"I'll have what she's having!"

Remember that famous order from "When Harry Met Sally"? Yes, I know nutritional supplements are not exactly what Meg Ryan's fellow diner was thinking of--wink--when she said "I'll have what she's having." Still, I think of that line and smile when my patients and coaching clients ask, "Roberta, you're always so energetic and healthy. What supplements do you take to prevent getting sick?"

Please note that you should consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet. It is possible that some nutritional formulas could interfere with medications, especially if you are diabetic. That said, today I'm happy to share with you five key components that "I'm having."

1) Glutathione
Sometimes called the body's "master antioxidant," glutathione prevents, neutralizes, and repairs DNA damage done by free radicals, compounds known to accelerate aging and cause chronic disease. Glutathione helps prevent and repair a host of immune system problems, from colds to chronic fatigue syndrome. It also aids in detoxification, guards the liver, and boosts general health and wellbeing. When you look for a supplement, keep in mind the most effective form to take is liquid as opposed to capsules.

2) N-acetylcysteine ("NAC")
This antioxidant packs a double punch. Not only does it help prevent the flu, NAC also aids in healing respiratory challenges, especially those caused by dust and pollution. It is known as a super effective immune system enhancer and can aid the body's heavy metal detoxification process. I take 500mg daily.

3) Alpha-lipoic acid ("ALA")
This antioxidant is a fatty acid that's an ingredient in my fish oil (EPA-DHA) omega formula. ALA also boosts the liver's glutathione levels and is known to help slow age-related breakdown such as diminishing eye function and skin changes. I take 400mg daily in a soft-gel.

4) Olive leaf extract
Olive leaf extract has been known for centuries as a natural but potent immune enhancer. Modern studies show it has both antibiotic and antiviral properties. Some of its many benefits include reducing blood pressure, helping to prevent viruses and colds, and increasing energy and overall wellbeing.

5) Milk thistle
Also known by its active ingredient, silymarin, this herbal supplement supports the liver, boosts glutathione levels, and can lower blood sugar levels. It's included in the liver detoxification formula that I take daily.

You may not find some of these supplements in the corner pharmacy, but many are available in good health food/nutrition stores. Or, you may order them by making an appointment with a licensed medical or alternative health care provider.

Remember that even the best quality supplements can't take the place of a nutritious diet, sensible and consistent sleep, plenty of water, and regular exercise. But they can give your immune system a powerful edge, providing extra ammunition especially during these virus-prone months. They can also help with other individual health challenges. Take a second look at supplementation. You'll be glad you did.

Author's Bio: 

Roberta Roberts Mittman, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., M.S., is a nutritional and lifestyle consultant, holistic mindset mentor, and nationally board-certified acupuncturist. Using natural, drug-free techniques, Roberta opens the door to complete mind-body health. Roberta believes in empowering individuals to be their own best healers. Ready to take that step? Call 212-686-0939, or visit online at RobertaMittman.com.