Echinacea is a popular supplement thought to stimulate the immune system and help fight against viruses such as the common cold. The National Institutes of Health states that echinacea supplements will not shorten the length of time you suffer from a common cold. However, echinacea may slightly reduce the risk of catching a cold in the first place. The most common side effect of this popular supplement is stomach upset. To avoid side effects such as stomachache and nausea, take this supplement with food.
4. Fish Oil
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and in food sources may be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease. Additionally, these healthy fatty acids may reduce the pain and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are healthy dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, fish oil supplements can provide these fatty acids. Side effects of fish oil pills include nausea, indigestion, and loose stools. Take these supplements with food to decrease these unpleasant side effects.Related: Why You Should Take Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplements
Iron-deficiency anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron to make hemoglobin. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, pale skin, dizziness, and feeling cold even in warm temperatures. If your doctor prescribes an iron supplement for anemia, this medication is best absorbed on an empty stomach. However, you may take iron with food if it causes stomach upset. A glass of orange juice will increase the absorption of iron supplements. Do not take iron with milk, calcium supplements, antacids, or caffeine, as these substances can decrease the absorption of iron.Related: 10 Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
Since multivitamins contain a variety of both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, it is best to take them with food. The fat-soluble vitamins are best absorbed when taken along with healthy fats. Therefore, the best time to take multivitamins is with the meal that is most likely to contain healthy fats and oils. This may be at breakfast if you enjoy a morning meal of whole wheat toast spread with mashed avocado or nut butter. If breakfast is a lighter meal, you may want to take your multivitamin at lunch or dinner along with a serving of fish or vegetables roasted with a drizzle of olive oil.
Probiotics are supplements containing healthy bacteria that promote good gut health and may improve immune function. They may help prevent diarrhea and stomach upset that can accompany antibiotic use. Others promote the use of probiotics to boost the immune system and fend off the common cold. The healthy bacteria found in these supplements are also found in food sources such as yogurt or kefir. One study showed that bacterial cultures have a better survival rate when taken 30 minutes before a meal or consumed right along with a fat-containing meal.Related: 6 Quick Tricks to Keep Your Bowels Regular