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Seasonal Wellness Shopping List

It’s the time of year that we need to take extra good care of our bodies and specifically the immune system. Join us in exploring herbs and nutrients available at Whole Foods Market that may offer support. Malia Curran, MS, MPH is a nutrition consultant, speaker, and mom of two young children.

The immune system is a powerful defense team nourished by specific nutrients found in food or supplement form:
  • Garlic and ginger both contain compounds that can help optimize the body’s immune system.
  • Vitamin C is integral for white blood cell production and healthy inflammation response in the body. Whole Foods™ brand Vitamin C 1000mg is a “sustained release” formula.
  • A high-quality medicinal mushroom complex that includes shiitake, reishi, maitake and cordyceps contain polysaccharide compounds that can stimulate the body’s immune system.
  • Probiotics, found in fermented foods and supplement form, can aid the body in maintaining healthy levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut that are very important for immune system function.
Herbs and minerals provide additional benefit through their compounds or antioxidants:
  • Astragalus is an herb that when used preventively may enhance the immune system through white blood cell function.
  • Echinacea studies that have used the appropriate amount, species and part of the plant have shown that this herb is effective for supporting immune health.
  • Elderberry extract is found in wellness syrups like Gaia Black Elderberry Nighttime Syrup and is noted for its effectiveness, as well as its great taste.
  • 365 Flu Ease is a homeopathic remedy that when taken at the first sign of sickness can provide temporary relief of symptoms including fever, chills and body aches.
  • Research shows the mineral zinc is a key player in healthy immune function and is needed for white blood cell production and activity.
To help maintain a healthy immune system, nutritionist Malia Curran recommends:
  • Choose a combination immune support formula like Source Naturals Wellness Formula which contains garlic, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, zinc, selenium, elderberry, echinacea, ginger and astragalus.
  • Ricola drops and teas use herbs that are organically cultivated and do not contain artificial sweeteners or colors.
In addition to hand washing, there are other effective lifestyle tips that can be easily incorporated for prevention:
  • Don’t forget a multivitamin to cover your bases on basic amounts of vitamins and minerals.
  • Make sleep an absolute priority, along with daily exercise and other types of personal stress management.

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129 comments

Comments

Meagan says …

Great info!

Candice says …

Thanks for the info...great advice for the upcoming cold season!

Tracy Robertson says …

thanks for the tips! I knew that garlic is beneficial to the immune system, but for some reason I had forgotten all about that for some time. Now that it's fall it's time for me to start eating it again.

Annalisa says …

Great reminders, especially this time of year!

ria says …

Catnip tea is also good for colds

vickie morgan says …

Good information on keeping healthy this winter

Katherine says …

What a useful podcast! Thanks so much!

Heather says …

This is great, helpful information. I have a nasty cold right now so it is particularly relevant!

Dawn says …

So nice to hear the benefits of garlic since I love it so much anyway!

Stephanie says …

Great info, we'll be stocking up on some of these products for the winter!

Daphne says …

"Daily exercise" really hit home with me. Since joining a gym, my husband and I have lost body fat, gained lean muscle mass, and are the healthiest we have been in years!

Donna K says …

good info

Anash says …

thanks for these tips! they all help to combat my daughters eczema as well as avoiding pasturized dairy!

Lauren says …

Great info. I'm glad to hear information about preventing illness with natural foods rather than treating it with synthetic materials.

Corey Olomon says …

This contained great information. Thanks for providing the public service of these great podcasts!

Yona says …

Now I will be looking for vitamin C supplements that say 'sustained release'. I also didnt know that immune function happens in the intestines...

Debbie Kennedy says …

Lots of great advice. I'm glad to hear that I'm doing some of the right things already!

Danielle says …

Thanks! Since I'm breastfeeding I stick with natural/homeopathic ways to stay healthy and reduce the chance of catching a cold. this was very helpful!

Robin says …

With 4 kids going in different directions each day and a husband traveling quite a bit, we are exposed to much. Great information for me to rely on as I learn a new way to keep us out of the physician's office. Thanks for the helpful info as I embark on new territory of keeping us healthy.

jenn says …

i did not know that about mushrooms thanks i will be stocking up on a mushroom complex

ElizaBeth says …

Lots of good information, thanks for sharing.

kristen crenshaw says …

And definitely D3 for immune support, also. :)

Storm, the Psychotic Housewife says …

Thanks for the tips - I'll be sure to stock up on garlic and ginger next trip!

Sarah says …

I love ginger and just discovered ginger beer - glad to know it will help my immune system!

Melinda Gordon says …

Fantastic info, I appreciate all of your tips! I will be sure to stock up! :-)

heather c says …

It's such a shame that we get really busy during flu season (and lose sleep), thus setting ourselves up for getting sick. Great tips on how to try to stay well!

Christina says …

Great advice! Vitamin C is pretty cheap and easy to get, and if that helps keep my immune system in working order, sounds good to me!

Patrice says …

I'm so glad you would educate shoppers, rather than have those horrible flu shops given like so many other stores do! Way to go!

Theresa Shafer says …

About time someone put together a list for us to follow. Thank you.

Tina M says …

thank you for the info

Mommy Boots says …

Thanks for the great tips! I recently started eating clean and this is great info to incorporate into my new lifestyle!! I'm also not a huge fan of the flu shot so I like alternative ways to stay healthy.

Kaeli Hines says …

I've always used vitamin C for immune support, but hadn't heard about many of these others. I take probiotics for tummy aches. Thanks for the information!

Tina "The Book Lady" says …

I take zinc in the winter time whenever I feel like I'm coming down with something. I also visit the chiropractor every 7-10 days (I have fibromyalgia) and also try to "flush" out germs when I start getting sick. You had some great points here. Thanks! Tina "The book Lady"

Shannon Egan says …

I stay as warm as possible and take my vitamins every morning... And try to neglect taking public transportation. lol These are some great pointers. Thank you for such an informative post! :)

Cynthia R says …

I usually remember the Vitamin C part but I didn't realize the benefits of garlic and ginger! Good to know!

Carly says …

thanks so much for putting the time into your blog!

Mari says …

Thanks for the suggestions, I also take echinacea at the first signs of a cold, and add extra vitamin c.

Christian Nunez says …

Multi-vitamins are very helpful giving those extra reinforcements

SharonH says …

I was trying to find something specific on essential oils and therapeutic products that I KNOW Whole Foods carries -- unfortunately, your search engine will not allow Boolean searches -- it searches on EVERY word in the search string. The search feature is no help at all in this instance. Thanks, anyway.

says …

@SharonH Yes, we apologize that our searches are not the most easy to conduct at this point. We are currently working towards a totally new website rollout in Spring of 2012. At this time you should be able to perform the Boolean searches for the product in which you're interested. In the mean time, please reach out to our Whole Body specialists next time you're in the store or via phone/email. The link below will help you identify the contact information for your community Whole Foods Market in case you'd like to contact them from home. Just ask for someone in Whole Body. www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores

angie says …

oooo I love garlic and ginger, so its AWESOME to know that eating it helps my immune system!!! I did not know that Vit C helped with inflammation...interesting! NO idea that immunity comes from the intestines! I already use echinacea and zinc and swear by it! Thanks for the new info as well as supporting stuff I was already doing!

Rebecca says …

As a student at CU Boulder and an athlete on the soccer team here, traveling, school, and stress is a big factor in my life. Often the fear of being sick lingers in the back of my mind. Its so nice to know that I can depend on Whole Foods right down the street to be cheap and take care of my immune system. Like the podcast said, vitamine C is extremely important and it wasnt until i left home that I realized how important healthy eating was! Thanks Whole Foods!

Carolyn K. says …

Very informative! I'm going to make getting more sleep a priority. :)

Zenaida says …

This is very good information for the upcoming season!

Michelle S says …

Good info, thanks for putting everything all in one place!

Patrice says …

I meant "flu shots"! Oops!

meredith says …

i try to stock up on multivitamins and garlic and keep myself hydrated.

pu ye says …

I try to eat multivitamins to keep myself hydrated.

Mary Michaud says …

great suggestions. i'd forgotten about zinc. thank you.

Mary Ann D says …

This is a great article explaining to us about how herbs and vitamins can help our immune system. I am glad to see Probiotics and hand washing is also included.

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