Due to the current pandemic, many people are evaluating their overall health and wellness habits. While there aren’t any known supplements or treatments for virus-based illnesses, you can be proactive in supporting immune function through diet and lifestyle factors. Certain herbs to boost the immune system can optimize the immune performance within the body, which protects against a range of viral and bacterial infections.
A Healthy Immune System to Avoid Sickness
Have you ever wondered why some people are prone to sickness during every flu season, while other people seem to never pick up the bugs that are shared in schools, offices, and communities? A person’s health always comes down to the function of the immune system. This system is the first line of defense against microorganisms that lead to sickness: viruses and bacteria.
Since these microorganisms are all around us, we can’t avoid exposure to these illness-causing bugs. But a strong immune system decreases the chances that you will get sick after exposure. Additionally, if you get sick, a strong immune system can help by decreasing the severity of the illness. When the immune system is highly functioning, it gives your body the strength needed to fight disease.
If you want to maintain great health, then focusing on the immune system is one of the best things you can do. Diet, supplements, and other lifestyle changes can play a role in immune function, which has an effect on your overall health and wellness.
What Are the Most Powerful Immune Boosting Herbs?
If you search online, opinions vary for the best herbs for immune-boosting. Before you start panic-buying from the supplement section at your favorite health food store, it’s important to look at evidence-based data.
Here are a few supplements that have been proven to help with immune function:
- Garlic: Don’t let concerns about bad breath stop you from consuming garlic every day. The therapeutic benefits of garlic have been well-known for ages. Not only does garlic play an important role in balancing the gut biome, but it also helps with immune enhancement by affecting the secretion of cytokines (natural chemicals that support communication in the immune system).
- Ginger: While ginger is commonly known for the anti-nausea benefits, this spicy plant also contains antiviral compounds. Ginger supplements can be an easy way to enjoy these health benefits without the work required to prepare ginger in your favorite dishes.
- Turmeric: This spice is commonly known in Indian dishes, but it can also be found in supplement form. Curcumin is one of the main compounds in turmeric, which provides immune-boosting benefits every time it is consumed. Researchers have suggested that curcumin is important in reducing inflammation and activating immune-fighting white blood cells.
- Cayenne Pepper: It has been said that cayenne peppers are the “king” of medicinal herbs. These peppers have been used for thousands of years to support a variety of health conditions. A study found that pepper helps by fighting pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, these brightly colored peppers have excellent antioxidants.
- Mushrooms: Select mushrooms have healing phytonutrients: beta-glucans. Researchers have found that mushrooms with the optimal immune benefits include reishi, shiitake, lion’s mane, maitake, turkey tail, and oyster mushrooms.
Where to Buy Herbs to Boost the Immune System?
These immune-boosting herbs and spices can be purchased at health food stores or online retailers. Additionally, some of the ingredients can be sourced at the local grocery store to include as ingredients in your meals. If you are buying supplements or herbs, it’s always important to consider the quality and source of the ingredients. Look for supplements that contain these immune-boosting herbs without fillers and unnatural additives that could potentially damage health.
Remember that these immune-boosting herbs and vitamins should always be used in recommended dosages. Supplements can be powerful, which is why it is essential that you always follow the recommended instructions for usage.
Dietary Habits for Immune Support
Many of the ingredients listed above can be purchased in supplement form. But don’t underestimate the importance of including immune-boosting ingredients in your meal planning. For example, snack on fruits that boost the immune system such as blueberries, watermelon, oranges, and other brightly colored fruits. These plant-based ingredients contain powerful antioxidants that can help with immune function.
Another easy way to support your health is to drink herbal tea to boost the immune system. Start your morning with a cup of herbal tea, or use it as a nightly ritual to relax before bed. If you want an energy boost, try drinking black tea during the day because it can help with the function of T cells (which play a role in immune response).
Other Tips: How to Boost the Immune System Naturally
While diet and supplements are helpful for immune function, don’t overlook the importance of other lifestyle factors that affect your immune system. Here are a few other tips to help boost your immune system:
- Sleep Habits: If you are short on sleep, inflammatory responses can be activated in the body, which has a negative effect on immune function. Be proactive in getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night, and try to match those hours to the natural patterns of the sun.
- Limit Sugar Consumption: If you have a sweet tooth, be careful about the amount of refined sugar included in your diet. Sugar consumption can suppress the immune system and affect your overall health. Instead of reaching for a soda or a candy bar, choose a piece of fruit as a way to satisfy your sweet cravings.
- Moderate Alcohol Consumption: Researchers have found that excessive alcohol consumption can have a negative impact on immune function. Protect your overall health by drinking in moderation. Also, consider the antioxidant benefits available from red wine.
- Manage Stress: Our modern world has created a non-stop environment of stress for people of all ages. Even though you can’t see the immediate effects of this stress, it is important to understand how much chronic stress plays a role in health. When your body is in “fight or flight,” the immune response triggers the release of a hormone known as cortisol. This creates a domino effect that affects the digestive tract, which has a direct impact on immune function.
- Move Your Body: Regular exercise has been proven to help boost the immune system. These activities help with mobilizing T cells, which are a form of white blood cells that play an important role in protecting against infection. Keep in mind that there is a “sweet spot” when it comes to exercise since over-exertion can weaken immune function.
- Daily Sunshine: Sunlight on your skin has an impact on Vitamin D production in the body, which is important for immune response. Vitamin D assists the body in producing antibodies. Be careful to avoid over-exposure to the sun. Just 15 minutes of direct sunlight each day is sufficient for producing the Vitamin D that is needed.
Ongoing Health Routines
While it can be beneficial to increase supplement use when you are exposed to illness, the best approach is to make these herbs and foods part of your daily routine. These habits can have an impact on supporting a healthy, strong immune system for life.
At Hana Tonic, we offer a proprietary blend of powerful ingredients that help with overall health. If you are looking for a simple way to add herbs to boost the immune system in your daily routine, then reach for a bottle of Hana Tonic. Our tasty drink includes two immune-boosting ingredients listed above: ginger and cayenne. We source high-quality ingredients and provide convenient packaging to help you maintain your health on the go.