Australian adults suffer from 2 to 4 colds a year with children contracting up to 10 colds a year. That’s an estimated 96 billion colds a year!!! So the chances of avoiding a nasty cold or flu can be slim if constantly exposed to germs from other people. Eating a healthy diet of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables will go a long way to preventing illness but boosting your immune system with vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements gives you an even greater chance of giving those colds the flick!
Vitamin C has long been the go-to to prevent colds and flu and support your immune system. The best forms of vitamin C are found in oranges, red and green capsicum, kale, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, tomato, guava and kiwi fruit but if you’re not eating enough vitamin C rich foods the best way to support your immune system through winter is with a supplement.
Also known as ascorbic acid, a good vitamin C supplement contains bioflavonoids which are phytochemical compounds found in natural plant food sources. Research indicates that bioflavonoids help to make the ascorbic acid more bioavailable in your body – which means that your body can absorb more vitamin C. Studies on vitamin C suggests a dietary supplement of 500 milligrammes to no more than 2000 milligrammes a day may help to strengthen your immune system.
One natural herbal supplement which can help strengthen your immune system is Astragalus. Astragalus is a herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which has a long history as an immune system booster. Astragalus has amazing antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory capabilities which have led to its popularity as the go-to herb to combat upper respiratory illnesses. A regimen of Astragalus throughout the winter months may help to prevent contracting a cold or flu. In fact, Astragalus is so safe that it can be taken all year round to boost your immune system.
Another herb traditionally used to treat colds is Echinacea. Echinacea is native to North America and has been used by the Native American Indians for over 400 years. Research has shown that Echinacea can increase our white blood cell numbers which are the cells that help fight infection. Interestingly, Echinacea was used medicinally until the introduction of antibiotics in the 1950s. Several research studies have shown that taking Echinacea reduces the chance of catching a common cold by 58% and can reduce the length of colds by 1.5 days.
Olive leaf has been used for healing for thousands of years and was first used by the Ancient Egyptians. The leaf, not the actual fruit, of the olive tree, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties with research showing that one of its active compounds called Oleuropein has strong antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal actions. It is these properties that help to support our immune system by fighting against viruses which cause respiratory infections and flu.
So stay healthy this winter – don’t wait until you or your family get sick! The friendly team at Mojo Health are here to help find the right supplements for you but always consult with your healthcare practitioner if you have any health concerns.