Your fall supplement shopping list
Fall is here! The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling, and, unfortunately, cold and flu season is nearing.
This time of year is a great opportunity to take stock of your current supplement inventory, and update your cabinets with new items that can help keep you healthy for the season ahead. While I always recommend my patients to try to get as many vitamins and minerals from food first, supplements are a great second step to support your health.
When we head into fall, we spend more time indoors, creating more risk for the spread of germs which can lead to viruses. The following supplements are especially helpful for boosting your immune system at this vulnerable time of the year:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects against infection and enhances immunity. It works by increasing the production of white blood cells and antibodies, which both help fight off infection. Typical dosages start at 1000 mg daily but can be increased depending on bowel tolerance. Some Vitamin C sources include citrus fruits, strawberries, papaya, kiwi, broccoli, red pepper and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin D also has powerful immune boosting, anti-inflammatory and bone supportive properties. Typical dosages start at 1000 IU/daily but can be increased depending on the condition being treated or how vulnerable the immune system is.
These are the “good” bacteria that work in the intestinal tract. They fight pathogenic infections and promote recovery from infections by stimulating the production of antibodies.
This is the most important immune mineral as it helps to prevent a weakened immune system. Studies have shown that a zinc deficiency can impair a number of white blood cells and platelets (blood cells involved in clotting), and can increase susceptibility to infection. Take either an oral zinc supplement or eat zinc-rich foods, such as nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs and whole grains.
Omega 3 fatty acids
These are essential immune boosters, as they work by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. These fats also help strengthen cell membranes, thereby speeding up healing and strengthening resistance to infection in the body.