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It’s that time of year again. Nope, I’m not talking about the holidays... I’m talking about cold and flu season. Especially for families with children in school or daycare – germs are rampant and are ready and excited to put a damper on your holiday cheer. The good news is, you don’t have to go at it alone – you can fight back against seasonal sicknesses this year by intentionally supporting your immune system with the help of three superfoods that have been tested and deemed by research as potent immunity boosters. In this article, we’ll explore what current research says about the immune system strengthening properties of Black Seed Oil, Chondrus Crispus (Sea Moss), and Liquid Ionic Zinc.
What is Immunity, Really?
By definition, immunity is the ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells (Oxford Languages). Your immune system is wise, but there are ways to make it even wiser. Some simple ways to enhance immunity are eating well, exercising regularly, maintaining a health weight, getting adequate sleep, and avoiding immune system weakeners such as alcohol and smoking. So how do you know if your immune system is weak? We will cover the signs in the next section.
Signs of a Weak Immune System
Symptoms of a weak or underperforming immune system can include but are not limited to:
- Frequent colds / illnesses
- Digestive issues (cramping, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea)
- Slow wound healing (skin rashes, inflammation, infections, dry skin)
- Feeling tired all the time
- Delayed growth and development in children
- Blood disorders like low platelet count or anemia
- Inflamed or infected internal organs
How To Strengthen Immunity and Prevent Infections
Even if you are not experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you can still benefit greatly from taking a proactive approach to keeping yourself healthy by beefing up your immune system.
How does one work to support their own immunity? Luckily, there are a variety of different measures one can take to help prevent illnesses and a weakened immune system. Among these are the practice of good hygiene, maintaining oral health, eating whole foods, prioritizing physical activity, adequate rest, stress management, avoiding exposure to germs and supplementing the immune system with natural herbs and roots.
3 Best Supplements for Immune System Support
Black Seed Oil
Black Seed Oil has a strong reputation for its immune boosting properties, and for good reason. A medical review of all the most up to date Nigella sativa (black seed oil) research confirmed the beneficial immunomodulatory properties of this oil, which augmented the T cell- and natural killer cell-mediated immune responses (1).
The International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research even calls the immunomodulatory effects of N. sativa one of its most valuable properties (2).
According to a review published in the Journal of Phytomedicine, components of the Nigella sativa plant are known for its intense immune-regulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits in obstructive respiratory disorders. The review cites a molecular docking study that gave evidences that N. sativa decelerates COVID-19 and might give the same or better results than the FDA approved drugs. In conclusion, the review found Thymoquinone (the main active compound found in Black Seed Oil), Nigellidine, and α-hederin can be potential influencers in reinforcing the immune response on molecular grounds (3).
This ancient oil has been used medicinally for centuries and is a great asset for your immune boosting arsenal year-round, but especially during the winter cold and flu season. Boosting immunity is just one of its many benefits; it is also touted for its anti-inflammatory properties. To learn more about this historic oil, read the linked article below.
Chondrus Crispus (Irish Sea Moss)
Sea moss is heavily praised for its immune boosting properties. While human research is lacking, animal and in vitro models have shown promising evidence of its ability to enhance the immune system’s ability to fight back against viruses and illnesses.
One study, using a Caenorhabditis elegans (round worm) infection model, shows that Chondrus crispus water extract enhances host immunity and suppresses communication between bacteria and the virulence factors of germs that can cause infections in humans (4).
Separately, an animal study found seaweed supplementation improved immune modulation and immune response (5). On top of these studies, we know that sea moss contains 92 of the 102 trace minerals needed for the body to function at its optimal capacity. These minerals, combined with its dense nutrient profile of vitamins and antioxidants, make sea moss another great way to supplement the immune system year-round or during times of heightened sickness. For more information on sea moss and its other potential benefits, read the linked article below.
Liquid Ionic Zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral for the immune system and overall health. Zinc ions are involved in regulating intracellular signaling pathways in innate and adaptive immune cells (6). It is vital to the activity of over 300 enzymes that aid in metabolism, digestion, and nerve function, is critical for immune system function, skin health, DNA synthesis, protein production, and cell growth and cell division.
On top of this, the human body does not produce or store Zinc on its own (7). While it can be absorbed through high Zinc foods, diet is sometimes not enough. Zinc supplements can ensure adequate daily intake of this important element while improving overall health, boosting immunity, and preventing against various diseases. Knowing this, Zinc should be at the top of the list when it comes to supporting not just overall health and wellness, but an optimally functioning immune system. To learn more about Zinc, read the linked article below.
While it’s not possible to always avoid germs, it is possible to strengthen the immune system to help combat and prevent these germs from invading the body with their sickness. A high functioning immune system can help you fight off sickness more quickly and recover faster. Cold and flu season are the most common time to reach for the health supplements, but what if instead of waiting for sick seasons to roll around, you were proactive with your immune health instead?
The function of the immune system is directly affected by diet, activity level, sleep, and high levels of stress. You can help support your own immunity by eating well, exercising, getting enough rest, managing stress, and incorporating immune boosting supplements into your diet.
Black Seed Oil, Sea Moss, and Ionic Zinc are just a few of the many supplements out there that can help maximize immune strength. These three products are all potent immune strengtheners and can be easily incorporated into any diet. Choose just one, or take all three together. Either way, your immune system will thank you!