As seasons change we need to adjust our diets to make sure we are getting the correct nutrients our bodies need. According to Barbara Mendez, a Manhattan-based integrative nutritionist and registered pharmacist specializing in functional nutrition and “the science of how food, medicine, and supplements affect happiness and well-being,” reads her website. She believes that the right seasonal vitamins and supplements can help you “maintain a healthy balance in your gut flora, which is necessary for your overall well being.” Read up on the three “most valuable supplements to have on hand to maintain good health,” according to Mendez:
1. A high-potency probiotic formula: “This is something I recommend for all of my clients,” she writes. “Replenishing beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract is one of the most important practices in keeping your immune system functioning optimally.” She recommends a high-potency blend with both acidophilus and bifidus, Claims on probiotics vary significantly so make sure you read the label.
2. Vitamin D: For obvious reasons, Mendez recommends supplementing with vitamin D during the harsh winter months. It helps strengthen your bones as well as your immune system. “Find out your levels through a simple blood test administered by your doctor at your next physical and then if you need to, supplement accordingly,” she instructs. Look for vitamin d3 for best results.
3. Olive leaf extract: “This is one of the very best supplements I know of to help with both viral and bacterial infections, which means it will work well whether you have a cold, the flu or the beginnings of a sinus infection,” she explains. Of course, if you’re running a fever and experiencing the chills, contact your doctor and first determine if you need antibiotics.
Remember that cold and flu can be easily passed by improper hand washing, make sure you wash your hands especially in public places.