Flu season is in full-swing, which has people hiding underneath the covers and doing whatever else possible to avoid getting sick. While the best path toward a healthy immune system is a combination of a proper diet, sleep, and exercise, there are a number of supplements that can help boost your defenses against the myriad viruses swirling around offices, schools, and public gatherings this time of year.
Here are three supplements that can bolster your body’s defenses. They’re all natural remedies that have been helping humans fend off sickness for centuries.
Elderberry can be purchased either in capsule or liquid form and is an excellent starting point for those in search of immune-boosting supplements. Its central compounds are known as “anthocyanins,” which not only help immune function, but can also reduce the severity of congestion in some people. Elderberry can reportedly reduce the longevity of flu symptoms by three days — a veritable lifetime for those who are feeling as if they’ve been hit by a truck.
An essential mineral that works as an antioxidant within the body, zinc plays a critical role in proper immune system functionality. Zinc is necessary for the development and activation of T-cells, which allow the immune system to operate at peak performance. While some know and love zinc due to its reported ability to reduce the duration of the common cold, its presence in the body can also help reduce the chances of catching a cold to begin with. Zinc is often sold in lozenge form, although tablets and capsules are also available. It can also be found in various foods, such as beans and nuts.
Many people associate probiotics with gut health, and rightfully so. But did you know that as much as 70 percent of the immune system lives within the gastrointestinal system? As a result, poor gut health often leads to reduced overall immune functionality, which may manifest in the form of repeated colds, or even just a general feeling of malaise. This is often overlooked as people research ways to build up their immune health, yet it offers a powerful form of protection. Probiotics are essentially “good” bacteria that — when taken in supplement form — help to restore balance to the gut microbiome, fighting against disease and harmful pathogens in the process. A word of advice: don’t pay too close attention to colony forming units (CFUs) when shopping for probiotics supplements, as “more” doesn’t necessarily equate to “better” in this case.
There’s nothing worse than feeling sick with an impending work-week ahead of you, and by the time you get to that point, it’s too late. So take preventative action now. By adding one or more of these supplements to your regimen, you can reduce your chances of becoming a sick day statistic. More than that, you’ll start to pave the way for long-term health and resilience.