Flu Season in Arizona: Diet & Supplement Tips to Boost ImmunityFlu Season in Arizona: Diet & Supplement Tips to Boost Immunity https://communityclinicalrx.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/flu-season-mesa-az-arizona-immune-supplements-vitamins-compounding-pharmacy-ccrx-nov-blog2-featured-image-1024x536.jpg 1024 536 Community Clinical Pharmacy Community Clinical Pharmacy https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/e5859a5ea81a26a35dbca0f20faaa25d?s=96&d=mm&r=g
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Gear Up for the Flu Season with the Right Vitamins and Supplements
Did you know that the Arizona flu season starts from October, and continues until May the following year?
According to the CDC, Influenza (flu) can cause mild to severe illness, but there are also times where it can lead to death. Oftentimes, flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. Some of the common symptoms of flu include the following:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore Throat
- Runny or Stuffy Nose
- Muscle or Body Aches
- Vomiting and Diarrhea may also occur mostly on children
The thing about flu is that the symptoms may vary depending on severity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most severe cases will let you experience all these symptoms at once. However, there are also instances where you will only experience a few of these symptoms.
It is also important to take note that not everyone with the flu will experience fever or feeling feverish and develop chills. But the most common symptoms are a runny or stuffy nose, fatigue and tiredness.
As provided by the Arizona Emergency Information Network, about five to 20 percent of the population in Arizona gets flu in a year and more than 4,000 of those who suffer from flu get hospitalized for minor to severe complications. There is also a recorded average of 700 people who die from flu every year.
Gearing Up for the Flu Season
Even with the flu vaccination, many still get infected. What makes one person more vulnerable to infection, than the other? It’s been suggested that a strong immune system plays a role.
Top Supplements that Boost Immunity for the Flu Season
Research shows that vitamin C deficiency can make you vulnerable to the seasonal flu and other illnesses. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that protects your body from toxins that cause inflammation. Taking Vitamin C on a regular basis is essential for good health since your body does not produce it on its own or store it to use later.
Sources of Vitamin C
Orange citrus fruits are among the most popular sources of Vitamin C. But there are also other fruits and vegetables that you can get your fill of Vitamin C from:
- Red bell peppers
- Oranges and orange juice
- Grapefruit juice
- Green bell peppers
- Cooked broccoli
- Brussels sprouts
- Raw broccoli
Source: Cleveland Clinic
Another powerful antioxidant that keeps your body from infection is Vitamin E. Research shows that Vitamin E is among the best nutrients that help boost your immune function and keep your T-cells working well.
Get your fill of Vitamin E
You can get Vitamin E from various food sources. Load up your plate with these vitamin E-filled foods. The higher on this list, the more vitamin E they contain:
- Wheat germ oil
- Seeds, like sunflower seeds
- Nuts, like almonds, peanuts and nut butters
Source: Cleveland Clinic
Zinc is another functional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Researchers like to call it the “gatekeeper” of your immune system since it is responsible for securing the proper function of your immune cells.
Foods rich in Zinc
One of the highest food sources of zinc is Oysters. However, there are also many other foods that help you get the right amount of zinc that your body needs to stay in tip top shape:
- Beef (lean meat)
- Blue Crab
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Broiled Pork chops
- Turkey Breast
- Cheddar Cheese
- Canned Sardines
- Greek Yogurt
Source: Cleveland Clinic
Curcumin is known to provide multiple health benefits to one’s health. It is the main active ingredient for turmeric root which is essential in maintaining immunity.
There are more than 120 human clinical trials that show how reliable curcumin is in addressing autoimmunity, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.
What can Curcumin do?
Curcumin decreases inflammation and helps with relieving pain and arthritis. It also helps in blocking inflammatory cytokines, which aids in driving autoimmune and heart disease, as well as diabetes.For those who are trying to maintain a healthy gut, curcumin is especially helpful in improving the health of your gut bacteria, which also adds to overall immune health.
But the thing about curcumin is that our bodies do not absorb it well and it would take a copious amount of turmeric root before one can expect significant benefits. This is why it is recommended to take at least 1,000 milligrams of curcumin supplement per day with food.
How & When to Supplement
The “how” can best be done by checking with your doctor or pharmacist what you might need. One way they may confirm their diagnosis is with a test. Nowadays, there are plenty of home testing kits to assess vitamin deficiencies and hormone profiles. This can help disassociate symptoms between the two.
As for “when”, follow what your doctor or pharmacist recommends based on their expert analysis of your test results. Supplement appropriately and don’t take more than what the label says. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
|VITAMIN||BENEFITS||RECOMMENDED AMOUNT (daily RDA* or daily AI**)||
GOOD FOOD SOURCES
|RETINOIDS AND CAROTENE (vitamin A; includes retinol, retinal, retinyl esters, and retinoic acid and are also referred to as “preformed” vitamin A. Beta carotene can easily be converted to vitamin A as needed.)||Essential for vision Lycopene may lower prostate cancer risk. Keeps tissues and skin healthy. Plays an important role in bone growth and in the immune system. Diets rich in the carotenoids alpha carotene and lycopene seem to lower lung cancer risk. Carotenoids act as antioxidants. Foods rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against cataracts||M: 900 mcg (3,000 IU)W: 700 mcg (2,333 IU)Some supplements report vitamin A in international units (IU’s).||
Sources of retinoids: beef liver, eggs, shrimp, fish, fortified milk, butter, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese
Sources of beta carotene: sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, squash, spinach, mangoes, turnip greens
|THIAMIN (vitamin B1)||Helps convert food into energy. Needed for healthy skin, hair, muscles, and brain and is critical for nerve function.||M: 1.2 mg, W: 1.1 mg||
Pork chops, brown rice, ham, soymilk, watermelons, acorn squash
|RIBOFLAVIN (vitamin B2)||Helps convert food into energy. Needed for healthy skin, hair, blood, and brain||M: 1.3 mg, W: 1.1 mg||
Milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese, meats, green leafy vegetables, whole and enriched grains and cereals.
|NIACIN (vitamin B3, nicotinic acid)||Helps convert food into energy. Essential for healthy skin, blood cells, brain, and nervous system||M: 16 mg, W: 14 mg||
Meat, poultry, fish, fortified and whole grains, mushrooms, potatoes, peanut butter
|PANTOTHENIC ACID (vitamin B5)||Helps convert food into energy. Helps make lipids (fats), neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, and hemoglobin||M: 5 mg, W: 5 mg||
Wide variety of nutritious foods, including chicken, egg yolk, whole grains, broccoli, mushrooms, avocados, tomato products
|PYRIDOXINE (vitamin B6, pyridoxal, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine)||Aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may reduce the risk of heart diseaseHelps convert tryptophan to niacin and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays key roles in sleep, appetite, and moods. Helps make red blood cells Influences cognitive abilities and immune function||31–50 years old: M: 1.3 mg, W: 1.3 mg; 51+ years old: M: 1.7 mg, W: 1.5 mg||
Meat, fish, poultry, legumes, tofu and other soy products, potatoes, noncitrus fruits such as bananas and watermelons
|COBALAMIN (vitamin B12)||Aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. Assists in making new cells and breaking down some fatty acids and amino acids. Protects nerve cells and encourages their normal growth Helps make red blood cells and DNA||M: 2.4 mcg, W: 2.4 mcg||
Meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, fortified cereals, fortified soymilk
|BIOTIN||Helps convert food into energy and synthesize glucose. Helps make and break down some fatty acids. Needed for healthy bones and hair||M: 30 mcg, W: 30 mcg||
Many foods, including whole grains, organ meats, egg yolks, soybeans, and fish
|ASCORBIC ACID (vitamin C)||Foods rich in vitamin C may lower the risk for some cancers, including those of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and breast. Long-term use of supplemental vitamin C may protect against cataracts. Helps make collagen, a connective tissue that knits together wounds and supports blood vessel walls. Helps make the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Bolsters the immune system||M: 90 mg, W: 75 mg Smokers: Add 35 mg||
Fruits and fruit juices (especially citrus), potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts
|CHOLINE||Helps make and release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which aids in many nerve and brain activities. Plays a role in metabolizing and transporting fats||M: 550 mg, W: 425 mg||
Many foods, especially milk, eggs, liver, salmon, and peanuts
|CALCIFEROL (vitamin D)||Helps maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, which strengthen bones. Helps form teeth and bones. Supplements can reduce the number of non-spinal fractures||31–70: 15 mcg (600 IU) 71+: 20 mcg (800 IU)||
Fortified milk or margarine, fortified cereals, fatty fish
|ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL (vitamin E)||Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Protects vitamin A and certain lipids from damage. Diets rich in vitamin E may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.||M: 15 mg, W: 15 mg (15 mg equals about 22 IU from natural sources of vitamin E and 33 IU from synthetic vitamin E)||
Wide variety of foods, including vegetable oils, salad dressings and margarines made with vegetable oils, wheat germ, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts
|FOLIC ACID (vitamin B9, folate, folacin)||Vital for new cell creationHelps prevent brain and spine birth defects when taken early in pregnancy; should be taken regularly by all women of child-bearing age since women may not know they are pregnant in the first weeks of pregnancy. Can lower levels of homocysteine and may reduce heart disease risk May reduce risk for colon cancer. Offsets breast cancer risk among women who consume alcohol||M: 400 mcg, W: 400 mcg||
Fortified grains and cereals, asparagus, okra, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, legumes like black-eyed peas and chickpeas, orange juice, tomato juice
|PHYLLOQUINONE, MENADIONE (vitamin K)||Activates proteins and calcium essential to blood clotting. May help prevent hip fractures||M: 120 mcg, W: 90 mcg||
Cabbage, liver, eggs, milk, spinach, broccoli, sprouts, kale, collards, and other green vegetables
|MINERAL||BENEFITS||RECOMMENDED AMOUNT (daily RDA* or daily AI**)||
GOOD FOOD SOURCES
|CALCIUM||Builds and protects bones and teeth. Helps with muscle contractions and relaxation, blood clotting, and nerve impulse transmission. Plays a role in hormone secretion and enzyme activation. Helps maintain healthy blood pressure||31–50: M: 1,000 mg, W: 1,000 mg 51-70: M: 1,000 mg, W: 1,200 mg, 71+: M: 1,200 mg, W: 1,200 mg||
Yogurt, cheese, milk, tofu, sardines, salmon, fortified juices, leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli and kale (but not spinach or Swiss chard, which have binders that lessen absorption)
|CHLORIDE||Balances fluids in the body. A component of stomach acid, essential to digestion||14-50: M/W: 2.3 g, 51-70 M/W: 2.0 g, 71+: M/W: 1.8 g||
Salt (sodium chloride), soy sauce, processed foods
|CHROMIUM||Enhances the activity of insulin, helps maintain normal blood glucose levels, and is needed to free energy from glucose||14–50: M: 35 mcg, 14-18: W: 24 mcg 19-50: W: 25 mcg 51+: M: 30 mcg, W: 20 mcg||
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, potatoes, some cereals, nuts, cheese
|COPPER||Plays an important role in iron metabolism and immune system. Helps make red blood cells||M: 900 mcg, W: 900 mcg||
Liver, shellfish, nuts, seeds, whole-grain products, beans, prunes, cocoa, black pepper
|FLUORIDE||Encourages strong bone formation. Keeps dental cavities from starting or worsening||M: 4 mg, W: 3 mg||
Water that is fluoridated, toothpaste with fluoride, marine fish, teas
|IODINE||Part of thyroid hormone, which helps set body temperature and influences nerve and muscle function, reproduction, and growth. Prevents goiter and a congenital thyroid disorder||M: 150 mcg, W: 150 mcg||
Iodized salt, processed foods, seafood
|IRON||Helps hemoglobin in red blood cells and myoglobin in muscle cells ferry oxygen throughout the body. Needed for chemical reactions in the body and for making amino acids, collagen, neurotransmitters, and hormones||19–50: M: 8 mg, W: 18 mg 51+: M: 8 mg, W: 8 mg||
Red meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, green vegetables, fortified bread and grain products
|MAGNESIUM||Needed for many chemical reactions in the body Works with calcium in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and regulation of blood pressure. Helps build bones and teeth||18+: M: 420 mg, W: 320 mg||
Green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, legumes, cashews, sunflower seeds and other seeds, halibut, whole-wheat bread, milk
|MANGANESE||Helps form bones. Helps metabolize amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates||M: 2.3 mg, W: 1.8 mg||
Fish, nuts, legumes, whole grains, tea
|MOLYBDENUM||Part of several enzymes, one of which helps ward off a form of severe neurological damage in infants that can lead to early death||M: 45 mcg, W: 45 mcg||
Legumes, nuts, grain products, milk
|PHOSPHORUS||Helps build and protect bones and teeth. Part of DNA and RNA. Helps convert food into energy. Part of phospholipids, which carry lipids in blood and help shuttle nutrients into and out of cells||M: 700 mg, W: 700 mg||
Wide variety of foods, including milk and dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, liver, green peas, broccoli, potatoes, almonds
|POTASSIUM||Balances fluids in the body. Helps maintain steady heartbeat and send nerve impulses. Needed for muscle contractions. A diet rich in potassium seems to lower blood pressure. Getting enough potassium from your diet may benefit bones||M: 4.7 g, W: 4.7 g||
Meat, milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes
|SELENIUM||Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Helps regulate thyroid hormone activity||M: 55 mcg, W: 55 mcg||
Organ meats, seafood, walnuts, sometimes plants (depends on soil content), grain products
|SODIUM||Balances fluids in the body. Helps send nerve impulses. Needed for muscle contractions. Impacts blood pressure; even modest reductions in salt consumption can lower blood pressure||M: 2,300 mg, W: 2,300 mg||
Salt, soy sauce, processed foods, vegetables
|SULFUR||Helps form bridges that shape and stabilize some protein structures. Needed for healthy hair, skin, and nails||Unknown||
Protein-rich foods, such as meats, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes
|ZINC||Helps form many enzymes and proteins and create new cells. Frees vitamin A from storage in the liver. Needed for immune system, taste, smell, and wound healing. When taken with certain antioxidants, zinc may delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration||M: 11 mg, W: 8 mg||
Red meat, poultry, oysters and some other seafood, fortified cereals, beans, nuts
|*Recommended dietary allowance **Adequate intake|
Cover Your Vitamin and Supplement Needs With Community Clinical Compounding Pharmacy
To wrap up, vitamin deficiencies are real. But it’s also risky to take any supplement you come across without knowing your levels. It’s best to consult with professionals and check what’s best for you first, you never know how your body will react.
Ask any of our friendly Community Clinical Pharmacists for any questions you may have, including prescription refills.
When in doubt, contact one of our knowledgeable pharmacists at Community Clinical Pharmacy. We are here to offer you solutions and assist you in making informed decisions about your health. Contact us with comments, questions, or pharmacy related topics you’d like to know more about. And, as always, stay healthy!
Here to Help
If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about your options when it comes to hormone replacement, please call Community Clinical Pharmacy and we can consult with you and your physician to find the best solution.
We serve the East Valley Metro Area including Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and surrounding areas.
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