Whether it's a cold or hot season outside, keeping your body healthy and agile should be the top priority if you want to pursue your ambitions and life goals. Immunity is your natural body's defensive system, though most people forget to strengthen and maintain it on a decent level. That's why you may get sick too often or notice some changes in your body. Weak immunity can also affect your work performance, memory, and cognitive skills. Still, your immunity needs pretty generic things to stay strong.
An active lifestyle, a healthy sleep routine, fresh air, and a healthy diet will be enough to keep your body protected. But the key problem of many busy achievers is that sometimes they don't have enough time for such things. When you jump into a career and get overwhelmed with assignments and meetings, staying active, sleeping well, and eating healthy could be tricky.
In that case, dietary supplements will be a convenient and effective solution to help you stay on track and support your immunity. Dive in, and you'll learn how poor immunity could affect your health and which supplements are most beneficial for strengthening your body's defense.
Risks of low immunity for your health & productivity
Frequent diseases aren't the only thing that poor immunity may bring into your life. Not paying attention to it may lead to many health disorders, which affect your wellbeing and cognition:
1. You may often face cold and flu
The main reason to worry about your body's protection is that people with low immunity are more prone to cold and flu. Carnegie Mellon University's study has found that your body is more likely to get a cold when you have poor sleep quality and don't get enough rest. Lack of sleep reduces the number of natural killer cells in your blood, which should decrease inflammation. So if you have poor sleep quality, you're 80% more likely to get sick.
Typically, it takes about seven days for a person with a healthy immunity to overcome cold or flu. If you face symptoms of these diseases for a longer time, it means that your immunity is too weak to fight the viruses. So runny nose, cough, and temporary sore throat long after illness mean it's time for you to boost your immune system.
2. You become exhausted and tired easily
Another sign of weak immunity is constant tiredness. If you become exhausted and sleepy after just a few hours of work, then it's a fair reason to worry about your immune system. One of the main reasons for fatigue is high inflammation markers, which occur when you have weakened immunity. Survey has shown that poor immunity leads to a lack of motivation and reduces dopamine (feel-good hormone) production. These drawbacks cause mental tiredness, which can stand in the way of your productive work.
Poor immunity could also induce chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Scientists suppose it occurs because of your body's inability to fight viruses. Thus, the process of immune response becomes endless, tiring you down without overcoming the disease. CFS may cause "brain fog," impair your creativity, lead to chronic pain and flu symptoms. Strengthening your immunity is optimal to reduce tiredness and chronic fatigue syndrome.
3. You may face digestive issues
The central part of your immunity is enzymes that are present in your guts. They're responsible for the chemical reactions in your body, supporting metabolism, regulating hormones, and absorbing nutrients. Though, if you have an imbalance in your guts, it weakens your immunity and may cause digestive issues. So frequent constipation, diarrhea, and bloating may be the signs of weak immunity.
Lack of helpful bacteria in your gut could also lead to a deficiency of certain nutrients, slow down your metabolism, and cause constant discomfort. With an unpleasant feeling in your stomach, you'd hardly stay productive and active. Still, certain supplements can assist your enzymes and normalize your microbiome.
4. Your memory and cognitive performance may worsen
Low immunity is a risk factor for inflammation - it spreads through your body even faster when your body's protection is weak. Scientists claim inflammation affects alertness, making you less orienting and worsening your executive control when you need to sort out conflicting information.
Meanwhile, weak immunity and chronic inflammation may impair your memory and cognitive skills. Survey has found that adults with high inflammation markers are 8% more likely to have a memory decline. Thus, if you need to keep your mind sharp and agile, supporting your immunity with supplements may help.
Now you know that poor immunity could quickly destroy your productivity, impair cognitive skills, and make you constantly tired. But what if you don't have time to visit your physician or do some immunity-boosting procedures? Supplements are always there to help! Now let's figure out how they work to make your body's protection stronger.
Micronutrients: how they affect your immunity
Micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, play a vital role in protecting your body. Some of them support the structure and function of skin cells, maintaining your defensive barriers. Other nutrients help your body form antibodies to viruses and activate immune responses when needed.
Specific vitamins (like vitamin C) also have strong antioxidant properties, reducing oxidative stress within your cells. By getting enough micronutrients, you could also decrease inflammatory processes, which affect your memory and energy levels.
Micronutrients may also help you recover after diseases faster - specific vitamins assist your body in replacing damaged cells with new ones. They could reduce the symptoms of respiratory infections and activate the immune cells to fight off the diseases. Some micronutrients may support your metabolism, allowing you to get more energy for an effective recovery.
Most of these nutrients come to us with foods, but it's easy to become deficient in one of them. So taking them in supplement form would allow you to ensure that you're getting just enough - to stay healthy and efficient. We've picked the five most beneficial supplements for your immunity for you to try.
Top-5 supplements to level up your immunity
While you juggle your work routines, family issues, hobbies, traveling, and whichever else is on your plate, your immunity is always there for you. It's like your guardian angel, which helps you avoid diseases, recover faster after injuries, and make everything for you to enjoy your life to the fullest. Did you put on too cold clothes before going outside? Your immunity will ensure you don't get sick tomorrow. Or maybe someone from the party you visited got sick with the flu? Don't worry; your immunity will fight the annoying virus.
Still, your immunity isn't limitless - it also needs your support to keep protecting your body. These supplements are the most effective when your immunity needs a second breath. Try taking some of them when you're sick or for overall wellbeing. You'll see that being healthy doesn't necessarily mean getting head over heels with changing your lifestyle.
Vitamin C is second to none when it comes to boosting your immunity. It's an antioxidant that helps reduce oxidative damage to cells and tissues, ensuring your high brain performance and energy levels. This vitamin also protects cells from harmful free radicals that can cause cellular death or damage to DNA strands. By taking vitamin C supplements, you could maintain normal cholesterol levels in the blood. This nutrient helps cells absorb cholesterol and use it as an energy source or stores it for later use.
Besides, vitamin C is highly beneficial when you want to get well faster. You should know this vitamin as a traditional cold cure, and the research claims that it's true! According to it, Vitamin C may reduce cold symptoms duration by 59%. It's fewer days of being sick, which can benefit you as an achiever if you want to get back to work quicker. Vitamin C is also a powerful virus killer, which helps activate B-cells responsible for creating antibodies. Taking vitamin C in a supplement form ensures better absorbency and leaves no chances for cold and flu.
Recommended daily dosage: women should get 70 mg and men - 90 mg of this vitamin.
Another potent nutrient that may strengthen your body's protection is ginger. Its roots are well known for their powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A study says that you may reduce oxidative stress and free radical damage by taking ginger root supplements. This plant also includes natural chemicals, gingerols, with antimicrobial effects. They could help you reduce cold symptoms and kill the bacteria before they cause disease in your body.
When working from the office or visiting crowded places like malls or restaurants, you can easily get infected by some kind of virus, especially if your immunity is weak. Though scientists claim you may avoid viruses by taking ginger supplements. Intake of this herbal extract induces the production of antiviral protein in your cells, which may protect your body even when you contact the infected person. So consider adding ginger root supplements to your diet and make sure your body's protection is stronger than ever.
Recommended daily dosage: it's safe to take up to 1,500 mg of ginger root extract daily.
This "sunshine vitamin" is among the best to support your immune system's healthy functioning. You get it mainly with UV-rays, but you may become easily deficient during cold seasons or in regions with low solar activity. According to the research, 20% of people fail to get enough vitamin D daily. It could be dangerous, since this vitamin plays a significant role in maintaining your immunity. Feinstein Institute for Medical A study shows that low vitamin D levels in the blood lead to increased infections. People who lack vitamin D face respiratory tract infections more often than those with normal levels.
Vitamin D supplements may help you reduce your risks of getting an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus. This micronutrient helps your immune systems mitigate inflammation and decrease bacterial levels.
It could reduce the risk of other chronic diseases like heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and even cancer. Studies show that people with high vitamin D levels in their blood also have a 40% less chance of contracting to type A influenza than those who lack it. So taking this vitamin as a supplement might help you avoid diseases.
Recommended daily dosage: adults should take about 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily, but no more than 4,000 IU.
Widely known as an immunity booster, zinc is among those minerals doctors prescribe when your body is fighting diseases. Your body creates genetic materials in all cells with zinc. You also need this mineral to assist enzymes that carry out most chemical reactions in your body. Those enzymes are a part of your strong immunity since they activate your metabolism and absorb nutrients. Zinc also helps enzymes break down proteins in bacteria and viruses.
This mineral is also vitally important for cells in your body that exist to make sure you're not getting sick - specifically white blood cells. Lack of zinc could weaken your immunity and cause an autoimmune response when encountering a new virus. It might lead to health issues like hypertension, coronary heart disease, or chronic fungal infections in the lungs.
The study also shows that additional zinc intake during cold or flu may reduce the duration of their symptoms and help you bounce back faster. It says that taking zinc lozenges helps shorten the cold duration by 30-40%. Plus, zinc supplements are possibly effective for wound healing and maintaining the integrity of your skin barriers.
Recommended daily dosage: women should get 8 mg of zinc daily, while men need 11 mg.
Among all amino acids, L-Glutamine is possibly the most effective for keeping you healthy and protected. Glutamine's fundamental function is to support the immune system by providing it with both fuel and building blocks. This amino acid also has antimicrobial effects on your body, helping you avoid infections. Glutamine is also an antioxidant, so its intake may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in your body. That way, you'll be less prone to diseases and have the mental clarity to stay efficient at work.
Glutamine is also an effective supplement to have around in times of sickness. It may improve recovery time when used in large doses. Studies have shown that glutamine can reduce the chance of serious complications when sick. Also, if you have faced surgery, taking L-glutamine may help you spend less time in the hospital by boosting your cell growth. If it's crucial for you to stay on track with productive work, try this amino acid supplement to pursue your goals.
Recommended daily dosage: you can safely consume around 20-30 grams of L-glutamine daily.
- Sleep Habits And Susceptibility To The Common Cold (2019)
- The Neuroimmune Basis Of Fatigue (2014)
- How To Look For Signs You Have A Weakened Immune System (2021)
- Is There A Link Between Inflammation And Cognition? (2019)
- Chronic Inflammation May Negatively Affect Thinking, Memory (2019)
- Can Vitamin C Prevent A Cold? (2020)
- Vitamin C Supplementation Slightly Improves Physical Activity Levels And Reduces Cold Incidence In Men With Marginal Vitamin C Status: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2014)
- Anti-Oxidative And Anti-Inflammatory Effects Of Ginger In Health And Physical Activity: Review Of Current Evidence (2013)
- Vitamin D And The Immune System (2011)
- Zinc Lozenges May Shorten The Duration Of Colds: A Systematic Review (2011)