Expert immune boosting tips and supplements that work

I spoke too soon… at 3pm one afternoon I was making a smug comment to a friend that I was kicking this winter’s butt by not getting sick. Then, by 4pm (health) karma laughed in my face. My glands were suddenly swollen; my throat felt like a swallowed razor blades and I looked like I was run over a truck.

While catching winter bugs cant be totally unavoidable, what we can do is help strengthen our immune system to get over them a whole lot quicker.

Now before you rush to the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle, you might want to hold off. A cold is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Therefore taking antibiotics, which kill bacteria, will not help you overcome a cold or prevent it spreading to others. In fact, misuse of antibiotics is a major factor why certain bacteria’s are becoming antibiotic resistance super strains.

Instead, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated and taking the following key supplements are the best way to move forward.

Supplements that work

immune boosting tips, supplement advice

TAKE: Aged Garlic Extract

In particular, Wagner Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract, as it’s backed by a paletha of scientific research – 700 published studies by more than 50 universities, hospitals and institutes worldwide, including Australia, the United States and Japan to be exact. Pretty impressive right? Not only can it be taken preventatively, particularly in the cold and flu season, it is also beneficial in reducing the duration of an illness.

But the goodness doesn’t stop there. For one, it contains active compounds that aren’t found in fresh garlic, plus they are also less volatile and have more bioavailability (meaning the antioxidant effect is enhanced). Another winning fact is it supports and/or maintains the health of the cardiovascular system, may assist in the maintenance of normal cholesterol levels in healthy people and helps protect the heart cells against free radical damage – and that are just a few points. Oh, and it doesn’t give you garlic breath. Winning!

immune boosting tips, supplement advice

Try → Wagner Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract, $26.99

immune boosting tips, supplement advice

TAKE: ArmaForce

As a herbal medicine nerd from way back, this little number includes pretty much all of the essentials you take to prevent colds, but in one handy practitioner-only and scientifically formulated tablet. Combining andrographis, echinacea, olive leaf, vitamin C and zinc this one. It too helps provide relief of symptoms and decrease the duration of upper respiratory tract infections and colds. It also saves you buying several products so it’s cheaper for the purse strings. Double tick.

And some non-supplement immune boosting options?

immune boosting tips, supplement advice

TIP: Stay hydrated

It can be easy to forget to drink water when you are too busy wallowing into your tissue box. But liquids, especially that comforting chicken soup can actually aid in stopping inflammation and stop mucus, thanks to the water content. Also, best to put that coffee down, as it will only dehydrate you further and add days to your cold.

immune boosting tips, supplement advice

TIP: Gargle salt water

Mum was right: gargling warm salt water when you have a sore throat could help relieve symptoms, even if it is just temporally. First of all inhaling steam helps with congestion, then it also works by drawing fluid from inflamed tissue in the back on the throat and loosen thick mucus.

immune boosting tips, supplement advice

TIP: Rest!

For those workaholics (yes, my hand is going up), working when sick can sometimes feel like a badge of honour, but all it is going to do is make the duration of your cold longer – AND you are also going to make everyone around you sick as well. Bad workmate! So what better reason to take a day or two off work, set up camp on the couch and spend some quality time with Netflix?

Yep, I’ll take that option any day!

Image credit: iStock
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Lee Sutherland is director of Fitness In The City (personal training, certified health and nutrition coaching, herbal medicine and blogging on all things health, nutrition and fitness) and is also the creator of organic, wild-grown herbal tea brand, Little Wildling Co. Hailing from the world of entertainment, having worked in marketing, publicity and management at the largest record label, Lee incorporates her knowledge of nutrition, natural health science, fitness and health coaching to inspire and help people all around the world. In addition to client consultations and regularly blogging on, Lee is also a regular expert commentator and contributor to various media platforms and can also be seen on Season 2 of Fashion Bloggers TV (E!) as trainer to Zanita.