If you’re concerned about getting sick and want to have a strong immune system then you already know about Vitamin C, zinc and garlic. If you’re ready for some next-level immune boosters, these are the incredibly powerful antiviral substances you’ll want to be adding to your supplement regime to keep you fit and healthy during cold and flu season:
- Bee Propolis
This waxy substance is made by bees to seal off holes but is also used to fight infection, heal wounds and prevent the spread of disease in the hive. How does propolis exert such effects? It contains powerful flavonoids that are anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-biotic and can support the regeneration of immune cells during a fight. It can also moderate the release of histamine, which is to blame for runny nose, blocked sinus, difficulty breathing and red watery eyes.
- Olive Leaf
Used since ancient Egypt, olive leaf is bursting with highly active antioxidants. In fact, olive leaf has 400% more antioxidant power (calculated using Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity values) than Vitamin C. When your body needs a boost of antioxidants to help protect it against pollution, aging, intense exercise or an infection like the common cold, this is a time-tested choice.
This is a more well-known herbal support for immunity but what does it actually do? Studies have shown that components of the herb can prevent viruses entering our healthy cells, thus preventing the onset of infection. This is perhaps why studies have shown that taking echinacea can stop you getting sick but doesn’t do much help after you’re sick. You can take echinacea juice long-term to maintain immunity but it’s especially important for times like these when many family, friends and colleagues are down with colds and flus!
Unlike echinacea, elderberry has been shown to drastically reduce the duration of the cold but you have to take it no later than 48 hours after the start of the infection. It does this through compounds called anthocyanidins, which stimulate the immune system. Elderberry is so effective as a natural cold and flu therapy it was even used by the Panama government to stem the 1995 flu epidemic. Not only is it proven to reduce the duration, it also lessens the symptoms so you don’t have to spend so much time in bed under a pile of tissues. Bonus.
Echinacea for prevention, olive leaf for an unparalleled antioxidant punch, propolis and elderberry to get rid of an infection and you are armed with our top 4 destroyers of the common cold! We also carry liquid forms of all except olive leaf so they are easy for the whole family to take. Come visit us at Younibody to learn more about supporting your immune system this winter.
By Rachel Erwin, Health Coach
B.Sc With Distinction in University of Toronto
Postgraduate Degree in Human Nutrition from HKU