The cold and flu season is upon us. How are you keeping your immune system strong to keep bugs at bay this winter? Are you getting enough sleep and avoiding stress? Are you exercising and eating a well balanced and healthy diet? These are just some of the things you can do to keep your immune system strong, but we know that life can be busy sometimes and we don’t always have time to look after ourselves. This is where supplements come in.
Good quality supplements can help boost our immune system and ward off colds and flu, read on to find out which ones you should be taking
and don’t miss the chance to win some top quality immune support supplements from Viridian Nutrition.EDIT: The giveaway has now ended but you can still find some really valuable information in this post so keep reading!
Buying immune support supplements
When it comes to choosing an immune support supplement it’s not as simple as just picking any multivitamin pill from a supermarket, I would strongly advise against this actually. Did you know that common multivitamin supplements contain binders, additives, colourings and fillers which we really don’t need to consume. And these are just some of the ingredients you will find in these supplements. That’s why it’s important to buy good quality supplements which are as natural as possible with no added nasties that may be harmful to your health.
Furthermore, you have to know which dietary supplements are actually going to help you strengthen your immune system, but how do you know that? It’s easy just to Google it and find lots of articles on boosting your immune system promoting certain supplements. However, what you really need to look at are trusted sources, research and studies done around this subject. Luckily I’ve done all that for you and put together a little guide which will help you understand what your body needs in order to keep your immune system at its best.
Immune supplements that work
Based on my research these are some of the most important vitamins and minerals you need to keep your immune system strong:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
In addition to these, garlic and echinacea supplements are also beneficial to the immune system.
You can get all these supplements for free if you are a lucky winner of a bundle I put together with Viridian Nutrition!
About Viridian Nutrition
Viridian Nutrition are a nutritional supplement company with a strong commitment to purity, charity and the environment. More than 40% of the products in their range of over 200 are Soil Association certified organic. Their range includes vitamins, minerals, herbs, nutritional oils, speciality supplements, tinctures and balms all formulated to be healthful, efficacious and pure.
Continue reading to learn more about the top supplements that help to boost your immune system.
Vitamin D does not only help to keep your bones healthy, it also helps to keep your immune system strong. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey rolling programme (2008 and 2009 to 2011 and 2012) suggests that up to 1 in 4 adults in the UK have a low vitamin D status, and are therefore at increased risk of deficiency. Winter, in particular, is the time when people get deficient as they are not exposed to sun as recommended, but this is also because it’s difficult to get enough of vitamin D through a normal diet. Read more about the importance of vitamin D here.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which helps fight free radicals in the body and we need more of it during stress, wound healing and any kind of inflammation in the body. It benefits the body in many different ways and here are some of its other functions:
- formation of antibodies
- stimulation of white blood cells
- formation of collagen
- metabolism of folic acid
- maintains healthy blood vessels, skin, guns, bones, and teeth (1)
Sufficient amounts of vitamin C daily contribute towards enhanced immune system but supplementation is most effective in cases of physical strain or insufficient intake of the vitamin. (2)
Zinc is one of the most important trace elements in our diet. Along with vitamin C, it is a vital protector of the immune system and an essential mineral for the structure and function of all cell membranes. (1) Even small deficiency can result in an increased susceptibility to infection.
A big amount of zinc is lost during food preparation and many times we don’t get enough because we eat foods which have been in grown in mineral depleted soil.
Garlic has been used as medicine for thousands of years and today garlic is used to help prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and to boost the immune system. (3)
A study of 146 volunteers showed that the volunteers who were taking allicin-containing garlic supplement were less likely to get a cold and recovered faster if infected during a 12-week period. (4)
Echinacea, a native of North America, is widely used to prevent, or provide early treatment for colds.
Several laboratory and animal studies suggest that echinacea contains active substances that boost immune function, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and have hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant effects. (5) A review of 14 clinical trials found that echinacea reduced the odds of developing a cold by 58% and the duration of a cold by 1 to 4 days.
So there you have it, some of the most commonly used immune support supplements which have supporting trials to show that they work. Are you taking any of them?
(1) Mortimore, D. (2002) The Complete Illustrated Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd.
IMPORTANT: If you have a medical condition talk to your GP before taking any supplements. This is only a guide and not a medical advice.