Have you caught a pesky cold yet this season? If you’ve been feeling under the weather, you’re most certainly not alone.
According to the CDC, there have been approximately 19 - 26 million cases of cold and flu illnesses since October 1, 2019.
When temperatures drop and we spend more time hiding indoors, we’re exposed to more germs and lower amounts of essential vitamin D from sunlight.
This leads our immune systems to be weaker and more susceptible to getting sick during the chilly winter months.
If you’ve been bouncing from one cold to the next so far this winter, it may be time to consider ramping up your holistic supplement routine with immune-boosting vitamins, nutrients, and herbs.
These nine natural dietary supplements may potentially help strengthen your immune system and aid your body in fighting off flu-related germs and viruses.
Along with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle, many of the top nutritionists and doctors recommend and even use these natural remedies themselves when attempting to strengthen a weakened immune system.
Are you ready to find out what some of these herbal remedies might be that can help you boost your body's natural defenses? Read on!
It's important to remember that when it comes to herbal medicine, these supplements are not a one-size-fits all and it's always best to consult with a medical professional to construct an individualized immune-boosting game plan. For instance, this especially applies to those with preexisting conditions, such as certain autoimmune conditions, just to name a few.
These herbs are generally best used as part of a holistic lifestyle, and shouldn't be relied on solely for immune support. For complete immune support, we more strongly recommend smart dietary choices, a healthy lifestyle, and targeted supplements (like our Immune Support Bundle or Primal Immune Defense), that contain foundational elements, such as vitamins C, D3, B6, probiotics, and minerals such as zinc.
Believed to contain potent antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, this superfood has been shown in some studies to have the potential to lessen symptoms and duration of illness.
Garlic contains a healing compound known asalliin, which has been shown to increase disease-fighting responses in certain white blood cells when introduced to illness-causing viruses.
It may possess a pungent odor, but this doesn’t stop doctors and nutritionists from regularly recommending garlic as a healthy dietary addition for patients in need of wellness support.
An ancient Indian superfood used in Ayurvedic healing for centuries, the curumin in turmeric has been shown to have some pretty amazing health-boosting abilities.
Curcumin has been a hot topic amongst medical researchers in recent years and more and more studies continue to be released on the powerful potential abilities of curcumin to help promote whole body wellness. This is especially true when it comes to supporting healthy inflammatory responses and general immune health.
Over 70% of your immune system’s cells reside in your gut. That’s why healing any gut-related issues is by far one of the best things you can do to help maintain a healthy immune system. A diverse strain, high quality probiotic supplement that contains prebiotics can do wonders when it comes to preserving healthy gut bacteria and strong immune function.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is definitely a must-have during cold and flu season, according to the majority of doctors and nutritionists. Perhaps the most well-known immune-boosting supplement, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that may help relieve cold symptoms and shorten the length of illness by protecting against free-radical damage and oxidative stress. A vitamin C supplement, when taken in the correct doses, may help support general immunity, in addition to natural food sources like citrus fruits, broccoli, and tomatoes.
Yet another superfood nutritionists and other experts can’t seem to live without, ginger is famous for its distinctive spicy flavor and immune support abilities. In addition to helping prevent nausea and alleviating stomach upset, ginger is believed to contain antiviral and antioxidant powers that have been used as an ancient healing herb throughout history.
Echinacea is yet another herb that has been very popular lately when it comes to maintaining a healthy immune system. Shown to have the potential to boost germ-fighting white blood cells that reduce length and severity of colds, echinacea is most effective when taken immediately at the onset of flu-like symptoms.
Elderberry has also been shown to potentially help shorten the duration of colds and flu and get you back on your feet faster. Many nutritional experts love recommending elderberry to their patients for its pleasant floral flavor as part of a more comprehensive immune support plan.
One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that 90% of participants in their 40-person study reported feeling completely better within 2-3 days of taking elderberry supplements.
Studies have found that if 70mg of zinc is taken at the immediate onset of flu symptoms, it can possibly stop the oncoming sickness in its tracks.
A popular ingredient in many throat lozenges, zinc may help decrease length and severity of colds and flu. However, take caution with correct dosage and be careful not to overdo it. Zinc can actually suppress the immune system if taken in excessive amounts.
Some studies show that supplementing with magnesium may help your body manage stress more effectively and keep your immune system healthy, by increasing GABA levels. This makes magnesium highly important to immune health, because feeling overly stressed or anxious can wreak havoc on an already weakened immune system.
Often deficient in most people’s diets, magnesium helps strengthen bones and muscles, support healthy cognitive function, and regulate essential female hormones.
Magnesium’s important role in your body’s stress-response system may help promote feelings of calm and improve sleep quality, both of which are important facts in healthy immune system function.
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