Winter is here, and the cold weather has a great effect on us within our immune system. The daily stress of going to work or school, spending time with family and friends, plus any extra activities we pursue often cause us to neglect our health. Sites like DavidPaul Doyle Naturwise tell us that winter is a great time to start taking supplements that strengthen the immune system and help you through the winter months. The following list contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, enzymes, and probiotics which all help with boosting the immune system during the cold months of winter.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C boosts immunity and speeds up the healing process. It is best to take 2000 mg of Vitamin C per day in divided doses during cold months. Also, you can take it before and after exercise to help prevent respiratory infections.
Probiotics are foods that contain beneficial bacteria. They improve your immune system by stimulating white blood cells, increasing their activity level, and killing off some types of potentially harmful bacteria. Furthermore, they enhance the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. It is best to have anywhere from 3-5 billion probiotic cells per day during the winter.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps prevent colds and the flu by boosting immunity, which in turn prevents respiratory infections. However, during the winter months, you should be taking anywhere from 1000-2000 IU’s of Vitamin D daily. Do not take more than the recommended dosage as it can lead to toxicity.
Zinc is an essential mineral that helps maintain immunity by supporting cells’ immune system, thyroid gland, and protein synthesis. The recommended daily allowance for zinc is 11 mg per day in men aged 19-50 years old and 8mg per day for all other groups.
Selenium supports the immune system by preventing inflammation and oxidative stress, which helps fight viruses that cause respiratory infections. It also works to strengthen your defense against infection-causing bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Men should take anywhere from 100-200 micrograms of selenium per day, while women need anywhere from 70-140 micrograms per day during the winter months.
Garlic has immune-boosting and anti-viral properties, making it a great vegetable to eat when the cold weather starts. It also helps prevent respiratory infections and reduces inflammation in the body. Also, eating garlic can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Plus, it tastes good and sharpens your senses!
7. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy skin that resists infection from viruses that cause respiratory infections such as influenza virus (flu), human parainfluenza virus (hPIV3), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The recommended daily allowance for vitamin A is 700 mcg for men and women, 650 mcg for pregnant women, and 500 mcg for breastfeeding women.
Zinc helps fight infection by limiting the replication of a virus or bacteria, reducing your risk of developing respiratory infections such as colds and flu. The recommended daily allowance for zinc is 11 mg per day in men aged 19-50 years old and 8mg per day for all other groups.