Chilly weather has nothing on winter’s other signature characteristic: nonstop sneezing and sore throats. Flu and cold season is no joke, which is why we’re eager to try nearly any kind of immune system–boosting treatment we can find. Your favorite chicken noodle soup might be comforting when you feel the sniffles coming on, but a few extra supplements can help, too—especially if you take them before you get any iffy symptoms.
These three treatments rely on the powers of superfoods to help give you the antioxidants and nutrients you need to stay in fighting shape. Find the one that best suits your needs and stock up before you have to take a sick day or three.
The Vitamin-C Boost
Key ingredients: Orange, turmeric, black pepper, ginger
Why it works: These powders are meant to be mixed into water (like you would Airborne or Emergen-C), but they have the flavor profile of wellness shots you might pick up at your local fancy juice shop thanks to totally natural (and organic!) ingredients. Vitamin C has been shown to decrease the length of the common cold, while turmeric and black pepper, both powerful antioxidants, fight off free radicals to keep your immune system strong. Ginger, another antioxidant, can also help fight upset stomachs.
The Herbal Ampoule
Key ingredients: Echinacea, acerola berry, shiitake, propolis, copper
Why it works: Drink these pretty glass treatments on their own, stir into water or juice, or add to your morning oatmeal—there’s no excuse not to take them. Their ingredients are equally versatile. Although it’s a widely used cold treatment, clinical tests of echinacea have varied—though some studies have suggested it could be more effective as a preventative ingredient (so, worth a shot). To get over a cold you already have more quickly, there’s acerola berry, a vitamin-C superhero with 50 to 100 times more than an orange or lemon. A 2015 study showed that shiitake mushrooms (when consumed daily) can provide an immune system boost, while propolis (found in honeycomb) has an antihistamine effect, so it can ease allergies. Last but not least, copper is a crucial ingredient for preventing bacterial infections.
The Everyday Upkeep
Key ingredients: Reishi, lion’s mane, maitake (yes, all mushrooms)
Why it works: Turns out, mushrooms might just be the thing your immune system is missing to stay balanced and healthy. These capsules are meant to be taken every day; they’ll help you fight both the physical effects of stress and that bug that’s going around your office. Mushrooms are rich in vitamin D, which can help reduce your risk of bacterial infection. Plus, they’ve recently been shown to improve the performance of white blood cells, which fight against infectious diseases—so you don’t have to lose sleep over that person who just sneezed dangerously close to you.
See more wellness stories:
5 Realistic Tips to Get Through the Holiday Season Without a Hangover
The Newest Crop of Social Clubs Is All About Self-Care
What I’ve Learned From Interviewing 25+ Women About Their Nighttime Routines