At this point, a large majority of the population in the United States are dealing with the flu or colds. Being sick stinks! Your whole routine goes out the window whether it is you getting sick or you are taking care of a sick family member. I've been very lucky that over the past several years, (really I can't remember when), I've been able to avoid flu & colds.
I did have a couple of years where I contracted bronchitis, but it was being triggered by allergies. It seems I've been able to break that pattern by paying closer attention on when to take an antihistamine & using a Neti pot frequently as allergy season begins. But I digress!
I really believe that my diet and the supplements I take help me avoid flu and colds. I've never taken the flu shot since I don't have any underlying health issues and I don't contract the flu! There are two supplements I take regularly that support the immune system: Probiotics and Vitamin D.
Studies show our gut bacteria and probiotics can prevent and reduce cold and flu symptoms. For example, researchers found that supplemental Bifidobacterium bifidum reduced symptoms among stressed college students. Another study reported that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG eased upper-respiratory tract symptoms in children attending day care.
Much of the immune system consists of, or is programmed by, cells in the gut lining,” says Jennifer Kaumeyer, ND, of the Riordan Clinic in Wichita, Kansas. “Probiotics and zinc are among the supplements that help keep these cells healthy.” (Source: Delicious Living http://goo.gl/a6Xby9)
Dose: Take 3-5 Billion of a probiotic daily, before cold and flu season starts - better yet take it year round. There is emerging research about how probiotics can help with weight management and mood, among other things. Look for a supplement that combines Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, which are the most plentiful bacteria in our bodies.
It's more than coincidence that the cold and flu season occurs when people get less seasonal sunlight. People need vitamin D to activate a variety of germ-fighting immune factors. A study of high school students found that taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily reduced the risk of catching flu by 83%.
Does: Take 2,000 - 5,000 IU daily. You can increase the dose to 10,000 IU daily during the first three days of the cold.
Where do I buy probiotic and vitamin D supplements? Costco! Since I take probiotics and vitamin D the entire year, Costco has the best value. TIP: Every January Costco supplements are on sale! An even better way to stay healthy at an affordable price.
There are other supplements that have benefits and have been studied to help protect you from getting colds. Products like, Echinacea, Zinc and Elderberry. I haven't incorporated them into my routine since what I am taking appears to be working. If you'd like to read more about those products, here is a link to an article on Delicious Living. Click here for more information http://goo.gl/a6Xby9
I hope you enjoyed learning about two supplements that may help boost your immune system. If you incorporate the above into your daily routine, let me know! Follow my blog on Bloglovin.