As the weather gets colder, it’s important to keep a staple of nutritional tools and do what you can to combat colds at the first sign of trouble with yourself and your loved ones. Germs pass easily among children back at school, and with the greater need to bundle up and stay indoors as temperatures drop, people tend not to get the Vitamin D3 they need to support healthy immune systems. Here are five things you can take or do to make sure you and your family stay healthy this season and next:
- Cat’s Claw: Cat’s claw is a Peruvian herb that acts as an adaptogenic immune system regulator. That means it can stimulate or tone down immune responses on an as needed basis. To combat colds, cat’s claw is most well-known for containing alkaloids that assist white blood cells fight off viruses and bacteria. Conversely, it can lessen the auto-immune responses responsible for allergic reactions and conditions like arthritis.
- Vitamin C: People tend to consume far less vitamin C than they actually need. When sick, it can be beneficial to take several grams at least of vitamin C per day in divided doses. The most cost-conscious form is ascorbic acid, and for those with sensitive stomachs, calcium ascorbate or sodium ascorbate. But if you’re willing to splurge a little, you’ll find whole food forms of vitamin C like powdered camu camu berries and powdered amla berries more effective.
- Vitamin D3: Vitamin D3 is the most essential nutrient people get from the sun, and it’s often credited as the main nutritional reason people tend to get sick in the winter. The average person should take 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day, far more than the RDA minimum requirement of 400 IU.
- Grapeseed Extract: Grapeseed extract is a strong, natural antiseptic that can be taken internally to combat colds, and can even be used topically on wounds as an antibacterial agent, due to its antimycotic, antiparasitic, antiviral, and antiprotozoan properties, allowing it to combat bacteria as strong as E.Coli.
- Turn off the Night Lights: Sleeping in a pitch black room allows the pineal gland to produce serotonin, a precursor to melatonin. When the body Is in the presence of light, even with the eyes closed, the pineal gland doesn’t produce enough serotonin, resulting in less melatonin, leading to, among other problems, a weaker immune system.