We’re entering the heart of cold and flu season and many of my readers are reaching out to ask what the best supplements are for the prevention and treatment of these wintertime scourges.
While neither the flu nor the common cold is associated with bacterial infections, many physicians prescribe antibiotics in a misguided attempt at covering all their bases. This is not only ineffectual, but can lead to resistant immune response to antibiotics down the road. Much better to keep yourself well and healthy and shore up your defenses naturally so when the time comes that you truly in fact need an antibiotic, it will do the job that it was meant to do. Plus, in taking good care of yourself and trying alternative remedies before antibiotics, you are helping to maintain a healthy balance in your gut flora, which is necessary for your overall wellbeing.
The following are what I consider to be the most valuable supplements to have on hand during the cold winter months. Some can be taken every day as a preventative and others are only to be used once you are feeling sick. Either way, try these at the first sign of a cold or the flu and see if you are not back on your feet lickity split!
1. High Potency Probiotic Formula
This is something I recommend for all of my clients. Replenishing beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract is one of the most important practices in keeping your immune system functioning optimally. Look for a high potency blend that includes acidophilus and bifidus. One of my favorites is Jarrodophilus EPS by Jarrow.
2. Healthy Levels of Vitamin D!
Vitamin D is necessary for more than just healthy bones. It also helps protect your immune system. Find out your levels through a simple blood test administered by your doctor at your next physical and then if you need to, supplement accordingly. For more information on the importance of vitamin D, and how to up your levels naturally, check out my video: The “Sunshine” Vitamin D!
3. Ester C with Bioflavonoids
It’s important to maintain healthy vitamin C levels. Shoot for 500mg twice a day to build immunity. If you do get sick, you can bump up the dose to 2000 to 3000mg daily in divided doses.
4. Olive Leaf Extract
This is one of the very best supplements I know of to help with both viral and bacterial infections, which means it will work well whether you have a cold, the flu or the beginnings of a sinus infection. If you are running a fever and experiencing chills, contact your doctor as this is a sign that you have an active infection that may require antibiotics. My favorite: Olivir by Davinci Labs
This amazing homeopathic remedy is a great alternative to the flu shot in helping prevent flu. Trick is, you have to take at the very first sign of the flu. Once the virus takes hold, this will do little to help you overcome it. So keep some in your home and office so that if you need it, you have it available at the very first sign of illness. Another option: take one tube every 10 days, prophylactically.