Optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best flu-prevention and optimal health strategies available (especially since we live in New York or the northern states where sunshine is not as plentiful). Your diet also plays a significant role of course, as it lays the foundation for good immune function.
Besides vitamin D, there are a number of other foods and supplements that can be beneficial for colds and influenza, including the following:
- Garlic: Has natural antiviral, antibiotic and antifungal activity and has long been hailed for its immune boosting effects.
- Zinc: A Cochrane Database Review of the medical research on zinc found that when taken within one day of the first symptoms, zinc can cut down the time you have a cold by about 24 hours.
- Zinc was also found to greatly reduce the severity of symptoms. Zinc was not recommended for anyone with an underlying health condition, like lowered immune function, asthma or chronic illness.
- Vitamin C: A very potent antioxidant; use a natural form such as acerola, which contains associated micro-nutrients.
- A tea made from a combination of elderflower, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger; drink it hot and often for combating a cold or flu. It causes you to sweat, which is helpful for eradicating a virus from your system.
- Oregano Oil: The higher the carvacrol concentration, the more effective it is. Carvacrol is the most active antimicrobial agent in oregano oil.
- Medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake, reishi and turkey tail.
- Propolis: A bee resin and one of the most broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds in the world; propolis is also the richest source of caffeic acid and apigenin, two very important compounds that aid in immune response.
- Olive leaf extract is widely known as a natural, non-toxic immune system builder.