No one likes getting sick.

You feel slow and tired, end up missing your workouts, and may temporarily have to put much of life on hold until you’re all better.

The thing is, we are being exposed to colds and other viruses practically every day, so what often determines whether or not we actually get sick is the strength of our immune system at any given time.

If your immune system is weak, you won’t be able to as effectively fight off these infections and will likely end up getting sick more frequently.

On the other hand, if your immune system is strong, then you’ll have a better chance of fighting off whatever infections your body is exposed to.

Part of maintaining a healthy immune system is having a proper diet, getting enough sleep, and keeping your stress levels at bay – however, these lifestyle factors will not be the focus of this article.

Instead, in this article I’m going to be covering 8 proven immune system boosters that you can take throughout the year to bolster your defenses – or specifically when you notice a cold coming on.

Immune System Booster #1: Zinc

Many people don’t get enough zinc in their diets.

And this is unfortunate, since zinc is one of the most effective immune system boosters out there, especially for people that are deficient.

It is particularly effective at reducing the severity of the common cold, since zinc has been clinically proven to prevent the replication of cold viruses in our nasal passages.

This means that if you take zinc early, at the first signs of a cold, you have a good chance at reducing the duration of that cold, or preventing it from taking hold altogether.

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I always have this on hand myself, especially during cold and flu season, and have recommended it to many clients and friends who share my positive experiences.

Not all zinc is equal, however, so you want to look specifically for zinc gluconate (it should taste pretty metallic if you get the good stuff).

I would highly recommend the Enhanced Zinc Lozenges from Life Extension, which you can order here for about $9 a bottle.

life extension enhanced zinc

Immune System Booster #2: Garlic

Garlic has been used for many years to fight different infections, and unlike some other, more questionable practices (think leeches) the science actually confirms its effectiveness.

Indeed, studies have shown that consuming garlic can reduce both the frequency and severity of common colds and the flu.

Generally it is recommended that you take between 600-1200mg of garlic each day as an immune system booster (you don’t have to take it all the time).

My recommendation would be to get Optimized Garlic from Life Extension, which you can order here for about $17 a bottle.

Unlike other aged garlics, it also contains allicin potential, which has been shown to reduce oxidation and further enhance immunity.

optimized garlic

Immune System Booster #3: Vitamin C

This is a common remedy that many people already take to ward off colds and flus, and to boost their immune systems in general.

And for good reason, since studies have confirmed that taking high doses of vitamin C can lessen cold/flu symptoms.

I would advise supplementing with 1 gram per day, or you may already be getting enough regularly if you’re taking a multi vitamin.

If you are looking for a stand alone vitamin C supplement, I would recommend Vitamin C with Dihydroquercetin from Life Extension, which you can order here for about $17 for a bottle of 250 1 gram tablets.

vitamin c

Immune System Booster #4: Fish Oil

There are a great many benefits that you can expect from taking fish oil regularly.

And one of these is that it can help to to bolster your immune system, as long as you take the right amounts of it.

Unfortunately, lots of brands of fish oil don’t contain nearly enough EPA & DHA in each serving, as I discuss in this article.

For that reason, I highly recommend the Super Omega 3 blend from Life Extension, which you can order here for about $22 per bottle.

It contains more EPA/DHA than most other brands on the market, and is also molecularly distilled for the highest quality.

Super Omega-3

Immune System Booster #5: Vitamin D

Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D with sufficient exposure to the sun.

However, the reality is that most of us don’t get enough sun, especially during those winter months, which can leave us at a deficiency of this important vitamin.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health problems, including a weakened immune system and a greater likelihood of developing the flu.

Thankfully, it is very easy and affordable to supplement with Vitamin D each day.

It is recommended that you get roughly 2000 IU per day if you are over the age of 18, which you are simply not going to get unless you spend a good deal of time in the sun or supplement appropriately.

My suggestion would be to go with Vitamin D3 from Life Extension, which you can order here for $7 for a bottle of 60 5000 IU softgels.

vitamin d

Immune System Booster #6: Ginseng

Ginseng is a common herb, which has been used for centuries to treat a variety of medical disorders.

While not traditionally used in the western world, ginseng has proven immune system boosting properties, making it a potentially effective supplement to take during times where you’re likely to get sick.

While you don’t want to necessarily take ginseng all year round, it is fine to take for several months at a time, especially during cold and flu season.

I would recommend NOW Panax Ginseng, which you can order from Amazon here for $19 per bottle.

ginseng

Immune System Booster #7: Echinacea

Echinacea is often used as a remedy to help boost your immune system.

And while the studies are admittedly conflicted on echinacea, there is a decent amount of evidence to show that it can be effective at preventing you from getting sick.

Again, this is not a supplement that I would recommend taking all of the time, but it is a good option to have on hand to use in conjunction with some of my other recommendations.

If you want to try out echinacea for yourself, I would suggest going with the one from Life Extension, which you can order here for around $10 per bottle.

echinacea

Immune System Booster #8: Probiotics

Finally, the last of the immune system boosters on our list are probiotics.

These are basically certain types of live bacteria that live in your gut, helping not only with digestion but also with your immune system as well.

Unfortunately, many of the lower quality brands sell bacteria that isn’t actually alive, which makes it of little value.

For this reason, I would recommend going with a trusted brand like NOW, where you are getting live bacteria that can actually help boost your immunity.

You can order a bottle of NOW Probiotic 10 from Amazon here for around $26.

probiotics

What do you think of the immune system boosters on this list? Let us know in the comments below.