by Melissa Chichester
It also means back-to-school season is in full swing and winter is on the way.
As always, it is helpful to stock your pantry with popular fall supplement staples that support immune health and more.* So what should you start with? Read on to find out what the popular fall supplement staples can do.
To support your immune health in the fall, it is important to start by practicing certain lifestyle habits. Washing your hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, and avoiding touching your face (especially your mouth and nose) to help keep unwanted germs out of your way.
Getting adequate sleep is also essential to staying healthy. When you lack sleep, you are more prone to feeling run down. While it’s important to sleep for a long enough period of time (at least 7-8 hours for adults), it is also important to sleep soundly without interruptions. If you have trouble sleeping for long periods of time or experience broken sleep, there are actions you can take to promote healthier sleep:
On top of sleeping well and practicing healthy hygiene, a nutritious diet also helps support immune health. If you find you are not getting enough of certain nutrients through your diet, supplements may help.
It’s probably not a surprise this one is first on the list! Vitamin C is one of the leading vitamins for immune support.* It is essential for the optimal functioning of white blood cells and also supports the production of the important B and T cells of the adaptive immune response.* It also helps certain cells of the innate immune system surround unwanted compounds.*
Vitamin C is easy to find in many foods, such as leafy greens and citrus fruits. This is important because it is water-soluble and cannot be stored up in the body. The National Institutes of Health Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults is between 75-90 mg per day depending on gender.
You don’t need a large intake of zinc daily, but this essential trace mineral plays a big role in your body. Zinc is involved in the function of more than 300 enzymes in the body. It assists in DNA formation and is needed for the growth and division of cells.* Zinc also acts as an antioxidant and supports the immune system.* The National Institutes of Health Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for zinc in adults over the age of 19 is eleven milligrams for men, and eight milligrams for women.
Elderberry has been traditionally used for hundreds of years in many cultures to support the immune system.* Elderberries are small, purplish-black berries that contain anthocyanins, a beneficial plant pigment that has antioxidant properties. Because elderberries cannot be eaten raw, they need to be cooked or processed before consumption. For this reason, elderberry supplements have exploded in popularity in recent years.
As the days get shorter in the fall and winter months, it is harder to get Vitamin D. Your body makes Vitamin D from sunlight. This fat-soluble vitamin supports bone health by helping with the absorption of calcium.* Furthermore, Vitamin D helps maintain a healthy immune system.* Need help getting more Vitamin D? Click here for seven ways to get more of this crucial nutrient.
Echinacea is a centuries-old herb traditionally used for immune support because of support from phytonutrients.*^ Phytonutrients occur naturally in plants to help protect them, but they can also support human health.* Echinacea is frequently combined with goldenseal, an herb traditionally used by Native Americans for centuries.*
When occasional sleeplessness occurs, it helps to have melatonin on hand.* Melatonin is a hormone that supports the sleep-wake cycle in humans and animals.* It helps people who are experiencing jet lag and others who want to improve their quality of rest.* In a nutshell, melatonin is a clinically studied ingredient that works in harmony with your natural sleep cycle to support sound sleep.*
Nothing can take the place of a nutritious diet, but a multivitamin can help you increase your intake of a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals and provide nourishment for daily living.* And for specific life stages, it is even more important to take a multivitamin, like during pregnancy and older adulthood.
When adding a new supplement to your routine, it is important to discuss it with your personal healthcare practitioner. Someone who knows your health history will be able to help you choose the right supplement for you and your overall health.
^Traditional use claims are based on historical or traditional practices. Echinacea has been traditionally used for a variety of reasons, including for immune health, which dates back to the American Eclectics in the early part of the twentieth century.