It is back to school season, and we all know what that means. Cold and flu season is approaching. If you have not been taking action towards optimizing your immune system, now is the time to start. We are surrounded by stressors that wreck havoc on our immune system, from toxic chemicals to inflammatory foods. Once our immune system is compromised, pathogens like bacteria and viruses are presented with the opportunity to attack making us sick. Sniffles, sore throats, chills, you know... the fun stuff.
Everyone has a favorite go-to remedy for their cold season. If I had to choose, my number one go-to remedy, it would be good ole Vitamin C. Originally associated with its ability to prevent scurvy in sailors, Vitamin C has a long history of having therapeutic effects against illness and disease. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent and reverse damage caused by exposure to toxins in our environment. The specialized cells of the immune system are heavily dependent on vitamin C for functioning. These cells have the ability to take up vitamin C directly into the cell via transport receptors in times of inflammation and infection to increase their immune-boosting job, such as phagocytes and their ability to destroy pathogenic bugs.
It has been studied that supplementation of Vitamin C during a cold can reduce the severity and duration, enabling a fast recovery. One study found that even the incidence of colds was reduced in healthy, non-obese adults when supplementing with adequate doses of this vitamin (1). However, the human body does not synthesis vitamin C. Obtaining this nutrient through diet or supplementation is important for the immune response and many other C-dependent metabolic functions. Foods that are high sources of vitamin C include green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, strawberries, and broccoli. Rose hips and hibiscus are also great herbal sources for this antioxidant vitamin.
There are so many other healthy habits that we can do to build up our immune system. From healthy supplements and herbs to food and lifestyle choices, check out our Immune System Workshop October 24th to learn more about optimizing your immune system. Contact the Crystal Lotus Shoppe or Rediscover Health, LLC for more details.
1. Johnston, C. S., Barkyoumb, G. M., & Schumacher, S. S. (2014). Vitamin C Supplementation Slightly Improves Physical Activity Levels and Reduces Cold Incidence in Men with Marginal Vitamin C Status: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 6(7), 2572â€“2583. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu6072572