Guest Post by Katy Lowe:
It's getting to that time of year where many will come in contact with a cold or flu and depending on your stress levels and overall immune system - will depend on if you catch anything or how long it lasts. One of the most common supplements folks take for colds is Vitamin C. And yes, Vitamin C can be very helpful as an antioxidant in the body - we can always use it. Yet there are quite a few other strong and effective nutrients to consider to add to your cold and flu prevention routine.
First things first. Vitamin D can be found in 2 forms. D2 is manufactured by plants, yeast or fungus and we mainly seem to get it through fortified foods such as juice, milk or cereal. However D3 is formed when the body synthesizes sunlight on it's surface. It mainly occurs through the exposure of the skin to UVA and UVB rays. Some Vitamin D3 can also be obtained by eating some animal products. While both D varieties are needed in the body, it's the D3 that we tend to need to supplement during the colder months, when we are not in daily direct sunlight. Some general benefits of D3:
- Reduce risk of diabetes
- Improves resistance to colds/flue
- Improvement in respiratory conditions
- Reduce joint pain
- Helps regulate hormones
Aloe Vera has been around for 1000s of years. Most are familiar with using it topically for burns and wounds. However Aloe is also anti viral and works very well at boosting the immune system when taken internally. Aloe can also be a wonderful remedy for stomach complaints, acid reflux/GERD and ulcers. At Advantage Nutrition we have a powerful Aloe that gets the job done!
Herbs/Foods - Numerous foods and herbs provide great benefits to the immune system. Many may have heard of the herb Echinacea - it can work remarkably well at prevention and lessening the duration of colds. Just make sure to take enough! Garlic gets a bad rap due to its odor, but it is second to none and has been called natures antibiotic.
Find ways to cook with it whenever you can using fresh, rather than jarred. And remember if you feed it to everyone else in the family, you won't notice on each other!
Red Onion - very high in the ingredient Quercetin, which is an antioxidant and flavonoid. Helpful for allergies, hay fever, hives, eczema, gout, pancreatitis and prostatitis. Of course you can buy it in pill form, but by all means if you are cooking choose the red onion for more benefits in your diet.
The bottom line is do not settle for the seeming inevitable. You have more control over how you will feel this winter - so wash your hands a bit more, cut back on sugar which lowers your germ fighting abilities AND boost your body more often!
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