As you know, fitness routines (such as super slow strength training), a well-balanced diet (filled with unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruits, protein, fiber and healthy fats), and 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night is a powerhouse combination for supporting immune function and optimizing health. However, our bodies may require larger amounts of nutrients (or additional nutrients) than what we’re consuming in our diets.
This is where supplements can be extremely beneficial. While you should never replace exercise and healthy eating with supplements, you can use them as a tool to prevent nutrient deficiencies and provide extra support to your immunity and overall health.
That being said, you shouldn’t ingest just any supplement from any random brand/company. Instead, you should be sure to do your research and carefully select clean, pure supplements from the most trusted brands. It is also advised to steer clear of third party companies (such as Amazon) when purchasing supplements. Supplements from Amazon have been known to be placebos, other inauthentic substances, or even expired.
But how do you know which supplements you should be taking for your immune health? And which brands are reputable?
To help you out, we have put together this helpful list of the best supplements and most reputable brands to support immune function and optimize your health. But first off, it is always wise to check with your doctor and test your nutrient levels to figure out exactly how much of a supplement you should be taking.
Whole Food Vitamin C
Let’s start with the go-to vitamin when you’re feeling a little under the weather: vitamin C. This powerful natural antioxidant has numerous health benefits, including supporting immune function, boosting the body’s natural defenses, repairing damaged skin, protecting cells against free radicals, and accelerating wound-healing (just to name a few).
Unfortunately, humans cannot produce or store vitamin C. Any vitamin C that’s ingested is either quickly absorbed or excreted. And many common supplements contain vitamin C in its ascorbic acid form which the body cannot utilize.
When choosing vitamin C supplements, relying on ones from whole food vitamin C such as acerola, plums, cherries, and camu camu is best. That’s because they are more effective and readily absorbed by the body unlike ascorbic acid. Some of the best brands for Whole Food Vitamin C supplements are Earthley, FlavCity, and Perfect Supplements.
One of the most essential minerals we need for our bodies to function properly and to keep our immune systems strong is zinc. A critical nutrient for proper protein synthesis and overall wellness, zinco also relies on vitamin C to support its role in the body. One of the main reasons we should supplement with zinc is because, similar to vitamin C, our bodies do not make it on their own. A zinc supplement from a food source such as oysters is ideal. We love zinc from Earthley, Smidge, and Dr. Mercola.
Unlike vitamin C and zinc, vitamin D is produced by our bodies when they’re exposed to direct sunlight. Since vitamin D regulates calcium absorption, it helps with the development of bones and teeth. Plus, it helps support immune function to make us more resistant to certain diseases (such as heart disease and MS).
Unfortunately, natural vitamin D from the sun is in limited supply during the fall and winter months when the days are shorter. The bright side of vitamin D is that it can be taken as a supplement. A capsule that contains vitamin D and vitamin K2 should be taken with fat to increase absorption. Dr. Mercola is a trusted brand for this. Another great, natural source of vitamin D is cod liver oil which you can mix with organic fresh squeezed orange juice. We recommend cod liver oil from trusted brands such as Earthley and Rosita.
Please note: Before you take any vitamin D, it’s strongly recommended to have your levels checked by your medical provider. This will help determine how much vitamin D you should take. You should then retest after a few months to confirm that your body is adequately absorbing the vitamin D.
If you have low vitamin D levels it could also be due to a lack of magnesium and most people are deficient in this vital mineral. While this versatile nutrient has many benefits and comes in many different forms, magnesium glycinate has proven very effective with immune support function and overall health. This is due to magnesium glycinate being a natural catalyst for relaxation and stress/anxiety management. Plus it acts as a natural sleep aid. All three of these benefits are vital to staying healthy and boosting your natural immunity. Pure Encapsulations magnesium glycinate capsules, BioOptimizers (which has 7 forms of magnesium), and Smidge are our preferred choices for this multifunctional and crucial supplement.
These are just a few of the many beneficial supplements that can be added to your everyday diet and exercise routine but it’s important to note that you should focus on a clean, whole food diet first. Getting these nutrients naturally from food sources is ideal. Supplements should be used as just that- as supplemental to your already healthy diet.
If you have any questions about supplements, eating healthy or staying fit, our expert team of personal trainers is here to answer them!
Contact us today to schedule a virtual training session or a personal training session at either our Syosset, NY or Greenwich, CT location. We’d be happy to help you with your journey to a healthier lifestyle!