No matter how late it arrives, it always inevitable does -- cold and flu season. While the arrival of this time of year, when instances of cold and flu infections spike, may be guaranteed, you getting sick doesn't have to be. Last week, on "The Dr. Oz Show," Dr. Mehmet Oz discussed ways to prevent contracting one of these viruses and how to speed recovery if you do.
As always, Dr. Oz doesn't recommend a particular supplement or brand, so we take his advice and find the best products to match it. Check out which essential items should be in your cold and flu kit this season:
Oz Recommendation One: Saline Nasal Spray
As Dr. Oz explained, if your nasal passages are dry, you're more susceptible to pathogens in the air that can lead to a cold or the flu. When the nasal passages are dry, your body can easily absorb these pathogens, leading to illness. A saline nasal spray will keep the nasal passages lubricated and remove mucus and bacteria already in there. You can also get relief from nasal congestion.
OUR PICK: Saline and Aloe Nasal Spray from Naturade -- 1.5 fl oz for $6.98
This spray from Naturade goes beyond the typical nasal spray, combining natural sea salt with aloe vera juice to lubricate the nasal passages to prevent absorption of pathogens while also clearing out congestion to treat infection that may already be present. You also get the benefits of slippery elm bark to help treat congestion. All ages can use this formula to fast relief from nasal discomfort. Just spray two to three times per nostril with your head upright.
Oz Recommendation Two: Black Currant
These incredible berries are packed with gamma linoleic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that's known to reduce inflammation to ease the pain and discomfort associated with a sore throat. Dr. Oz explained lozenges with black currant instead of menthol are a better choice, as menthol can cause damage to the throat by breaking down naturally occurring mucus. You can also look for a black currant supplement to take daily for immune system support and reduced inflammation.
OUR PICK: Immune Take Care from New Chapter -- 14 VCaps for $12.57 or 30 VCaps for $23.97
This supplement combines 50 mg of black currant extract with 335 mg of elderberry, another proven immunity booster packed with vitamin C for strong antioxidant benefits. Both of these extracts are created from non-GMO fruit and are certified organic. All you need is one capsule per day to keep your immune system strong all year long. You can also up the dosage to two capsules per day during cold and flu season for enhanced protection.
Oz Recommendation Three: Mushroom Tea
While drinking mushrooms may not seem very appealing, medicinal mushrooms are a very important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The main types of medicinal mushrooms include maitake, shitake and reishi, which are rich in selenium, a mineral known to support a strong immune system. They also prevent germs from growing in the body. Dr. Oz recommended drinking at least two cups each evening for the health benefits.
OUR PICK: Mai Green Tea from Maitake Products Inc. -- 20 Teabags for $6.18
This powerful tea combines maitake mushroom with green tea for incredible immune system support. As previously mentioned, the maitake mushroom is rich in selenium and green tea is a potent antioxidant for fighting off free radicals and pathogens. This tea is decaffeinated, so it won't keep you up if consumed in the evening and contains no sugar, artificial colors or flavors. Just steep in hot water to your desired strength. You can even add raw honey for additional support.
Oz Recommendation Four: NAC
N-acetylcysteine, or NAC, can help you strengthen your immune system to prevent you from getting sick in the first place. NAC is a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals and toxins that can damage the cells while also promoting a faster recovery from viruses like the flu. Find a supplement that can be taken with or without food, for greater convenience and give your body an edge against illness.
OUR PICK: NAC 600 mg from Now -- 100 Caps for $10.29 or 250 Caps for $20.59
In each serving of this NAC supplement, you're getting 600 mg of NAC plus an added 50 mcg of molybdenum and 25 mcg of selenium, for amazing immunity support. Taken just once daily, this supplement can help you remove free radicals and heavy metals, break up mucus in the lungs and even support heart and brain function. Overall, a great product to add to your routine.
Oz Recommendation Five: Astragalus
Astragalus is an herbal supplement that helps promote a strong immune system response to pathogens, stressors, toxins and free radicals that can make you sick, making it a favorite amongst practitioners of TCM. Dr. Oz recommended looking for a liquid extract of this herb. You can add one full dropper to a cup of warm water as a form of daily prevention. If you're already sick, you can up the dosage to three times a day to help fight symptoms.
OUR PICK: Astragalus from L.A. Naturals -- 1 fl oz for $8.62
This extract is made with certified organic astragalus root to strengthen the immune system during cold and flu season. It can also beneficial for anyone with a suppressed immune system due to medical treatment like chemotherapy. Just add 30 to 60 drops to water or juice up to three times a day. Please be aware, this extract is combined with grain alcohol (about 27 to 37 percent by volume) as well as deionized water.
Oz Recommendation Six: Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is the super supplement most physicians will recommend be a part of your daily routine. Vitamin D3 not only enhances mineral absorption, it also works as a powerful antioxidant. Dr. Oz suggested vitamin D3 to help prevent the flu virus from catching up with you. He suggested taking between 1,000 and 2,000 IU on a daily basis between the months of December and March to keep you healthy.
OUR PICK: Vitamin D3 2,000 IU from eVitamins -- 120 Softgels for $5.99
Each serving of this high potency vitamin D3 supplement provides 2,000 IU of this important nutrient, sourced from lanolin. Free of fillers like magnesium stearate and stearic acid, its also made without common allergens and is a great way to get your daily vitamin D3 when you can't get outdoors and into the sun. Support a strong immune system as well as your bones and teeth with just one softgel a day.
As always, speak with your physician before adding these or any other supplements to your routine if you're currently being treated for a medical condition or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Shop for great products like these and more at eVitamins and we'll be back next week with more great products that match Dr. Oz's advice. Have a great week!
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