Increasing your resistance is especially important during this time of year. The flu season is underway. It is therefore time to think about boosting your resistance. Better immunity includes taking nutritional supplements, drinking healthy, vitamin-containing drinks, and eating plenty of foods rich in vitamin C — all in the hopes of not getting you sick.
However, the question is, “Does it all work?” And does it work as well as – or better than – the things we can do naturally, such as sleeping well, washing our hands, and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol?
During the fall and winter, the risk of colds and flu can last for months. As humans, we share our living environment with a large number of micro-organisms – including bad organisms. Take, for example, pathogenic bacteria.
Increase resistance thanks to supplements
Our bodies do their best to deal with these invaders through a complex process that depends on several factors.
In addition to the well-known enhancers of our immune system, such as sufficient exercise and eating a healthy diet, several supplements can improve our immune system – and therefore our resistance.
Read on to learn more about the respective nutritional supplements.
Vitamin D can increase the resistance
Even if you were consuming a “perfect” diet daily, it would be very difficult to get enough vitamin D. There are few foods that contain enough vitamin D to meet the recommended daily amount. Oily fish is probably one of the best sources of vitamin D, followed by egg yolks and liver.
The best source of vitamin D comes from the sun's UV rays that are absorbed by the skin. Because the Netherlands has relatively few hours of sunshine per year – especially in the cold months – many of us will not be exposed to enough sunlight.
Supplementing vitamin D through supplementation is then the best option. A 2017 study in the British Medical Journal revealed that supplementation can protect against colds and flu. Do you want to increase your resistance? Don't forget this vitamin!
A 2016 study found that zinc supplementation in older adults helped boost immunity. Although you can get zinc from foods such as sesame and pumpkin seeds, lentils, and turkey, the vast majority of the population studied was not able to get enough zinc from their diet. This made them more susceptible to diseases and infections. Further studies have shown that zinc can reduce the duration of a cold.
Increase your resistance with probiotics
When it comes to building a line of defense against the flu, start building better gut health. One study found that college students who took supplemental probiotics reduced the duration and severity of a cold.
It is therefore perfectly possible to increase your resistance with the help of a high-quality probiotic.
Many studies have linked the use of vitamin C to a reduction in colds and an increased ability to fight infection. However, keep in mind that consuming too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea and stomach upset.
So while it's most likely safe to take dietary supplements with vitamin C this winter, don't exceed the recommended daily allowance (RDA). The maximum tolerable limit of vitamin C for adults is 2000 mg.
Not only supplements are important for a good resistance
Supplements work best when you need a higher dose, such as vitamin C, or when you are trying to get a nutrient that your body has a hard time getting from food, such as vitamin D. This will give your immune system a boost!
As with most things that help reduce the risk of infections and chronic diseases, there is no one “magic bullet” that will solve the problem. It is important to make some good lifestyle choices that together can make a difference.