Flu fighting can be helped with natural supplements, sleep

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
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As the cold and flu season gets underway, here are expert tips on natural supplements and good habits to stay healthy.

There are a host of things people can do to be proactive to fight a bug. But pharmacist James LaValle recommends some natural supplements to take year-round - and others to take the moment you feel something coming on.

"What I like about using natural therapy is that I think that it helps to augment what your body is naturally supposed to do. It's been used across cultures for the last 5,000 years," said LaValle.

Whether you get them through food or by taking a supplement, LaValle stresses getting enough vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc, along with probiotic foods.

It's all about supporting and boosting your immune system.

And make sure kids are aware.

"Back-to-school season kids aren't washing their hands, maybe you're not cleaning up the countertop as much as you should. Then there's Halloween - after Halloween comes Thanksgiving," said LaValle.

He adds the need for vitamin C amps up when a virus strikes.

"Vitamin C fuels your white-blood cells. Your body will use six times more vitamin C when you're sick than when you are well," LaValle said.

Then consider oregano oil, Sambucol elderberry syrup, andrographis and aged garlic supplements- all with studies that suggest they may shorten or lessen the severity of the cold or flu.

"They are really more effective as immune (system) stimulants. You don't want to stimulate your immune system all the time, you want to keep things in balance," said LaValle.

And while these foods and supplements might help you out, LaValle says be careful of two things: Sleep and sugar.

"If you're only getting five hours of sleep that's trouble. You're getting nine times more likelihood of the cold or flu."

And you have to be careful because sugar suppresses the immunity.

Commitments, parties, shopping and diet change can create stress which alters the immune system, so knowing when and how to power up might keep you healthy this year.