5 ingredients you didn’t know can help prevent colds
We’ve only got one more month left of winter so staying in peak health is super important – we don’t want to fall ill with a cold or the flu!
We’re sure you’re all aware of the things you can do to avoid getting sick but there are a few more ingredients and antioxidants you can keep in your medicinal cupboard to keep the sniffles well away.
“Glutathione is an amino acid with various roles in the human body. It’s an important antioxidant involved in our immune function and in warding off the common cold,” says Emily Seddon, Practitioner Consultant at BioCeuticals.
“A decrease in the activity of immune cells known as natural killer (NK) cells may increase the risk of catching the common cold. NK cells are dependent on adequate levels of glutathione for proper functioning.”
Even though it may be cold outside, you still need to be catching the sun’s rays every day for a dose of vitamin D. “Vitamin D has been shown to be protective against upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), such as the common cold, due to its effects on the immune system,” Seddon tells us. “Over winter, vitamin D status declines leaving us more susceptible to catching the common cold, as low levels of vitamin D are associated with increased rates of infections.”
“Population research and clinical trials also show D3 supplementation in children and adults is a safe and protective measure against acute respiratory tract infections during the winter months – when that time in the sun is limited,” she added.
I swear we’re not making these words up. “Andrographis is a herb traditionally used in the treatment of the common cold. It has been shown to help improve the incidence and severity of common cold symptoms, like fever and a sore throat, and reduce time to recovery,” says Seddon. “Smaller doses of this herb have also shown to increase resistance to the common cold and help prevent their occurrence.”
“Ubiquinol is found in almost all the cells of our bodies, including immune cells,” Seddon tells us. “As it’s essential for cellular mitochondrial function, it is also needed for optimal immune function. Researchers say that it assists in fighting viral and parasitic infections. It also appears to be involved in increasing white blood cell count in individuals with lowered immunity.”
According to Seddon, zinc plays many roles in the body and is involved in the function of over 300 enzyme functions. “One of its most important roles is in maintaining healthy immune defences,” she says. “A deficiency of zinc reduces the activity of various immune cells, displaying its crucial role in supporting the performance of our immune system. Supplemental zinc has been shown to be beneficial in both treating and preventing colds and URTIs.”