Now that cold and flu season is upon us, people are wondering how they can keep themselves healthy, or get rid of their annoying illness, in a more natural way. Many people avoid cold and flu medicines due to their sleep inducing effects. If you are looking for ways to treat yourself in a more natural way, it’s important that you understand what will help you and what is just hype.
If you don’t take an Omega 3 supplement, what are you waiting for? Omega 3s have a natural immune-fortifying benefit, helping to keep you healthy all year long. If you don’t enjoy eating fish, Omega 3 capsules are your best alternative for ensuring that you are getting enough of these fatty acids. According to Britain’s Institute of Human Nutrition and School of Medicine, Omega 3s are also great for fighting the flu. You should look for a supplement that contains one or more grams of both DHA and EPA.
Echinacea has long been touted as a natural remedy for both colds and the flu; don’t get sucked into the hype. Most products don’t contain enough echinacea to do you any good. In fact, some products don’t contain echinacea in any amount. The worst thing is that echinacea can actually cause side effects that people often find worse than the symptoms they are experiencing with their cold: diarrhea, rashes and wheezing.
To achieve and maintain proper levels of vitamin D in the body, you’d have to get far more sun and eat more fish than you ever will. Vitamin D supplements should be taken all year long. Harvard studies have shown that people with proper levels of vitamin D in their system have boosted immunities and are less likely to catch a cold. If you choose to take a vitamin D supplement, try to take at least 1,000 IU each day.
While everyone needs an adequate amount of vitamin C in their system, there is no proof that extra amounts will help stave off a cold or fight the flu. Your vitamin C should be absorbed from the foods that you eat, not supplements that you take. Add an orange or grapefruit to your breakfast each day, look for fortified orang juice or add a red pepper to your salad. Those who eat healthy have proper amounts of vitamin C in their bodies without needing supplementation. In fact, those who over-indulge in vitamin C are at risk for nausea and kidney stones.
Ginseng doesn’t need to be taken all year long, but it should be taken when you feel a cold setting in. Those who took ginseng cut the duration of their colds in half according to a study conducted at the University of Connecticut. Ginseng can increase white blood cell counts and certain proteins that your immune system counts on to work at its full potential. Make sure that the ginseng you take is from a reliable source; counterfeit concoctions are useless.
Many people are confused when it comes to supplementing their diet in order to remain healthy or fight off colds. By following the five tips above, you can be sure that you are taking what you need and avoiding what you don’t.
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