Keep your immune system in check this cold and flu season and maintain your health. We get tips and advice from a leading pharmacist on which vitamins and minerals your body needs, and what to do if the flu bug does strike.
As it is important to get the nutrients your body needs through diet, health experts say it's just as important to take high quality supplements. In a recent nationwide survey, 3 out of 4 people agree they feel more confident about their health when they take vitamins and supplements. However, many people are not aware of which types of vitamins they need in order to support a healthy immune system.
“Most Americans have nutrient gaps in their diet,” says Suzy Cohen, registered pharmacist and author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist. But people can make up for the nutrients they lack by adding vitamins and supplements daily. “There are a variety of ways vitamins and supplements can support a healthy immune system, but when you’re in the vitamin aisle it is important to look for quality products,” says Cohen.
With the number of products available, shopping in the vitamin aisle can be overwhelming, Cohen recommends first looking at the brand, seeking only those committed to science-based protocols for product development, and those that are tested and verified by third-party public health organizations such as the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP). Only products that meet the stringent criteria set forth by USP are allowed to use the USP verified label.
Immune Supporting Supplements
Vitamin C – A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C helps maintain a healthy immune system and protects against damaging free radicals. Additionally, Vitamin C, such as the Nature Made Vitamin C 1000mg, is necessary for the body to manufacture collagen, which is essential for healthy skin.
Vitamin D – Supports teeth, bone and immune health, and healthy levels of Vitamin D in your body may promote your heart health as well.
Probiotics – Certain types of probiotics supply “good bacteria” that can help maintain immune system health.
Zinc – Maintaining healthy levels of zinc in your body is necessary for healthy growth, development and proper immune function. Zinc also provides antioxidant support which helps to protect the body against damaging free radicals.
Echinacea – Echinacea may support healthy immune function.
Additional Immune Boosting Techniques
1. Strive to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
2. Practice relaxation techniques to get rid of stress and the harmful hormones it can trigger.
3. Wash your hands regularly, especially before meals.
4. Eat a balanced diet. Check out the new dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture at www.choosemyplate.gov.
5. Exercise regularly. According to Harvard Health Publications, exercise may additionally support a healthy immune system by promoting healthy circulation, moving immune system cells throughout the body.
If You Get Sick
If you do get sick this cold and flu season, there are a number of things you can do to stop the spread of the virus.
1. Cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
2. Wash your hands often.
3. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
4. Try to avoid close contact with others to minimize the spread of the germs.
For more wellness tips and information on vitamins and supplements to boost your immune system, visit www.NatureMade.com.
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