“Boosting” has become a common buzzword in the health and wellness field. The word often preys on desperate people wishing for an easy solution to improve the way they feel and look. Everywhere you look there are claims a certain food or product will “boost” metabolism, the libido, and even the immune system.
While some “boosting” claims have validity, often the lines of fact and fiction are blurred to provide a quick answer or sell a product. Our bodies are complex, and a variety of factors contribute to our overall health and wellness.
The immune system involves complicated interactions between cells, tissues, and organs. It creates, stores, and distributes white blood cells helping to fight bacteria and viral infections that enter the body. Due to the complexity of this system, “boosting” it with simple hacks can create a lot of myths.
Common Immune System “Boosting” Myths
Myth: Vitamin C is the quick fix for your immune system.
Vitamin C is an important component to keeping the body healthy. A deficiency in this vitamin will impact the way your immune system functions. Most people get the recommended daily dose of vitamin C (60-80 mg) through their normal diet. Simply stuffing your body with Vitamin C at the first sign of illness may not make it go away. In fact, an excess of Vitamin C (over 2,000 mg) can actually cause inflammation. Make sure you’re getting the recommended amount, but don’t expect your immune system to become a superhero by simply adding extra Vitamin C.
Myth: Vitamin-packed drinks will prevent illness.
At the first sign of the sniffles or a sore throat, you may feel the urge to run to the nearest drug store for some popular immune “boosting” drinks. They often contain many vitamins and minerals helping the immune system to function effectively. It is true deficiencies in nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, E, as well as zinc, folic acid, and selenium can depress the immune system. Most of us living a healthy lifestyle and eating a proper diet already get the proper amounts of these nutrients. Like Vitamin C, excess amounts of these nutrients could be potentially harmful. Instead of spending your money on these “boosting” products, eat a healthy, varied diet and take a daily multivitamin to ensure your body is getting the proper nutrients to help your immune system run effectively.
Immune System Boosting is More than a Quick Fix
Practice these habits to help your immune system and experience overall wellness:
- Find ways to reduce or eliminate unnecessary stress in your life.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Cut out bad habits like smoking, excessive drinking, and binging on junk food.
- Find time for physical activity.
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Find out of you have any nutritional deficiencies by talking to your doctor.