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20 Resources for Strengthening Your Immune System

20 resources for strengthening your immune system

Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

Kent Probst, BS, MEd

Kent Probst is the owner of Long Healthy Life Blog

Strengthening your immune system is more important than ever.  Not just because your immune system declines with age.

You need to be able to fight off cold and flu viruses, as well as any other diseases like cancer, bacteria and fungi.

There are lots of things you’ll need to do.  Strengthening your immune system should be a holistic approach.

But how do you decide which ones fit your needs?

We’ll take a look a wide array of strategies to help you develop a personalized plan.

Let’s get started.


1) Foods that Strengthen the Immune System

Your diet should make up the foundation upon which you strengthen your immune system.

If you can’t eat whole garlic, the supplement in capsule form may be an alternative.

Yogurt is good, but  kefir is often better because it has more probiotics.  Use the unsweetened kefir and make it better by sweetening it with stevia.

Although turmeric is good to cook with, the amount of curcumin it contains is only a tiny percent.

You’re better off getting curcumin in the supplement form, such as from Life Extension, which sells the gold standard.

As far as green tea goes, you should shoot for three cups a day, if possible.


2) Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System Naturally

This blog is right on advising increasing your dietary intake of antioxidants.

While you’re doing that, you may want to try the Mediterranean Diet.

It’s long been known that exercise is integral to strengthening your immune system.

Make sure you change your exercise routine at least once a month to avoid overuse injuries.

And getting plenty of sleep is a great way strengthen your immune system.  It also has a multitude of other benefits as well.


3) Eight Simple Ways to Keep Your Immune System in Top Shape

Australian Susie Burrell provides some great advice that’s not commonly seen among recommendations for strengthening your immune system.

Ms. Burrell makes some good recommendations on incorporating probiotic and prebiotics into your diet.

Many people have heard that chicken soup is helpful in strengthening your immune system if you have a cold or flu.

Did you know chicken soup contains carnosine, which is also available in a supplement form if you’re vegetarian?


4) Vitamin D and the Immune System

Life Extension has a very helpful and informative report on the importance of vitamin D for your immune system.

Make sure you take your Vitamin D with a heavy meal so it gets absorbed.

Vitamin D should make up the foundation of your supplement regimen for strengthening your immune system.


5) Melatonin in Inflammation, Autoimmune Diseases & Immunity

Joe Cohen provides a great scientifically referenced literature review of how melatonin strengthens your immune system.

Not only does melatonin help you sleep better, it helps fight aging.

Life Extension believes melatonin should be part of your winter cold and flu defense.


6) Immunity Benefits of Zinc as We Age

A good overview of zinc functions and benefits on Very Well Health is provided here.

You should be getting zinc in your multivitamin mineral formula.

Adding zinc lozenges to your anti-cold regimen has been shown shorten the cold and flu infection and lessen symptoms.


7) Five Ways Garlic Boosts Immunity

Garlic is a great addition to your winter cold and flu prevention or treatment regimen.

This is a concise and quick read from Everyday Health.

Consult your doctor if you’re taking an anticoagulant.  Garlic can interfere with your medication.


8) Boost Your Immune System and Fight Colds with Probiotics

The Brainerd Dispatch provides practical advice on how to incorporate probiotics into your diet.

Yogurt is good, but kefir is often better because it has more probiotics.  Use the unsweetened kefir and make it better by sweetening it with stevia.


9) Why Selenium is Essential for Strengthening the Immune System

Your first source of selenium should be food, and this website provides a list of foods and their selenium content.

After that, you can find selenium in many multinutrient supplement formulas.

Selenium also combats immunosenescence, or age-related immune system decline.


10) Five Mushrooms that Boost Immunity and Fight Cancer

Maitake and shiitake are part of the anti-inflammatory diet, and for good reason as you’ll see.

When a recipe calls for mushrooms, try using shiitake mushrooms.

Immune boosting mushrooms are also available in supplement form to help you restore youthful immune function.


11) Why 20 Minutes is the Magic Number for a Healthier Immune System

Try starting by exercising 3 times per week with walking, running, swimming or bicycling.

Make sure you stretch after your workout; each stretch 3-5 times, holding each stretch 30 seconds without pain.


12) How Much Exercise is Healthy for Your Immune System?

Don’t go hog wild with your exercise program.

Too much exercise can acutely weaken your immune system.

Moderation is always the key.


13) Making Sleep Your No. 1 Priority Can Help Prevent & Overcome Illness

You may find it hard to believe, but one third of Americans have insomnia.

Chronic insomnia is linked to a multitude of serious illnesses.

If you have insomnia, you may want to try natural remedies.


14) Healthy Immunity with Bovine Colostrum and Lactoferrin

Dr. Murray provides a good literature review of the mechanisms and benefits of lactoferrin.

Lactoferrin may be useful for enhancing compromised immune systems, as well as preventing and treating cold and flu viruses.

It also promotes probiotic bacterial growth.


15) Echinacea: The Herbal Immune Booster

If you’re looking for an herbal supplement to prevent or treat colds and flu, try Echinacea.

Long term use of Echinacea in Europe is common during the winter flu season.

A review of 14 studies at the University of Connecticut found that the incidence of flu was reduced by 58% by taking Echinacea.


16) The Many Uses of Astragalus

Astragalus is used widely in China to prevent and treat colds and flu.

Caution is advised, as it may cause indigestion.

If you have an auto-immune disorder, consult your physician before taking astragalus.


17) Activate Your Natural Killer Cells

Enzymatically modified rice bran (EMRB) is backed up a large body published scientific studies.

EMRB is available as a supplement in the form of a tablet.

It also can protect you from seasonal immune challenges.


18) How Well Does Andrographis Work?

Andrographis encourages macrophage activity & natural killer cell function.

You may get better results with Andrographis than with Echinacea.

Andrographis should not be used if you’re pregnant or lactating.

If you’re taking an anticoagulant, consult your physician before taking.


19) How Tinospora Cordifolia Boosts the Immune System

Kamal Patel provides good guidelines for usage of Tinospora Cordifolia and analysis of the benefits.

You’ll find that the ayurvedic herb has benefits that go well beyond fight colds and flu.

This herb is also available as a supplement in capsule form.


20) Creating Your Immune Strengthening Strategy

At this point you have a lot of options for strengthening your immune system.

Your personalized immune strengthening strategy will depend on your needs and your budget.

The foundation of your immune strengthening strategy should start with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

When supplementing, start with a quality multi-nutrient formula, Omega-3 fish oil and probiotics.

Supplementing with vitamin D, selenium, zinc, vitamin C and melatonin are your next line of defense.

You may want add an herbal supplement if you want to do more.

As always, when taking nutritional and herbal supplements, consult your physician, especially if you have any medical conditions, or are pregnant or lactating.

With the proper diet, exercise and supplements you can prevent a viral infection or greatly reduce its severity by strengthening your immune system.


Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.



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12 Responses

  1. Thank you for the highly useful and well thought out advice! I would like to add that curry is an additional source of nutrients, and some varieties of curry contain turmeric.

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Hi, I'm Kent

As a personal trainer, exercise physiologist, and bodybuilder, I’ve dedicated my life to optimal nutrition, fitness and natural remedies. And putting it all into practice. Now I’m taking my experience and knowledge to the next level by helping others through blogging.


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