Is It Flu Season?
There’s as much as a 1 in 5 chance of getting the flu every year. Those figure spike even further during the fall and winter. Fall and winter are commonly known as the cold and flu season. Cases of the virus spike, and hospitalization for flu also increase during this time. Scientists believe that the cold, dry months allow viruses to thrive, increasing the chances of infection.
Understanding the cold and flu
The cold and flu can sound harmless, but these illnesses are responsible for thousands of deaths every year. Colds happen when certain viruses multiply, often unchecked, in the nose and sinuses. There is an inflammatory response, and the immune system goes into overdrive to get rid of the virus. The result is usually coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and mucus. The flu can cause more severe symptoms like fever, body aches, chills, and fatigue.
Can you avoid it?
Although the cold and flu run rampant during the colder months, many still avoid infection. Thanks to a healthy immune system, the body can fight symptoms and even prevent future infections. Stronger immune systems also mean a shorter cold or flu. Supplements are an easy way to keep the immune system in tip-top shape. These 4, in particular, can give the flu fighters a much-needed boost.
Echinacea, sometimes called the purple coneflower, is a well-known Native American plant. The plant has had a range of medical applications for centuries. Some of the most popular uses include wound healing and treating infections. Today, studies show that this herb may reduce the duration and symptoms of the cold. Echinacea can also help boost the immune system and forms part of an excellent supplement stack.
Elderberry is another supplement that’s popular for the immune system. The berries and leaves contain antioxidants, the chemical that offsets free radicals. These antioxidants may also help the immune system fight off any unwanted viruses. On average, people using elderberry supplements had shorter colds than a placebo.
Zinc is a crucial mineral essential for the body in trace amounts. This trace mineral is present in red meat, poultry, beans, and dairy products. Zinc plays a significant role in immune system health, wound healing, reducing oxidative stress, and much more. Scientists have found the true role of zinc, which is to rebalance the immune response. The excess inflammation that can happen without the mineral increases the chances of the cold and flu.
4. Vitamin C
What do elderberry, oranges, peppers, and strawberries have in common? These fruits contain lots of vitamin C. Like zinc, vitamin C plays an integral part in the health of the immune system. The vitamin supports the cellular functions related to oxidative stress. Supplements are readily available in tablet and liquid form.
A cold and flu-free season
No one likes getting the cold or flu, but the chances are more significant during the colder months. A more robust immune system is one of the best ways to keep the sniffles at bay. Supplements containing antioxidant boosting properties can help. A pharmacist can recommend the best available supplements or create a special formula using compounding.