AP NEWS

Give your immune system a boost

February 24, 2019

It’s always a challenge to keep our immune systems in good shape. A healthy diet filled with nutrition-rich green foods and fruits is a great start, but sometimes, our immune systems can use a boost. Here are some great immune-supporting supplements that could provide a helpful hand.

• Elderberry — Elderberry is usually found in a great-tasting syrup and is a staple of many people’s natural immune regimens. Studies have shown that people taking elderberry can find relief of flu symptoms up to four days quicker than those not supplementing with elderberry. I prefer a once daily dose as a preventative measure, but elderberry can be taken multiple times a day if a more intensive approach is needed.

• Oregano oil — Usually known for its culinary use, the concentrated oil extract of the leaves of oregano has much anti-bacterial activity, making it very useful for supporting seasonal wellness. Oil of oregano is a fairly pungent and spicy supplement, and though the liquid is the most helpful in many cases, oregano oil is also available in capsules for those who wish to avoid the taste.

• Andrographis — This bitter herb is popular in the Ayurvedic traditional system of medicine, but is just starting to gain traction elsewhere. Studies have shown that supplementing with andrographis can support immune function and provide relief from symptoms including sore throat, cough and runny nose.

• Probiotics — Many people know that probiotics are great in supporting a healthy gut, but these beneficial bacteria can also play a key role in immune response. About 70 percent of our immune system is in or connected to our gut, so we can see where keeping our gut flora in balance could provide a boost to our overall immune health. Unfortunately, the probiotics in yogurt don’t usually survive our stomach acid, so be sure to get a high-quality probiotic supplement. Look for one with multiple strains that is guaranteed potency until expiration and is made with acid-resistant probiotic strains.

Take care of yourself by watching your diet, protecting your gut and supporting your immune system with these great supplements. It can make a world of difference and your immune system will thank you for it.

Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsi at The Market in Huntington. He has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for over 14 years. He can be contacted at travislemonmh@gmail.com.