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Dealing With Seasonal Flu? These Supplements Might Help!

Have you been relying on nasal sprays of late due to a bad cold or started gargling with salt water for a bit of sore throat relief? If these sound relatable, you’re not alone. With the drop in temperature, flu cases have increased. Since flu-causing viruses thrive during winter, your immune system works much harder as compared to other seasons, which is why you are more prone to catching a cough, cold, or flu.

So, now’s the time to start following all the immunity-boosting home remedies and consume a well-balanced diet to prepare your immune system to put up a good fight against these viruses. In addition to this, you can also boost your immunity with the help of supplements. Let us discuss them in detail.

Why Do Colds and Flu Mostly Strike During Winter?

Viruses try to enter your body via your mouth, eyes, and nasal passage. The nasal passage has security and defense mechanisms that fight against these intruders. But as the temperature drops in winter, this defense mechanism becomes weaker, allowing the pathogens to stick and infect the nasal cells. Therefore, cold air and low temperatures are the major culprits affecting your line of defense.

Another reason why illnesses are more prevalent during the winter season is because the days are shorter and nights longer, plus most of us tend to spend less time outdoors. According to studies, this leads to a lack of sunlight, which causes low levels of vitamin D and melatonin, decreasing your body’s ability to fight harmful viruses and bacteria.

Exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate hydration are essential for maintaining good health all year round but, during flu season, it is always better to take extra care of yourself and your immunity. Your immune system is your bravest warrior. Therefore, building up your defenses against viruses must be your top priority. And you can do that by adding the best immune boosters to your daily routine.

Whole-food Supplements That Will Help You Deal With Seasonal Flu

Vitamin C Supplements

Vitamin C does not directly work towards dealing with the flu or cold. However, it reduces the severity and duration of a cold. So, if you’re under the weather, consuming vitamin C supplements would really help.

Vitamin C works by supporting immune cell formation and enhancing their function. It also works to support the physical barriers. This prevents the viruses from entering and harming the body, making it the go-to supplement for treating colds and coughs.

Vitamin D Supplements

Along with getting Vitamin D from food and supplements, you can also absorb this vitamin through sunlight. It is involved in several body processes, some of which include regulating the immune function during infection. It stimulates the immune cells to produce peptides that have anti-viral properties that then fight and defend the body against the flu-causing virus and respiratory infections.

Vitamin D3 supplements are another wonderful form of vitamin D that improves your immune system during flu season. Some of the best vitamin D3 supplements are also enriched with astaxanthin to eliminate free radicals and cold-pressed coconut oil to ensure maximum absorption of the necessary nutrients.

Vitamin B12 Supplements

There are several vitamin B12 benefits when it comes to immunity. Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin can help fight viral infections by balancing immune responses. This vitamin also plays a crucial role in fighting off infections by boosting the speed at which the cytokine network and white blood cells (our immune cells) work.

And as immunity gets weaker during the winter, taking vitamin B12 supplements ensures the strength of the immune system stays at an optimum level to provide ample protection from viruses.

Manuka Honey-Infused Supplements

Manuka honey is an ingredient rich in antioxidants, antimicrobials, and antibacterial properties that help fight against the flu and reduce flu symptoms. Manuka honey is also soothing to the mucous membrane and helps reduce irritation while its anti-viral properties help reduce inflammation and fight pathogens. Recent studies also revealed that consumption of Manuka honey can lower the level of Streptococcus mutans -- the bacteria responsible for sore throats.

Pure manuka honey is difficult to find, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy its benefits. The next time you are looking for sore throat relief, try supplements enriched with this ingredient.

Echinacea-Infused Supplements

Echinacea is a super powerful and beneficial herbal supplement that is great for treating respiratory infections. Daily intake of Echinacea may help reduce the duration and risk of upper respiratory infections.

According to studies, Echinacea has a positive effect on the immune system. It increases the number of White Blood Cells that help the body fight infections. Another study found that echinacea extracts helped reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections, as well as pneumonia, tonsillitis, and ear infections.

Supplements with this ingredient are a great immunity booster and work well with other ingredients like muleti, black pepper, and tulsi to keep the flu at bay.

Turmeric-Infused Supplements

Turmeric is a wonderful spice with several beneficial properties, great for maintaining overall wellness. Turmeric and one of its active components, Curcumin, have anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, and antioxidant properties. In the case of the flu, turmeric helps the body cleanse the respiratory tract, and its anti-inflammatory properties relieve you from the effects of the flu or cold and provide you with sore-throat relief.

Curcumin in turmeric also helps lower the inflammatory enzymes caused by infection. Both turmeric and Curcumin have the potential to reduce inflammation in the body, reduce coughing and sneezing, and increase immunity.

Wrapping up

These supplements are just a way of keeping your body ready to ward off infections and viruses. To stay in peak health and shape during the winter season, you still need to follow a healthy self-care routine, include a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, and maintain good personal hygiene.

References

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  • Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017 Nov 3;9(11):1211. doi: 10.3390/nu9111211. PMID: 29099763; PMCID: PMC5707683. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/
  • Aranow C. Vitamin D and the immune system. J Investig Med. 2011 Aug;59(6):881-6. doi: 10.2310/JIM.0b013e31821b8755. PMID: 21527855; PMCID: PMC3166406. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/
  • Batista KS, Cintra VM, Lucena PAF, Manhães-de-Castro R, Toscano AE, Costa LP, Queiroz MEBS, de Andrade SM, Guzman-Quevedo O, Aquino JS. The role of vitamin B12 in viral infections: a comprehensive review of its relationship with the muscle-gut-brain axis and implications for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Nutr Rev. 2022 Feb 10;80(3):561-578. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuab092. PMID: 34791425; PMCID: PMC8689946. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34791425/
  • Mandal MD, Mandal S. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr;1(2):154-60. doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(11)60016-6. PMID: 23569748; PMCID: PMC3609166. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/
  • Manayi A, Vazirian M, Saeidnia S. Echinacea purpurea: Pharmacology, phytochemistry and analysis methods. Pharmacogn Rev. 2015 Jan-Jun;9(17):63-72. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.156353. PMID: 26009695; PMCID: PMC4441164. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4441164/
  • LaVoy EC, McFarlin BK, Simpson RJ. Immune responses to exercising in a cold environment. Wilderness Environ Med. 2011 Dec;22(4):343-51. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2011.08.005. Epub 2011 Oct 7. PMID: 21982757. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21982757/

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