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The best supplements to support your immune system

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that a robust immune system is a powerful weapon for a healthy life. You can do a lot to support your immune health – from sleeping well, managing stress, and getting outside more. But what about supplements? Here are the best supplements to support your immune system.

WHAT IS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM?

As the name suggests, our immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that work together to fight off infection. Your immune system “remembers” the microbes it has previously encountered, so it can quickly identify and eliminate them again.

Whether your goal is muscle gain, fat loss, sports performance, or living a longer and healthier life, the immune system plays a key role. After all, you won’t be able to train regularly and enjoy an active lifestyle if you get sick. Here’s how to look after your immune system so it can look after you.

5 DAILY HABITS FOR IMMUNE HEALTH

One factor affecting your immune system is genetic, and there’s nothing you can do about that. But there’s plenty you can do about your environment, habits, and healthy lifestyle.

SLEEP: make good sleep a habit, aiming for 8-9 hours of quality sleep per night in a quiet, dark room.

STRESS: manage and minimise stress (especially the damaging daily stress of modern life), and incorporate wind-down activities

NUTRITION: eat a healthy and varied diet, with plenty of colourful vegetables, fruits, and berries plus wholegrains (and minimal processed foods).

ACTIVITY: exercise regularly with a combination of intense exercise, outdoor activity, and relaxing restorative exercise choices.

WEIGHT: maintaining a healthy weight will help support your immune system function.

THE BEST SUPPLEMENTS TO SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are important for supporting your natural immune system. Most people know about Vitamin C for immune health, but Vitamin A is thought to help develop white blood cells, and Vitamin D helps your body fight infection. Minerals including zinc are really important for immune health, too.

Choose a daily multivitamin supplement that combines everything you need in one easy dose. PhD Advanced Multinutrient blends 21 key vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, D3, C, zinc – and plenty more. It’s an easy and cost-effective way to get the recommended daily dose of all the key micronutrients so all your bases are covered.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Healthy fats play an important role in maintaining your immune health, as this 2019 scientific paper explains (1). Omega-3 fatty acids regulate the cellular membrane and act as signalling molecules, supporting the molecular mechanisms of the various cells that make up your immune system.

It can be difficult to get optimal amounts of omega-3 fats from diet alone, especially if you are watching your macros. The easiest (and most accurate) way is by using a really good quality omega-3 supplement. PhD Omega-3 capsules give you 330mg EPA and 220mg DHA per serving in a high strength formula to support your immune health from a cellular level.
ZINC

The mineral zinc plays an important role in the immune system, and can help you maintain lean muscle and even sleep better. It’s a key mineral for immune health. A great way to take zinc is via a ZMA supplement like PhD ZMA, which uses patented ZMA® to give you optimal amounts of zinc, magnesium, and Vitamin B6.

GREENS POWDER

It’s not always easy to eat a varied diet packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, leaves and superfoods. But it’s really important to “eat your greens” (and all the other colours!) Fruits, berries, and vegetables deliver vitamins and minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and trace levels of micronutrients that your immune system needs.

Adding a greens powder to your daily supplement stack is a simple way to get a huge amount of plant power into your diet without buying, prepping, and eating vast amounts of fresh produce. In fact, it can often be a better way – fresh food spoils, whereas a good greens powder freeze-dries its ingredients to keep the nutrients stable.

PhD Super Greens is a fantastic greens powder, with 22 whole foods, fruit and vegetable extracts, spirulina, wheat grass, and fruit fibres. It’s the fastest and most cost-effective way to get this amount of whole food goodness in your diet.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6834330/

Nicola Joyce

Nicola is a specialist freelance copywriter for the fitness industry @thefitwriter