unable to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the only other solution we are left with is herbal supplements.
Herbal supplements are a safe and sure-shot option that helps us provide supporting strength to the components of our immune system. There are several herbs and plants whose extracts can be consumed in suuplement form in order to provide the additional nourishment required by our body to fight off unfriendly invaders. The top 5 of these supplements that help boost the immune system are briefly discussed below:
The human body needs several vitamins in ample quantity in order to perform a variety of its functions optimally. Some of these vitamins that even children know off the top of their minds are Vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K. However, not every vitamin can be produced by the body, and some need to be obtained via food or supplementary sources. Vitamin C is one such externally-obtainable vitamin, thus necessitating supplement consumption to ensure sufficient reserves.
Vitamin-C is known to improve blood flow to and from organs, thus improving their functionaility. It is also known for its antioxidant properties which helps improve the health of blood, eyes, hair, nails and skin due to all the oxygen it provides to the blood. It is further known for its ability to help the body manufacture collagen, which is an essential constituent of cells and tissue, the wellbeing of which is necessary for the body’s structure performance – it protects against free radicals that can cause damage to tissues and cells.
A 10-year-thorough-review, of approximately 100 studies, that was conducted by Mark Moyad (MD, MPH, University of Michigan) and published in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine, reports that Vitamin C is being increasingly recognized as an immune system booster as well as a supplement that benefits the body against several ailments ranging from the common cold right up to cardiovascular health.
Vitamin-C fights off stress in your life by helping your body develop against immune system deficiencies, and thus enabling your body to handle stresswell without breaking down too soon.
Ginseng has long been valued for its nourishing and curative benefits to the body and mind. A large number of ginseng consumers believe it has the power to improve physical vitality.
Even research is increasingly providing evidence that ginseng is beneficial for immune system health, and that it is especially beneficial in preventing colds and flus and their symptoms. Studies also suggest that ginseng consumption reduces sugar levels in blood.
Since there is no natural food that contains ginseng, its consumption is recommended in supplement form.
Olive Oil Supplements
Olive oil has been known to contribute to immune system health – its consumption leads to protection against bacterial and viral attacks, a claim supported by the International Olive Council. Research has shown that olive oil contributes to immune system health indirectly by reducing inflammatory activity within the body’s tissues and veins. Olive oil is a one of the main components of the Mediterranean diet, and is also being increasingly adopted by consumers, as a replacement of previously used cooking oil.
Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and has been proven by researchers from Michingan State University toboost the activity of white blood cells. Among other highly benificial nutrients, different types of fish oil contain omega-3 fatty acids ranging from20%-40%.
Vitamin-A is another important vitamin that helps boost immunity, when taken in the right amounts and as a supplement. It helps by providing regeneration of cells that prevent infectious elements from entering and affecting the body. Furthermore, vitamin-A helps increase and ease the production of white blood cells which leads to improved regulation of the immune system.