Boosting Your Immune System: Tips for Vegans

Boosting the immune system can be more of a challenge than you might imagine. While there are many immunity-boosting formulations marketed as being all-natural, and some even claim to be vegan, it doesn’t always mean that they are.

In fact, if you look closely at the labels, it is not uncommon to find at least one active or inactive ingredient that doesn’t make the cut. With so many reasons to boost your immune system, this is one challenge you need to meet head-on. Here’s why.

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1. Embrace the True Precepts of Veganism

The first thing to be aware of when living the vegan lifestyle is just that. Being a vegan goes far beyond diet. It is a lifestyle that rejects more than just animal products or byproducts in the diet. Veganism is defined by the Vegan Society as “a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

In other words, anything that exploits animals for clothing, food, or anything at all will be excluded from their lifestyle.

2. Start with a Vegan Dietary Approach to Boosting Immunity

It’s ‘funny’ how some products on shelves of pharmacies and even health food stores, will list products claiming to be natural ways to boost immunity. However, upon reading the fine print on the back of the package that lists ingredients, chances are there is at least one ingredient that vegans reject. Honey is a big one.

Keep in mind that it is a ‘byproduct’ of animals as it is made by bees, so those formulations with honey are not vegan. Some of the leading immunity-boosting OTC supplements list honey as an ingredient that should immediately disqualify that product from the very start.

Apart from products and their vegan ingredients, consuming only vegan products may not fully replenish all needs of the body. But there are diverse methods to replenish the body’s nutrient needs. In addition, vegan formulas often contain zinc, selenium, and copper, which are all important minerals for immune function. Herbs such as echinacea and garlic are also commonly found in vegan immunity-boosting formulas.

3. Healthy Living a la Veganism

Remember that being a vegan goes beyond dietary restrictions. It is a way of life and, as such, if you are trying to boost immunity as a vegan, the safest path is a healthy lifestyle. Sleep deprivation can often lead to a number of serious health concerns so a product like Impossible’s Sleep drink helps to restore a balanced wake/sleep cycle. If there are things in your life preventing you from getting adequate amounts of sleep, then the two main vegan-friendly ingredients that ease you into sleep are:

  • L-theanine.
  • Magnesium.

Both are found naturally, and neither is an animal product or byproduct. 

4. Nothing Can Be Overlooked

Especially when reading the list of ingredients on product labels, it pays to stay vigilant. As mentioned, honey is a big one in terms of dietary ingredients to be rejected. Take the time to read the labels with the understanding that some manufacturers just don’t understand the difference between vegetarianism and veganism. Some of the leading immunity-boosting supplements are flavored with honey and so should be rejected.

It Should Come Naturally

There is a huge body of evidence that supports the claim that a healthy lifestyle can be the key to immunity much of the time. While there are some diseases and illnesses you could never hope to be immune to, a vegan lifestyle can lessen the harmful effects of that contagion you have been exposed to. By reducing stress and improving the sleep/wake cycle, your body should automatically counter disease-causing pathogens.

In other words, it pays to stay vigilant to animal products and byproducts in your diet because that promotes a healthier way of life. In the end, the key to boosting immunity as a vegan is getting plenty of rest, reducing stress, and embracing a healthy diet. 

Ashley Hubbard

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