Most people think about giving their immune system a boost when cold and flu season looms. That’s a great idea, but the reality is that every season represents an excellent opportunity for building a better immune system through supplements. You might decide to increase supplement dosage as autumn draws near. However, focusing on year round health will give you even better results as well as preventing you from suffering from the dreaded summer cold.
Year Round Supplements
Supplements like vitamin D and Omega-3s should be taken throughout the year. Vitamin D provides a vital boost to your immune response. Studies have shown that getting adequate amounts of this nutrient help to prevent colds and flu as well as other illnesses. Humans get most of their vitamin D from the sun, but if you get little sun exposure, you should definitely consider taking a supplement. Omega-3s keep your heart healthy, but they also support the immune system. Phagocytes, which eat bacteria to help fight infections, are assisted in large part by omega-3s. These super supplements also have the ability to increase respiratory function, which is vital to avoiding infections. Yummy foods like tuna, walnuts, olive oil and salmon are all bursting with omega-3s. If you still feel like you’re not getting enough, try supplementing with fish oil.
At the Beginning of Cold and Flu Season
When the weather starts to turn cold and everyone around you seems to be sniffling, make a trip to the local organic foods grocery store or alternative health center to stock up on astragalus. The Chinese have used this root for many centuries because of its ability to keep users healthy. It does this by stimulating your body’s white blood cells. Traditionally, astragalus is ingested in teas or soups. However, you can probably find it in capsule form at your health food store. It can take a couple of months for astragalus to reach its full effectiveness, so consider starting to take it several weeks before the cold and flu season arrives.
What to Do If You’re Already Sick
Sometimes, despite your best efforts you’ll still get hit with a cold. When that happens, it’s best to start supplementing with zinc. You can start taking zinc at the first sign that you’re a bit under the weather. The virus in your nose and throat multiplies quickly with a cold, and many scientists have suggested that zinc can halt this multiplication. As an added bonus, zinc helps the body produce even more infection fighting white blood cells. Even if the symptoms turn out to be a false alarm, taking some extra zinc for a few days isn’t harmful. However, lots of extra zinc supplementation should not be a regular part of your routine. Taking too much zinc can actually have the effect of suppressing your immune system, so don’t take the increased dosage over a prolonged period of time.
Other Supplements to Consider
Vitamin C is another all around useful supplement that you should consider taking all year. Most multivitamins are an excellent source of adequate amounts of vitamin C. This wonder nutrient helps to coat cells, making it easier for them to fight off infection. Additionally, vitamin C has been shown to increase the production of white blood cells, which are necessary for fending off illness.
Vitamin E, commonly found in foods like grains, vegetable oils and seeds, can also be a valuable ally to your immune system. In fact, vitamin E has actually been shown to assist with the generation of cells in the body that seek out and destroy germs. This nutrient is also commonly found in proper dosage in most multivitamin supplements.
Make Healthy Living an Every Day Choice
Above all, keep in mind that the best way to maintain a healthy immune system regardless of the season is by choosing to lead a healthy lifestyle. Good nutrition, regular exercise and quality sleep all help you to feel your best even at the height of cold and flu season. Choose supplements to add to your routine throughout the year, and choose one or two others to begin taking before winter to maintain optimum health.
Ron Thompson writes for Del-Immune V®, a unique probiotic supplement made from the lactobacillus rhamnosus which is a natural immune system booster and offers how to treat sinusitis.