With the chilly temperatures and windy weather hitting us lately, it seems like everywhere we look people are sneezing, coughing, and getting ill. aHave you been feeling the on-set of a head cold recently? Instead of reaching for OTC medicines, consider trying these 5 natural health supplements to boost your immune system instead.
It has been reported that these popular health supplements can help you combat the symptoms of a cold by bolstering your immunity and giving your body the nutrition it needs to stay healthy this season.
5 Health Supplements That Boost Your Immune System
ECHINACEA: While not intended for long-term use, this herb has reportedly been known to help boost the immune system and minimize the symptoms of the common cold. At the early on-set of a cold, you could take Echinacea health supplements to help strengthen your immune system.
“Several clinical trials have shown that people who take echinacea as soon as they feel sick reduce the severity of their cold and have fewer symptoms than those who do not take the herb. One study of 95 people with early symptoms of cold and flu (such as runny nose, scratchy throat, and fever) found that those who drank several cups of echinacea tea every day for 5 days felt better sooner than those who drank tea without echinacea.” [Source: University of Maryland Medical Center]
GREEN TEA: In addition to tasting great and making your feel warm on cold, blustery days, Green Tea has long been thought to help your overall health and wellness, and keep your immune system operating efficiently. To make life easy, Green Tea is also available in capsule form.
“By strengthening immune agents, protecting against oxidative stress that can damage cells and preventing autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, green tea is thought to be highly beneficial for the human body. Aside from their anti-cancerous properties, the antioxidants in green tea are beneficial in generally strengthening the immune system. By protecting it against damage from compounds known as free radicals and similar compounds in the body, green tea keeps the immune system running normally. Healthy immune systems are better at handling infections from bacteria, parasites and viruses.” [Source: Livestrong.com]
PROBIOTICS: Contained in foods like Yogurt, Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria that help support the immune system and digestive tract by combating harmful bacteria in the body.
“Research published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that New Zealand athletes had about 40% fewer colds and gastrointestinal infections when they took a probiotic compared to when they took a placebo.” [Source: Prevention Magazine]
VITAMIN C: Naturally found in fruits and vegetables, and available in chewable, tablet, and supplement form, Vitamin C is one of the must-have health supplements you could use to help strengthen your immune system and prevent a cold from developing. Vitamin C reportedly has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties that can help your body stay healthy and well.
Dr. Mark Moyad of the University of Michigan states, “There is good evidence taking vitamin C for colds and flu can reduce the risk of developing further complications, such as pneumonia and lung infections.'”[Source: WebMD]
ZINC: “Studies show that zinc, which can be found in foods including pumpkin seeds, spinach, oysters, nuts, and beans, can help shorten the duration of a cold by a few days. That’s because it has powerful immune-boosting and protective effects and may stop the replication of a cold’s cell, explains (Dr. Frank) Lipman. If you feel a cold coming on, supplement a healthy diet with 25 mg of zinc per day on a short-term basis, he advises.” [Source: Everyday Health]
In addition to maintaining a balanced lifestyle, having a healthy diet, and minimizing the stress in your life, taking health supplements (like herbs and vitamins) can help improve your body’s ability to fight-off the symptoms of the common cold.
It’s important to note that “herbs contain active substances that may trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs only under the supervision of a health care provider knowledgeable in the field of botanical medicine.” [Source: University of Maryland Medical Center]
[Image Credit: Shutterstock. Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. Always consult with a Doctor or health care provider before taking any health supplements. Affiliate links contained.]
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