It feels like everyone in my house right now is either sick, getting sick, or coming off the sickness. It isn’t any better at my office where the coughing and sneezing are quickly becoming regular sounds over my favorite 90’s indie Pandora channel. Since my motherly duties of 18-month old twins don’t allow for any sick days I needed to find ways to boost my immunity, ASAP.
I went searching and found a pretty great article in Delicious Living that backed up what the vitamin department team at Nutrition Smart were already telling me. Here is what I found:
- Wash your hands – sounds simple but is soooo effective.
- Echinacea – There’s a reason herbalists turn to echinacea to prevent colds and flus: It works. In one study, researchers gave 755 people either echinacea or placebos for four months. People taking the herb had fewer colds and needed fewer medications. Dose: Follow label directions. If you can tolerate the taste, a tincture might be particularly effective.
- Elderberry – In one study, people taking an elderberry extract were completely free of flu symptoms after just two to three days, while symptoms lasted almost a week in people taking placebos. The herbal extract has broad-spectrum antibacterial and viral effects. Dose: Take a teaspoon of sugar-free syrup every three to four waking hours until symptoms disappear.
- N-acetylcysteine (NAC) – NAC remains one of the most potent guards against colds and flus. Researchers gave either 600 mg of NAC or placebos twice daily to seniors. Those taking NAC still caught the flu but experienced fewer symptoms. Dose: 600 mg twice daily, but you can boost it to 2,400–3,600 mg daily at the first sign of symptoms.
- Probiotics – New 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. Start taking probiotics before cold and flu season begins. Dose: Follow label directions.
- Vitamin D – It’s more than coincidence that the cold and flu season occurs when people get less seasonal sunlight and therefore make less vitamin D. People need the vitamin 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 the flu by 83 percent. Dose: Take 2,000–5,000 IU daily. You can increase the dose to 10,000 IU daily during the first three days of a cold.
- Zinc lozenges – Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland analyzed data from 199 patients who took either zinc lozenges or placebos. All cold symptoms, including nasal discharge, congestion and hoarseness, decreased substantially. Dose: Take one lozenge every two to four hours until symptoms subside.
I hope this lists helps and if you have other great remedies for boosting immunity please let us know in the comments box or on Facebook or on Instagram at @nutritionsmartofficial
Shout out to Jack Challem and the Delicious Living crew for sharing their knowledge and allowing me to share it with you! #source