Recommendations for proper dietary supplement use to strengthen immunity
Strengthening immunity is a long-term, thoughtful, and complex process. A balanced and well-planned daily diet, an optimal amount of physical activity, quality rest, avoiding harmful habits, and eliminating them from your daily routine - all these elements help to strengthen immunity. To avoid catching a cold and other illnesses, it is particularly important to consume the required amount of various nutrients every day, using as diverse a range of food products as possible. People can provide themselves with all the necessary nutrients by eating a wholesome, natural, and healthy diet. In the cold season, when fresh vegetables and fruits are less available and more challenging to include in our daily diet, there is a high probability that a deficiency of these nutrients may develop due to an insufficiently varied diet or other reasons. This can be addressed by supplementing the diet with immunity-boosting vitamins and minerals, taken in advance so that the body can create the necessary nutrient reserves on its own.
How to know when is the best time to strengthen your immunity?
Immunity can weaken not only due to insufficient intake of nutrients and vitamins but also due to unbalanced diets, rapid weight loss, excessive alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, or even air pollution. Prolonged stress, extensive physical or mental work, fatigue, and lack of quality sleep can also weaken immunity, just like all the previously mentioned factors.
It is essential to use various immunity-boosting dietary supplements in the diet, selected according to the body's needs. If you experience long-term fatigue, weakness, heightened sensitivity to the environment, or more frequent illnesses and colds, it may indicate that your immunity has not been strengthened but, on the contrary, weakened for an extended period.
At what times of the day is it recommended to take dietary supplements and how should they be combined?
- Vitamin D - is essential for bone health, strengthening immunity. Its use reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. Vitamin D is best absorbed in the body when taken with food, especially in the presence of fats. Iron - reduced iron levels can cause fatigue and weaken the strengthened immune system. It is recommended to take it on an empty stomach. It is advisable not to use iron-containing dietary supplements with tea, coffee, or calcium, as these products can negatively affect the volume and speed of iron absorption.
- Vitamin C - ensures normal immune system function and promotes energy processes in the body. Vitamin C stays in the body for only a few hours after use, so it is recommended to divide the chosen vitamin dose throughout the day.
- B vitamins - help provide the necessary energy metabolism in the body, are responsible for the proper functioning of the nervous system, and help reduce fatigue.
- Vitamin E - recommended for maintaining a strong and healthy cardiovascular system. Vitamin E is best absorbed when consumed with fats, fat-containing products, such as yogurt, milk, nuts, or avocado.
- Coenzyme Q10 - promotes energy processes in cells and increases physical endurance. It is also recommended to take this product with fatty foods for better absorption.
- Zinc - supports normal immune system, fertility, and reproductive system functions. Zinc is found in large quantities in protein-rich foods such as fish, seafood, nuts, and seeds. It is recommended not to take zinc on an empty stomach or with calcium or iron.
- Iodine - is responsible for hormone production processes in the thyroid gland and skin health. The most common sources of iodine are seaweed, shrimp, cod liver, and milk.
- Calcium - most often associated with bone and tooth health among vitamins, but it also plays an important role in blood clotting, helping muscles contract. Calcium is also used in the body to maintain a normal heart rhythm, regulate it, and participate in normal nerve function. The highest amount of calcium is found in dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt, as well as various vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens, and fish with soft, edible bones such as sardines and canned salmon.
- Vitamin K - is responsible for blood clotting processes, helps in wound healing, and is used to maintain bone health. The highest amounts of this vitamin are found in broccoli, cabbage, spinach, parsley, and vegetable oils.
- Fish oil - contains essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for normal brain function, heart and eye health, and growth and development in the body. Since the body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids itself, they must be consumed through food products or dietary supplements.
- Magnesium - is responsible for healthy bones and teeth. Legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, milk, and yogurt are considered to be the richest sources of magnesium. It promotes a relaxing sensation in the body, so it is recommended to take it at night to avoid drowsiness during the active hours of the day. Magnesium is an important trace element that can ensure quality sleep.
It is important to note that immunity should be strengthened not only with diet and dietary supplements but also naturally, for example, by spending at least 30-60 minutes outdoors every day, exercising, and not staying in stuffy rooms but ventilating them regularly. It is recommended to allocate at least 7-8 hours of sleep per day. Of course, it is also very important to eat healthily and balanced, and to consume foods that are rich in minerals and nutrients. These are foods that contain a lot of vitamins and trace elements, such as avocados, carrots, beets, broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, most legumes, protein-rich foods, and fruits.