It is estimated that the average adult gets 2-3 colds a year, with children getting up to 6-10 colds per year. The common cold is typically caused by a virus called rhinovirus. I am sure at some point you have experienced the symptoms associated with the common cold, including a cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, fatigue, fevers, and body aches. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely HATE feeling sick (what a waste of time and productivity). The National Institute of Health estimates that there are 1 BILLION colds per year in the United States with the most frequent colds in the winter and spring. So it no surprise that this virus is the primary reason children miss school and adults miss work.
With the Holidays near, there is no time to get sick.
Besides the typical things we know help keep you well, including hand washing, avoiding touching your nose/eyes/mouth, getting adequate sleep, staying well hydrated, eating and drinking vitamin C rich foods, and managing stress; there are several natural supplements you can take to boost your immune system and ward off infection today.
Here are three of my favorite immune boosting supplements
- Zinc: 30-50 mg daily can help keep your immune system strong. When taken at the onset of a cold, it has been shown to shorten the length of symptoms. Zinc has also been shown to help balance hormones, help with fertility, fight diabetes and cancer, help with muscle growth and repair, and support liver health.
- Elderberry Syrup or Capsules: Derived from a flowering plant, elderberries have been shown to not only boost the immune system but to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-influenza (flu), and anti-cancer properties. Elderberry is safe in both children and adults and can be taken as a liquid or capsule. I love adding 2 tsp of elderberry syrup to warm lemon and ginger tea when I am feeling under the weather. Some people even make their own organic elderberry syrup from dried elderberries. Wellness Mama wrote a great blog on how to make your own organic elderberry syrup with ginger, raw honey, cinnamon, and cloves. Yum!
- Astragalus extract: This extract is derived from the root of a plant in the legume family called Fabaceae. This herb is used frequently in Traditional Chinese Medicine (and at CentreSpring MD) for its immune boosting properties. However, astragalus root is also used for heart health, reducing the negative symptoms associated with chemotherapy, inflammation, wound healing, and diabetes.
Together, lets stay healthy this Holiday season!