Our Favorite Immune Essentials: The Swanson Staff’s Hand-Picked Nutrients
By Swanson Staff
There are a lot of immune-supporting products out there, so it can be hard to tell which ones are worth the hype. If you’re curious what our Swanson staff uses to maintain healthy immune systems, we’ve got you covered with our hand-picked immune essentials.
When it comes to bolstering immune function and giving our wellness routine an edge, many of us turn to elderberry. There’s a lot to love about this timeless nutrient, and an assortment of forms to take it in.
For some of us it’s the elderberry extract syrup. Others reach for convenient elderberry capsules because let’s face it, we’re not all fans of the flavor.
All provide potent doses of elderberry and elderflowers, but the syrup does include red raspberry leaf as an added bonus. It really just comes down to personal preference as far as the form goes since each provides plenty of immune health benefits.
Why we love it: Elderberry is a classic go-to nutrient that even Hippocrates used. We love being able to provide a modern version of this ancient herbal wonder so that we can all enjoy its abundance of bioflavonoids and antioxidants to give our immune systems some seasonal support.
The sunshine vitamin is one of our hot picks year-round. Some of us live in bigger cities where sunlight gets blocked by buildings and a lot of us just spend a lot of our time indoors. For all of us though, vitamin D is a brilliant way to include this essential nutrient in our wellness routines no matter where we are.
Vitamin D comes in easy-to-swallow softgels in 3 different potencies, making it simple to choose the dose we need. For seasonal wellness with shorter days, many of us prefer to take the highest potency softgels which include 5,000 IU (125 mcg) per serving.
Why we love it: Vitamin D is one of our favorite multitaskers. We appreciate its ability to help our bodies absorb calcium and build strong bones as well as support our immune systems, mood, cardiovascular health and nervous system function. That’s a lot of work in one nutrient, making it easy to love and use in our day-to-day routines.
Vitamin C is probably one of the most popular picks we use for seasonal woes. Since vitamin C is usually provided in citrus fruits that aren’t in season during cold weather, we take extra care to make sure we’re still getting the daily recommended value of this essential nutrient.
This immune booster comes in multiple forms and potencies, making it extremely customizable to our unique needs. One of the top forms we prefer is our vitamin C with rose hips capsules, which provide 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 15 mg of rose hips per serving. The two nutrients work together in order to provide added antioxidant support, which we definitely appreciate when the going gets tough.
Another favorite for those of us who prefer to switch it up from capsules is the vitamin C powder that dissolves easily into water. Between its great taste, versatility and free-radical-quenching abilities, it’s a popular choice to help keep our immune defenses strong.
Why we love it: Since every cell in our body uses vitamin C, it’s beneficial to ensure that we’re getting enough of it to stay healthy. Vitamin C promotes immune cell production, neutralizes free-radicals and defends against oxidative stress, making it one of our top picks for immune health support.
Not everyone knows just how important digestive health is for healthy immune function, but we sure do! Since 70% of our immune system is in our gut, we really need to take care of it to promote healthy immune function.
The foods we consume don’t reach our bloodstream without going through our gut wall first, which is where our microbiome steps in. By keeping harmful substances out and absorbing only the good stuff, our gut wall gets more fortified. Probiotics help to support higher numbers of beneficial bacteria so that our digestive and immune health are in top shape.
We’re very grateful to have a number of probiotics to choose from, but one of our favorites is our 16-strain probiotic. This unique formulation offers more than 4 times the number of strains compared to most other probiotics and even includes a prebiotic to nourish helpful bacteria. Best of all, everything comes in a single-serve capsule, making it simple to take.
A lot of us also like probiotic gummies, especially if we’re not a fan of swallowing capsules. They taste great, only have 2 grams of sugar per gummy and are both vegetarian and gluten free.
Why we love it: As you can tell, we love a good multitasking nutrient. Between supporting digestive and immune health, probiotics are an easy win to regulate microbial balance and immune cell function.
This one is a totally different kind of immune booster. EpiCor is a whole food fermentate that is produced through a proprietary multi-stage process using nutritional yeast. It exhibits prebiotic activity that supports a healthy microbiome and also provides high-metabolite immunogens that nourish the immune system.
These nutrients come in single-serve capsules and is right up there with our love for probiotics.
Why we love it: Again, we love our multitaskers. EpiCor delivers effective immune support to keep us all feeling our best and exhibits prebiotic activity to support a healthy microbiome.
Now why would melatonin be included in our top immune favorites? Isn’t that used for sleep? It sure is, and it’s a powerful immune supporter that we all love to keep in our back pocket. Here’s why.
When we get restful sleep, our bodies produce special proteins called cytokines. These cell signaling molecules help with cell communication and regulate immune response. When we can’t get restful sleep, our bodies can’t produce cytokines which weakens our immune response.
That brings us back to melatonin—this sleep-promoting nutrient encourages healthy sleep patterns and helps regulate our body’s circadian rhythm, or “internal clock” that controls our sleep-wake cycle. Not to mention it also acts as an antioxidant and combats free radicals. Win-win, right?
We love using triple strength melatonin to get some serious shuteye, but our favorite is the dual-release formula which releases melatonin in stages for 1.5 mg right off the bat and an additional 1.5 mg that is gradually released to get restful sleep throughout the night.
Why we love it: None of us are fans of lying awake or tossing and turning. We also aren’t fans of feeling less than 100% because of losing sleep. Melatonin helps us rest and recharge so we can get back to doing what we love without putting our immune system under stress. This one is just an all-around feel good sort of support.
Last, but not least—one of our absolute favorite immune helpers—olive leaf extract. With its high amounts of antioxidant activity and ability to support the body’s natural defenses, this versatile herb extends a branch to support immune health.
Olive leaves feature a unique antioxidant constituent known as oleuropein, which neutralizes harmful free-radicals to bolster immune function. Our go-to is the extra-strength olive leaf extract with 20% oleuropein concentration and an impressive 150 mg oleuropein per capsule. But we also like to use our olive leaf liquid extract that comes with a dropper for easy dosing.
Why we love it: Similar to elderberries, olive leaf extract has been supporting wellness for centuries. In ancient Egypt, olive leaf was considered a symbol of heavenly power. Who wouldn’t want a slice of heaven to promote immune health and overall wellness?
Like you, we’re always looking for the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and promote overall wellness. We hope that this window into our medicine cabinets is helpful when considering your immune health options. Thank you for allowing us to walk with you throughout your wellness journey.
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Your Friends at Swanson
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.