An immune booster refers to supplements, substances or food sources which help to advance the functions of the immune system, helping it function optimally and leaving you healthy. For the immune system to keep functioning at its best it has to be fed with the right nutrients especially antioxidant vitamins and minerals which is essentially what should be contained in any immune booster.
Before you consider taking an immune booster, there are certain questions that you may want to answer which could guide or inform your choices. Questions such as; Is my immune system weak? What symptoms am i experiencing? Which vitamins do i need? Having answered these questions correctly we can then begin to think of actually getting one of such immune boosters.
This brings us to the conversation for today which seeks to shed more light on important factors not to miss out on before purchasing an immune booster. One of the best ways to live a healthy life is to eat healthy foods and fruits as these are natural ways of getting the much needed nutrients your body requires. However, not all nutrients can be gotten from the foods we eat and at the daily required amount because of lack of exposure to certain food sources. This just means certain foods which are rich sources of healthy vitamins and nutrients are either out of our reach or just unavailable for reasons beyond our control.
Take Vitamin D for example, the sunshine vitamins as it is fondly called, it is produced and activated through the skin when one gets enough exposure to the Sun but as basic as that sounds, lots of people are deficient of this vitamin owing to the fact that they cannot get enough sunlight either as a result of less outdoor activities or the fact that they are in largely cold regions with little or no Sunlight. For such people, the surest way for them to top their Vitamin D will be through taking Vitamin D dietary supplements which will be administered by their health care professionals.
One of the first things you should know before purchasing and going ahead to take any immune boosting supplement, as best articulated by dietitian Maxine Smith is this;
“A truly healthy immune system depends on a balanced healthy diet over time, It’s like training for a battle and preparing your body ahead of time so it can get through a good punch when attacked by viruses, bacteria and toxins. Other lifestyle practices such as regular exercise and good sleep will better prepare you for the battle.”
Below are the top 5 things to take into consideration before thinking of purchasing an immune booster;
- Immune boosters are not a replacement for natural immune boosting food sources; While this is in fact correct, here’s what they don’t tell you, they don’t tell you enough that even the healthiest of foods and fruits do not make up for nutritional gaps caused by not getting enough of the nutrients required for optimal functioning of the immune system. The level of nutritional content gotten from food can never be compared to the amount that can be gotten from supplementing with immune boosters and that is why they are prescribed to immunocompromised patients.
- You can absolutely overdose on an immune booster and you do not want that; It may seem like taking a daily multivitamin is probably a good idea to stay healthy especially as most do not require prescription and are sold over the counter, taking large doses of these supplements may be detrimental to the immune system, take vitamin c for example, it is known for it’s immunity boosting effects but did you know a frequent unsupervised dosage of vitamin c can lead to diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain and even cramps which is why it is advised you consult a health care professional before taking any.
- Not all immune boosters deserve to be on your shelf; Undergoing adequate product research is always a good idea, this way you know exactly what you are buying and for what purpose it was produced. At this point you should also be interested in the source of ingredients such as plant or animal source, let’s make it easier, lean more to vegan approved immune boosters.
- You may not necessarily require an immune booster over the recommended level if you are not immunocompromised; People with weak immune systems are the most vulnerable to contracting viruses and diseases which is why they are usually referred to as immunocompromised. Immune boosters are often used as a form of medicine to treat ailments such as colds, or to counteract lifestyle issues caused by stress which is what leads to their abuse in most cases but truth is you may not necessarily require an immune booster if you are in the habit of eating clean and healthy, getting regular checkups and exercising.
- What is Your Recommended Dietary Intake(RDI)? Knowing your RDI is just as important as not over dosing, because of the over the counter nature of supplements generally, you owe it to yourself to at the very least do your research or consult your physician in order to best determine you daily RDI. This will not just help you tell off over zealous medical sales rep who most likely may just be trying to make sales or hit a target thereby not giving enough attention to what is being sold let alone your RDI, it will also give you an edge and better understanding of why you need to purchase certain brands over the others.
Finally, when it comes to immune boosters, there is a wide influx of immune boosting supplement brands but that shouldn’t scare or dissuade you, always choose quality over quantity while also taking into cognizance targeted or specific needs as diagnosed by your health care professional.