This flu season, the CDC estimates that since October 1, 2019, there have been approximately 19 – 26 million cases of flu illnesses so far.

With so many cold and flu-related germs constantly being spread around us, it can be challenging to keep your immune system strong and healthy. Research shows that our immune systems are naturally more susceptible to illness during the winter months when temperatures drop and we spend more time cooped up indoors.

Just because it is flu season, doesn’t mean you have to fall ill

But this doesn’t mean that you have to suffer through the winter, jumping from one flu-like illness to the next. 

Many top nutritionists and homeopathic doctors personally use and recommend a number of natural herbs and nutrients that can give your immune system the extra boost it needs to fight off common germs and viruses.

When combined with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle habits, these supplements can make all the difference and keep you feeling your best until spring!

So although it might be impossible to completely avoid a cold or two during flu season, there are a handful of ways to drastically decrease your chances of getting sick and limit the number of days you spend feeling under the weather this winter.

9 Supplements Nutritionists Take During Flu Season

1. Probiotics
Did you know that over 70% of your immune system’s cells reside in your gut? That’s why paying close attention to your gut health is probably the number one thing you can do to boost your immunity during flu season. A high quality probiotic, preferably a diverse strain supplement with prebiotic extracts, can do wonders when it comes to prepping your body to get through the winter months.

2. Elderberry
A powerful immunity booster, nutritionists love recommending elderberry to their patients for its fruity, floral flavor and potent antioxidant and antiviral abilities. This herb can shorten the duration of colds and flu and help get you back on your feet much faster. One study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that 90% of participants in their 40-person study reported feeling completely cured within 2-3 days of taking elderberry supplements.

Elderberries are delicious, powerful and come in all different shapes and sizes, but supplements are the most concentrated source

3. Turmeric
This ancient Indian superfood contains an incredible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound known as curcumin, and is arguably the most effective natural supplement in existence. Curcumin helps drastically reduce inflammation and has been shown to ward off a number of illnesses, decrease pain, improve joint health, and promote gut, brain, and immune health. That’s why a turmeric supplement with a high percentage of curcumin extract is the best way to naturally boost immunity!

4. Garlic
It may not be known for its pleasant odor, but top nutritionists are well aware of just how powerful this pungent herb can be when it comes to fighting off stubborn colds. That’s why they regularly recommend garlic to patients in need of healthy blood pressure regulation, improved heart health, and strengthened immunity. This superfood has antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that have been shown to drastically lessen symptoms and duration of sickness.

Garlic contains a compound known as alliin, which has been shown in many studies to increase disease-fighting responses in certain white blood cells when introduced to the flu-causing viruses.

5. Vitamin C
Perhaps the most well-known supplement when it comes to boosting your immune system, vitamin C is a must-have during cold and flu season, according to most nutritionists. This powerful antioxidant can help relieve cold symptoms and shorten the duration of the flu by protecting your cells against oxidative stress and free-radical damage.

Vitamin C can be obtained through food sources like citrus fruits, broccoli, and tomatoes, or multiple variations of supplements in capsule, liquid, and gummy form.

Oranges are a great natural source of vitamin C

6. Zinc
This mineral is another one of the top supplements taken by many nutritionists to fight off an oncoming or existing cold. This is because many studies have found that taking 70mg of zinc at the immediate onset of flu symptoms can nip the oncoming sickness in the bud. Found as an ingredient in many throat lozenges, zinc has also been reported to decrease the length and severity of colds and flu. However, be sure not to overdo it, as this supplement can actually suppress the immune system when taken in larger than recommended doses.

7. Echinacea
Another well-known immune-boosting herb, echinacea is often recommended by nutritionists and doctors alike during cold and flu season. Echinacea is highly effective in promoting a strong immune system and has been shown to boost germ-fighting white blood cells that reduce symptoms and severity of colds. Similar to zinc supplements, echinacea is also most effective when taken immediately at the onset of flu-like symptoms. 

8. Magnesium
Feeling overly stressed or anxious can wreak havoc on your already weakened immune system during the chilly cold and flu months. That’s where supplementing with magnesium can help your body better manage stress and keep your immune system strong, by increasing GABA levels. Largely lacking in the majority of our diets, magnesium strengthens muscles and bones, regulates essential female hormones, supports healthy cognitive function, and more. Magnesium’s vital role in your body’s stress-response system will help keep you feeling calm and promote better quality sleep to protect you through the flu season.

Magnesium supplements are a great way to guarantee you are getting all that you need!

9. Ginger

Known for its zesty, distinctive flavor and immunity-boosting abilities, ginger is yet another flu-fighting supplement nutritionists can’t live without. Easily added into teas, various recipes, or simply taken in pill or powder form, ginger combats flu-causing bacteria in the body by decreasing inflammation and oxidative damage.

Also famous for preventing nausea and alleviating stomach upset, ginger contains potent antioxidants and antiviral powers that, similar to turmeric, have been used as an ancient healing method for centuries.

Did you enjoy these helpful tips for how nutritionists stay healthy through the chilly winter months? We’d love to hear from you! Give us a shout in the comments below and let us know what you’d like to see next!

Want to learn more about protecting yourself during flu season? Check out these tips to stay healthy during flu season!

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