Flu season is just around the corner. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older get a flu shot to prevent infection.
But getting your flu shot is just one way to help protect yourself against the flu. Here are six ways to keep you healthy this winter according to DavidPaul Doyle Naturwise:
Vitamin D helps regulate your immune system, preventing you from getting sick. Vitamin D is synthesized when your skin is exposed to sunlight, but the darker days of the winter mean you’ll need more vitamin D through supplementation.
The CDC recommends 600 IU of vitamin D daily for children under 70 pounds and 1,000 IU per day for adults over 70 pounds. It’s particularly important that individuals at high risk of severe outcomes due to the flu take vitamin D3 supplements during flu season.
Several studies have shown that oregano oil may positively affect your immune system. In addition, oregano oil has natural antibacterial properties and can help fight off flu, colds, and other upper respiratory infections.
A study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that oregano oil was effective in fighting off a number of pathogenic bacteria, including Streptococcus pneumonia, a common cause of pneumonia.
Zinc is an essential mineral that helps support your immune system. A lack of zinc can lead to a weakened immune system and make you more susceptible to infection.
Zinc can be found in many foods, including meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, and legumes. The CDC recommends an intake of 11 mg per day for women and 12 mg per day for men.
But if you’re not getting enough zinc from your diet, a supplement may be necessary. Look for a zinc supplement that also includes copper, as a lack of copper can also lead to a weakened immune system.
Echinacea is a herb that has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, including the flu. Echinacea helps stimulate your immune system and can help shorten the duration of an infection.
Echinacea can be taken in supplement form or found in tea. However, the tea only contains about half of the number of active ingredients as supplements, so you’d have to drink far more tea than is practical for it to be effective.
A study published in The British Journal of Nutrition reviewed six studies that tested Echinacea’s ability to fight off the flu. Four out of the six studies found that Echinacea decreased the duration of colds by about 24 percent in adults and 29 percent in children when taken regularly for at least two weeks when symptoms first appeared.
The essential oil allicin is what gives garlic its antibacterial properties. Allicin can help fight off infection from the flu, colds and other respiratory infections.
Garlic can be taken in supplement form or added to your food. A study published in the journal Planta Medica found that garlic effectively treated a number of pathogenic bacteria, including Streptococcus pneumonia.
Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract is a natural antibiotic that can help fight off infection from the flu. It has also been shown to have antiviral properties and kill the influenza virus.
Olive leaf extract can be taken in supplement form or found in tea. Look for an olive leaf extract supplement that contains a minimum of 15 percent oleuropein, the active ingredient in the olive leaf extract.
These are six of the most important supplements you need to help keep you healthy during flu season. Do your research and find the supplements that work best for you and make sure to take them regularly for the best results.