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Supplements that Help Boost the Immune System by Megan Hazel
A great number of supplements have become a mainstay in cabinets and on kitchen counters across the country in the last few years. It is only recently that the American public came to take immunity-boosters as often and as seriously as their daily multivitamin, and with good reason.
There are more immune-deficiency diseases lurking out there than ever before, and even your common cold is a result of a weakened immune system. We can look at some of the most effective and popular supplements to help boost your immune system and keep it functioning at its peak.
Zinc is a mineral that has become extremely popular in many different forms. While it is essential and can be found in food sources such as beans, nuts, and dairy, the FDA has realized its importance and regulated that it be added to such other foods as grains, breads and cereals. Most of the high-level zinc foods are found in certain seafood’s, such as oysters and crab, which many people do not enjoy. Accordingly, many of our popular carbohydrates have been fortified with zinc by the product manufacturer. An easier way to make sure you get your zinc is to buy a supplement and take it every day. You can take it in pill form or even a lozenge. Zinc is so critical for the immune system, in fact, that some cold remedies now come in lozenges or dissolvable tablets and are comprised mostly of zinc. The recommended dietary allowance for zinc is approximately 10 mg per day for your average adult.
Another great supplement for the immune system is an herb called Echinacea. While it has only become very popular in the last decade or so, Echinacea has actually been used in the United States for over a hundred years. In fact, it is harvested in many parts of the United States and grows quite readily and easily in our climate. It has become such a popular herb that some states are considering making the plant an endangered species. The bottles of Echinacea fly off the supplement shelves, especially for treatment and prevention of the common cold or flu. The smartest way to take Echinacea is to do so preventatively, so that you can ensure that your immune system will be boosted all year long. Because herbal remedies and supplements are not regulated by the FDA, it is in your best interest to choose a reputable supplement company when purchasing Echinacea for your consumption. Sometimes Echinacea will be mixed with another herb called goldenseal, which is also a beneficial combination for the immune system.
A pleasant way to boost your immune system, which also has the added benefit of calming you down, is by drinking green tea. A green tea supplement, especially when consumed regularly, can do wonders for your immune system, your metabolism, and even your outlook on life. Green tea contains ingredients called polyphenols and catechins, which are antioxidants that help to improve the overall health of the body. Beneficial polyphenols similar to those found in green tea are also found in red wine, but obviously one cannot, and should not, consume red wine all day long whereas you can feel free to drink as much green tea as you like! Green tea also contains an amino acid called theanine, which acts as a calming agent to the body. Instead of drinking coffee or black tea, drink green tea, as it may actually counteract the effect of coffee or caffeine on the nervous system, even though it does contain a bit of caffeine itself. Of course, you can easily buy decaffeinated green tea almost anywhere now. If you do not think you can drink enough of this wonderful tea to be truly beneficial, or if you do not like the flavor of green tea, you can always purchase it in pill form and take the supplement that way. If you choose this route, look for one that provides about 200 mg of polyphenols per capsule or supplement dose.
The above mentioned are just some of the most popular supplements that will help boost your immune system, and which you can get easily form an online or retail supplement store. There are many more out there, but these are really some of the best. They are also ones that have been tested and marketed for quite some time, and can be found aplenty in your local health food or vitamin store, or even sometimes in your supermarket in the vitamin or health food section. Give these immune-boosters a shot and take them faithfully for a few months, and you will likely see that you feel better and your colds and flu symptoms appear to be less.
Megan Hazel is a freelance writer who writes about health, fitness and nutrition, often discussing specific products such as supplements.