Milder and fluctuating temperatures at the beginning of Spring can up the possibility of getting a flu or cold. Schools and workplaces become rife with invading pathogens. Aside from reducing exposure and washing our hands, what else can be done to reduce the risk?
Eating well and taking in more fruits and vegetables which translates to a higher intake of antioxidants will build immunity, as will regular exercise. Natural supplements will add to your armour considerably and boost the immune system.However, there is more we can do to bolster the immune system.
Although it may not cure the common cold it can in some cases, shorten its duration. Vitamin C
has long been touted as an immune-builder.
Mark Moyad MD, MPH of the University of Michigan says, “ The more we study Vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health from, cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health, [and] immunity, to living longer. However, he adds that the ideal dosage may be higher than the recommended dietary allowance.
How much should we take? Moyad suggests taking 500 milligrams per day as well as eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. He recommends the buffered, non-acidic form of the vitamin.
“The safe upper limit is taking 2,000 milligrams per day,” he adds.
Over the winter, Vitamin D absorption from sunlight is greatly reduced. Supplementing with Vitamin D at dosages of 1200 IU per day has been shown to reduce the risk of cold and flu in schools. A further study looked at the role Vitamin D plays in the immune systems of healthy adults. It showed that those with Vitamin D deficiencies were more likely to get the flu. Higher dosages at 2000 IU per day has demonstrated a decrease in the risk of developing influenza in adults.
The taking of probiotic supplements add beneficial bacteria to the gut and this seems to spread throughout the system and act as a wall against invading microbes intent on making us ill. Probiotics help strengthen the immune systems, alleviating inflammation and bolstering our defenses against colds and flu. Since every need is individual, it may be best to choose a probiotic with a variety of strains to ensure you are covering all your bases.
Other immune boosters
Research is continuing on the benefits of green tea to ward off colds and flu and also the herb echinacea. The studies show some promising results.It is heartening to know that when those nasty micro-organisms come calling we have done all we can for prevention.
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