Natural supplements to help fight upcoming winter season

October 25, 2016

Anne Stewart

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Winter is coming, and so is cold and flu season. With the onset of winter months, students can expect cold weather, unpredictable road conditions and stressful assignments to be turned in alongside finals.

All of the stress can wear down an immune system; everyone is susceptible to viruses being passed around.

Preventative measures like washing hands, drinking water, eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep will help you stay healthy during the winter months.

If you are like me, you might also want to take additional vitamin and herbal supplements to help boost your immune system.

These are just a few of the supplements I use to boost my immune system throughout the year that help with the cold and flu season. Many supplements and their benefits can be discussed with a dietitian, nutritionist or doctor.

This information is not medical advice. When considering supplements, always consult your doctor first. Remember that herbal supplements, just like FDA regulated medication, can have interactions.


Vitamin D

How much I take per day: 1,000 international units

Brand: NOW

Price: $7.99 (180 Softgels) at Sprouts Farmers Market, 1730 Dublin Blvd.

This vitamin helps strengthen the body’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses. Vitamin D is formed in the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight.

But sunny days will be less frequent during the winter. With the amount of time spent inside working on homework, it might be a good idea to try the supplement.


Oregano Oil

How much I take per day: 150 milligrams

Brand: Solaray

Price: $10.49 (60 Softgels) at Sprouts Farmers Market

     Oregano oil has many benefits, which include fighting infections, strengthening the immune system and acting as an antimicrobial. I learned about this supplement when I travelled to Nicaragua; some of the people I travelled with would take it as a preventative measure against unhealthy bacteria in unclean water.

It is a strong supplement, and I’ve found that taking it on an empty stomach can make me nauseous. When used correctly, I have no problems with it.


Garlic Concentrate

How much I take per day: 500 milligrams (eight garlic cloves)

Brand: Natural Factors

Price: $17.99 (90 Softgels) at Sprouts Farmers Market

Garlic has antiviral and antibacterial properties, according to The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. Garlic’s properties help the body fight off degenerative forces and strengthen the immune system.

I love adding garlic to everything I eat, but when I’m at school and work and I don’t have extra time to cook, it’s nice that I can still reap the benefits of this superfood.


Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

How much I take per day: 100 milligrams

Brand: Solgar

Price: $10.44 (100 vegetable capsules) at Mountain Mama Natural Foods, 1625 W Uintah St.

After I was told riboflavin can help keep my migraines under control when taken with coenzyme Q10, which is an antioxidant, I started taking this vitamin. If you have any sort of migraine, this added supplement might be able to help.

While riboflavin is not as highly discussed, the body still needs this vitamin, whether from food sources or supplements, according to Healing with Vitamins.

The supplement is important for athletes as well. Regular exercise helps to speed up the vitamin’s use in the body, according to Prevention Health Books. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant and can help protect the body long-term.