One of the biggest “perks” of a healthy lifestyle is that you optimize your immune system. I spend half my life in airports (absolutely the worst place in the world to be if you want to avoid germs), and I can go for years without getting sick.
However, I also know that sometimes, a healthy diet and lifestyle aren’t quite enough to keep the bugs at bay—and that’s why I also keep powerful immune boosters on hand. These include every-day supplements that help me stay healthy, natural medicines I turn to when a bug does lay me low, and food that can both prevent and heal illnesses. Here’s a look at all of them.
If you can’t always get a daily dose of sunshine, a vitamin D supplement can be a lifesaver. Research shows that vitamin D can cut your risk of getting a cold or the flu by about 10%, and up to 50% if you’re deficient when you start taking it.
You knew this would be on the list, right? It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of bone broth, which is rich in gelatin that keeps your gut strong and healthy . Bone broth is also packed with glycine, which has bacteria-fighting powers. And if you do get sick, grandma is right: Drinking bone broth can help to clear up inflammation and get you back on your feet faster.
Your gut bugs play a big role in modulating your immune function—and the happier they are, the healthier you’ll be. That’s why I recommend keeping your gut’s ecosystem strong by taking a high-quality microbiome-supporting supplement every day and eating probiotic foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and coconut kefir.
Congaplex (made by Standard Process)
As I said, I almost never get sick—but when I do, I immediately reach for this supplement. It’s a combination of vitamins, minerals, and plant and animal extracts designed to promote the health of the thymus gland, a key player in the immune system. The powerful antioxidants in Congaplex also help protect your cells from damage while they’re under attack from viruses or bacteria.
Oil of Oregano
This is another great go-to if you’re battling a bug. Oil of oregano has powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties and it can help you tackle all sorts of problems, including urinary tract infections, colds and flu, and even toenail fungus.
You can buy oil of oregano in capsule form or opt for drops. If you choose drops, put a little bit in a vaporizer or diffuser, or add a small amount to a glass of water or juice. You can also combine one part oregano oil with three parts coconut or olive oil to make a healing skin cream.
Oregano oil is very powerful, so never use it straight, either internally or on your skin. Also, do a “spot test” with a tiny amount to make sure you’re not allergic to it. One important caution: Do not use oregano oil either orally or topically if you are pregnant or nursing.
If you come down with a cold, a tiny dose of zinc may get you back on your feet faster. Zinc appears to work in two ways: by interfering with a cold virus’s ability to reproduce, and by blocking its ability to attach to cell membranes. Use zinc with caution, however, because it’s harmful in excess.
Add these seven immune boosters to your health regimen, and it’s a good bet you’ll have far fewer illnesses in the future. What’s more, if you do get sick, you’ll probably get well much faster. As a result, you can be fearless in that busy airport, crowded mall, or germy preschool. Salud!
Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!