How to Naturally Protect Yourself During Cold & Flu Season

Cold and flu season is among us. This is the time of year you should be boosting your immune system so your body can fight off any viruses it may be exposed to. However, we don't mean buy a bunch of pharmaceuticals riddled with ridiculous chemicals that will end up suppressing your immune system. We mean boost your immune system the natural way--with herbs, vitamins, and minerals. Unsure of which herbs, vitamins, and minerals to take? No worries, here are 5 key ones you can start with:

Garlic: Garlic is a vegetable that is used as an herb and has great immune-boosting properties. It contains a compound called alliin that helps boost the disease-fighting response for some of the white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu.

Ginger : Ginger is an herb that has strong immune-boosting properties. It has sesquiterpenes, bisapolene, zingiberene and zingiberol compounds that are known for their incredible medicinal properties. These compounds help along with ginger's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help boost the immune system

Zinc: Zinc is an important trace mineral that is vital in sustaining the health of the body. Zinc is essential for DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. For this reason, highly proliferating cells, such as the cells in your immune system, need an adequate amount of zinc. Zinc activates enzymes that break down proteins in viruses and bacteria so they are less able to spread. It also increases the activation of cells responsible for fighting infections.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that encourages the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infections. Vitamin C also helps the white blood cells function more efficiently by protecting them from damage by harmful molecules known as free radicals.

Iron: Iron is an essential mineral that helps carry oxygen to your cells. It also helps in the production of lymphocytes or white blood cells which act as the frontliners of the immune system--fighting diseases and infections by protecting the body against harmful invaders such a viruses and bacteria.