Supplements to Stay Healthy During the Cold and Flu Season
By Kate Crosby, BS, CNP
November 8, 2016
Now that it is fall and school has started, many of us focus on staying healthy during the cold and flu season. Even with a healthy diet there are times when you need a boost for your immune system to ward off the cold or flu. Here are a few supplements we have found to be helpful during this season.
When you feel a cold coming on or feel a little feverish, tired or achy, reach for Wellness Formula. It is a comprehensive formula that combines herbs with vitamins and minerals to support your immune system. Our staff likes to have it on hand during the fall and winter.
- Why we like it: The product includes ingredients that support the immune system including vitamins A, C and D along with zinc. Garlic, boneset, olive leaf, goldenseal and astragalus root are herbs that can be antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial. The combination of these herbs, vitamins and minerals is what makes this product effective in fighting a cold or the flu.
- How much to take: The recommended dosage is 6 capsules every 3 hours. Nutritional Weight & Wellness recommends taking 3-6 capsules 3-4 times a day for the first day, and then taking 1-3 capsules a day until you are feeling better.
Advantage Liquid Concentrate
Advantage Liquid Concentrate is a combination of citrus seed (grapefruit seed) and green tea extracts.
- Why we like it: This combination of ingredients has been effective at stopping a cold in its tracks. We’ve seen it time and time again.
- How much to take: Once you feel a cold or the flu coming on, take 5-10 drops of Advantage Liquid in a small amount of water 3-4 times a day. If your throat is scratchy, use a small amount in water and gargle twice a day. When traveling, take 5-10 drops in water daily to protect yourself from viruses and bacteria. I always travel with Advantage Liquid.
Cod Liver Oil
Cod Liver Oil contains generous amounts of vitamins A and D and essential fatty acids.
- Why we like it: Think of cod liver oil as food for the immune system. Vitamin A is important for keeping your immune system working properly, which is why many cold and flu formulas include vitamin A.
- How much to take: One teaspoon of the Omega-3 Care Natural Cod Liver Oil that we carry contains 1750 IU of vitamin A, along with 400 IU of vitamin D. One teaspoon a day will give you the edge against colds and flu.
For years, vitamin D has been in the headlines. We need sunshine to activate vitamin D in our skin. If you live in the northern latitudes, you need to be vigilant about our vitamin D level because sunshine in the winter is weaker and rarely hits your skin when you are covered from head to toe with jackets, scarves and mittens. At Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we notice that most people stay healthy when their vitamin D level is between 50 and 80. A simple blood test will determine your vitamin D level.
- Why we like it: Vitamin D is important for supporting the immune system and avoiding the winter blues.
- How much to take: To maintain a healthy vitamin D level between 50 and 80, most people need to take a daily dose of 4,000 IU during the winter and 2,000 IU during the summer. Fall is the perfect time to start ramping up on this important supplement.
Dr. Linus Pauling made this vitamin well known for its positive effects on those with heart disease. Vitamin C is also key to fighting off infection. When I think I am getting a cold, I take more vitamin C to support my immune system.
- Why we like it: While vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, it is also important for making white blood cells—the ones that fight infection.
- How much to take: The amount of vitamin C needed will vary depending on the person. Most people will feel better when they increase their vitamin C to 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams per day (taken in divided doses).
So this fall don’t get knocked down by the occasional bout of cold or flu. Instead, be prepared with a variety of these supplements that support your immune system and can help prevent you from getting a virus or bacterial infection.
Always remember, it is important to eat real foods in balance and especially to monitor your sugar intake to avoid the flu or common cold this winter. A real-food eating plan and having additional nutritional support from these supplements may just keep you symptom-free all winter!