The root of this plant is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Astragalus is known to protect the body against immune stressors. It is also thought to help boost the immune system and prevent the flu and upper respiratory infections. It has a particularly potent anti-viral effect, therefore it is recommended to protect against the flu. Taking 200mg up to twice a day can help you avoid cold and flu symptoms. Check with your doctor before taking this supplement, because it can affect the metabolism of certain other medications.
During periods of stress and infection, vitamin C stores are depleted throughout the body. Vitamin C has been shown to shorten the duration of respiratory infections and cold symptoms, and also supports the immune system. Adding oranges, kiwi fruit, and bell peppers to your diet can give you a little extra vitamin C, and taking a supplement at the first sign of a cold can keep you from being stuck in bed for several days.
This mineral is essential for cells in the body to fight off infection. Based on a recent Cochrane Review, when Zinc is taken within the first 24 hours of cold symptoms it can shorten the duration by several days. Foods such as oysters, spinach, chicken, nuts, and beans are good sources of zinc. Beware that too much zinc is also harmful and can have the opposite effect.
Green tea contains catechins and theanine. Catechins are known for their ability to fight oxidation, a process that damages cells. Research suggests that these ingredients can be potent flu fighters. One study showed that individuals receiving green tea extract had a significantly lower instance of influenza than the placebo group. Among other things, green tea is also known for its potent immune boosting, antioxidant powers. Consuming 2-4 cups daily can help you stay cold free.