The rain has reappeared and the kids are heading back to school … let’s face it: fall is here. While sweater weather can be a comfort, it also signals the arrival of cold and flu season. If we make simple changes now to prepare for the onslaught of germs, we’ll be much better equipped to fight them off!

Lifestyle tips

The choices we make every day can help us boost our immune systems.[1]

  • Eat a balanced diet brimming with fruits and veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise moderately. Regular exercise is wonderful for our overall health and immune systems, but keep in mind that intense physical exertion (such as training at an elite level) can be hard on our immune systems.

Helpful supplements

There are also several supplements that may help us prepare for cold and flu season. All of Provita’s supplements are made with high quality, effective ingredients. Keep in mind that you should always speak to your health care practitioner to find out if a new supplement is right for you.

Beautiful botanicals

Plants have long been used to help support the immune system.

  • Astragalus:[2] A plant native to China, astragalus is renowned for its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-supporting properties. It may even help with cardiovascular health.
  • Goldenseal: The active ingredient in this much-loved herb, berberine, is used to help inhibit flu viruses.[3]

Marvellous mushrooms

Mushrooms are amazing! Don’t believe it? Check out these spectacular specimens:

  • Reishi: Along with a multitude of other benefits, this mushroom has antioxidant properties and is thought to help strengthen our immune response.[4]
  • Shiitake: A recent study confirmed what was long suspected: shiitake mushroom helps improve immunity in humans.[5]
  • Chaga: Famous for its immune-stimulating properties, as well as potential anticancer properties, chaga mushroom is well-deserving of its recent fame.[6]
  • Cordyceps: The cordyceps fungus is known to help modulate our immune systems, helping to restore their balance and health.[7]
  • Agaricus blazei: This lesser-known mushroom has been shown to modulate the immune system in scientific studies.[8]
  • Maitake: Traditionally used to treat diabetes and high blood pressure, maitake mushroom is also thought to stimulate the immune system.[9]

 

References:

[1] Harvard Health. How to Boost Your Immune System. Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

[2] University of Maryland Medical Center. Astragalus. Retrieved from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/astragalus

[3] PubMed. (2011). Inhibition of H1N1 influenza A virus growth and induction of inflammatory mediators by the isoquinoline alkaloid berberine and extracts of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21683808

[4] MSKCC. Reishi Mushroom. Retrieved from https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/reishi-mushroom

[5] PubMed. (2015). Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25866155

[6] MSKCC. Chaga Mushroom. Retrieved from https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/chaga-mushroom

[7] PubMed. Chapter 5, Cordyceps as an Herbal Drug. Bao-qin Lin and Shao-ping Li. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92758/

[8] PubMed. 2008. Effects of the medicinal mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill on immunity, infection and cancer. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18782264

PubMed. (2009). Effects of Agaricus blazei Murill extract on immune responses in normal BALB/c mice. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19779112

[9] MSKCC. Maitake mushroom. Retrieved from https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/maitake