Cold and flu season is in full swing. If you’ve had the flu shot, you’ve already taken a positive step toward protecting yourself against certain strains of influenza. However, there are other viruses – as well as the common cold – that can hit without warning and cannot be prevented with a yearly vaccination.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands several times a day to keep germs at bay. If you follow hand-washing with a dollop of hand sanitizer, you’ll add even more protection against those pesky germs that make us sick. Nevertheless, because we do not live in a sterile world, there’s a good chance you’ll come in contact with contagious viruses, regardless of the precautions you take.
The good news is that you can boost your immune system naturally. Here are three vitamin supplements you can add to your diet that can help you resist illness during the winter months.
Vitamin B Complex – Experts tout the benefits of taking vitamin B complex to stay healthy. There are eight B vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 – that work together to keep our bodies strong and resistant to disease.
If your body is fueled by the proper combination of all eight B vitamins, these nutrients will work together to fight off germs that cause illness. Although you’re probably already getting your daily minimum requirement of B vitamins in your daily diet, you may also want to take a B complex supplement to boost your body’s defense system.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C goes a long way toward strengthening your immune system by killing bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It also facilitates healing of all body cells. Whether or not vitamin C prevents the common cold has long been a question of debate; however, vitamin C is clearly integral in keeping your body healthy and strong.
Vitamin D -- If you want to avoid catching the flu, one Japanese study conducted with school children suggests that taking vitamin D3 supplements may reduce the risk of contracting influenza A by as much as 58 percent. In fact, individuals with vitamin D deficiencies often have a higher incidence of catching colds, so it’s a good idea to ensure that you get your daily requirement of this essential vitamin. Because we spend more time indoors during the winter months and are likely to produce less vitamin D naturally, you’ll want to boost your daily dosage by taking supplements.