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Well and Good: Immunity

Did you know that most adults have between 4 and 6 colds every year, and children have an average of 6 to 10? That means that most of us spend a total of 2 to 3 years with a cold!

While we’re winterizing our homes and cars, it’s a good idea to think about preparing our immune systems for weather changes, too. Here at FRESH, we’ve got you covered. We have plenty of options, whether you prefer to go totally plant-based, or try an herbal or homeopathic option. Here’s what we suggest for your immune-boosting needs:

• Immune Health Basics – Derived from yeast, this beta-glucan activates key immune cells to identify invaders (like viruses!) and fight them off. Available in adult and children doses, Immune Health Basics is a highly effective addition to a fall and winter supplement plan.

• Elderberry – Monty Python knew about elderberries, so we should too! Packed with antioxidants and B vitamins, elderberry is a great way to boost your immune system. Shown to reduce swelling in nasal passages and sinus cavities, elderberry is also a great option if you’re prone to sinus infections this time of year. Elderberry’s bonus: it’s also shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol!

• Vitamin C – Possibly the most well-known immune-boosting vitamin, vitamin C’s effects have been studied extensively. It works by increasing white blood cell counts, antibodies and interferon. Interferon is the antibody that coats the outside of cells to prevent viruses from entering. More interferon equals less chance of getting sick. Vitamin C is widely available in many forms, including liquid, capsule and chewable. Many foods like citrus are also rich in vitamin C.

Some foods also have immune-boosting properties:

• Garlic – When garlic is chewed or pressed, a chemical reaction occurs and a compound called allicin is produced. A powerful immune booster, allicin can act to combat viruses. Hate the smell? Pair garlic with parsley or leafy greens to combat garlic’s sulfur-containing properties.

• Citrus – We’ve already talked about this, but it bears repeating. Citrus is packed with vitamin C, one of the most powerful immune boosters. Widely versatile, citrus can be enjoyed alone or in salads, vinaigrettes and a variety of drink concoctions.

Small changes make a big difference! Cutting down on refined sugar can also help boost your immune system before cold season comes.