Nourish - 6 Immune Boosting Supplements to Keep You Healthy This Winter
Winter is often filled with sniffles, colds and low energy levels. At Nourish, we see certain types of products fly off our shelves at this time of year—namely immune-boosting supplements.
When you work on the shop floor, you learn a lot about the products on hand. You have training, talk with suppliers, hear stories and receive recommendations. You also look at what’s selling and find out what gives that particular product its zing of popularity.
Rather than keeping all these gems of knowledge in my own head, I’ve decided to share a few of the top supplements on our shelves. From the best sellers and staff picks to the ones that are backed by good ol’ science.
No. 1 – Vitamin C
Numerous studies have proven time and time again the effectiveness of Vitamin C in high dosages for prevention and relief of cold and flu symptoms.
Vitamin C is an ideal preventative and curative when supplemented at 1000-2000mg per day as shown in studies.
According to Patrick Holford, take 1000mg – 2000mg of Vitamin C every day to shorten the duration and lessen the symptoms and severity of a cold or flu.
Generally speaking, it’s advised to keep blood levels of Vitamin C high until the cold of flu has gone. This means taking 2000mg immediately when you get the first sign of any symptoms. (Usually within 24 hours and often within 12). Then, take 1000mg every hour until the cold has gone. Please be aware of your bowel tolerance when it comes to supplementing large doses of Vitamin C as it can cause loose bowels in some individuals.
Remember that Vitamin C is water-soluble, so it’s easily flushed out of the body. This is especially the case if you’re drinking your recommended fluids or sweating a lot due to fever. This is why it needs to be replenished at regular intervals.
Also, make sure to include plenty of Vitamin C from healthy food sources. See our post on Top Foods for Staying Healthy This Winter here.
This not only makes the Vitamin C more effective but also offers you a range of other health benefiting nutrients to conquer that cold.
No. 2 – Zinc
Zinc supplements are great helpers to help fight infection. Interestingly, if taken within the first 24hours from the first sign of symptoms, it helps to significantly reduce both the symptoms and severity of the common cold. For optimum anti-viral effects, take 50mg in the first 24 hours of symptoms. This is highly effective at banishing or drastically shortening a cold or flu.
No. 3 – Vitamin D
Increasing your Vitamin D, especially in the winter is always a good idea. Vitamin D is a great immune-supporting and boosting vitamin that is often something we’re deficient in. It promotes a healthy, balanced immune system through its key role in the regulation and differentiation of immune system cells.
A deficiency in Vitamin D may reduce immune function. This can increase the likelihood of you picking up any infection or virus going around.
Now let’s talk supplements.
It’s worth taking a high-quality Vitamin D supplement all throughout the year, though especially through winter.
That’s because although the body does manufacture vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, we don’t get enough. For people living in the northern latitudes where there is less sunshine, it is recommended to supplement with the nutrient to prevent deficiency. Read more about vitamin D here in our blog post: What’s the Scoop on: Vitamin D.
For those prone to SAD (seasonal affective disorder), this one is a must-have! I also recommend you get your Vitamin D levels checked with your doctor or naturopath first. This helps to ensure you are not getting more than you need if you do decide to supplement with high doses.
No. 4 – Echinacea
Echinacea is a traditional herbal remedy for colds and flu. It helps the body fight the symptoms of these infections by supporting the immune system and helping to maintain the body’s resistance.
Echinacea has been traditionally used to relieve symptoms of the common cold, influenza type infections and seasonal allergic reaction. This is thanks to its antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions.
It’s a fantastic herb for supporting the immune system and is easily added to your winter wellness routine. When taking supplements containing echinacea, simply follow the product’s dosage instructions.
No. 5 – Elderberry
The berries of the elder tree have been used for centuries and have direct antiviral effects.
Elderberries are a rich source of vitamins A and C, which are crucial for helping the body maintain optimal health. Additionally, they also contain bioflavonoids to help boost the body’s immune system.
These fantastic health-boosting berries can even help reduce the symptoms of a cold or flu. Especially when taken at the first sign of symptoms. Plus, they help reduce the duration of the sickness.
Elderberry syrup makes colds and other upper respiratory symptoms more tolerable by reducing mucous secretions. And thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects, it also helps fight the swelling of the respiratory passages. This means less discomfort and difficulty breathing.
Available in a syrup form, this supplement is also a wonder for sore throats.
In addition, we also stock other elderberry supplements. We have Wild Nutrition Immune Support and Terra Nova Astragalus & Elderberry.
No. 6 – P73-Oreganol Oil of Oregano
This is my all-time favourite supplement for dealing with colds and flu, so this gets a big thumbs up from me!
That’s because oregano oil is absolutely fantastic at fighting and conquering colds, cases of flu, viruses and infections. It’s loaded with antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial, antiparasitic and antiviral properties.
P73-Oreganol contains between 70-78% carvacrol (depending on the harvest) which is the active ingredient in oregano. Use it both topically and internally. Take either straight from the bottle (via a dropper) or add to water.
It is very potent so only a small amount is needed and it’s recommended that you follow the directions on the bottle.
Taken on the first sign of any symptom, this potent remedy will help knock anything unpleasant on the head that’s trying to invade your system.
Should you already be suffering from these symptoms, a couple of drops taken at intervals throughout the day should help shorten the duration and ease the symptoms
Each bottle of P73-Oreganol contains steam extracted oil from wild mountain-grown oregano which is emulsified in extra virgin olive oil. No chemicals of any kind are ever used in the processing.
Want to learn more?
For more information and advice on keeping your immune system strong and healthy this winter, bookmark our other Winter Wellness Series articles:
Also, check out:
- 8 Natural Tips to Halt your Cold in its Tracks
- 7 Superfood Lattes You Need to Try
- Support Your Immune System Now with These 5 Things
- Natural Ways to Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Fear Whilst Also Supporting Your Immune System
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication.