By taking proactive steps to bolster your immune system, you can stop infections and illnesses long before they start, allowing you to enjoy the holiday season more fully. Today I want to share five steps you can take to help ensure you stay safe, healthy, and happy this winter.
1) Up your supplement intake. Our Metagenics “Defense Pack” is probably our favorite supplement for the winter months. It combines several essential vitamins and supplements into one immune-system-bolstering system. Making sure you are getting extra Vitamin C in the winter is also crucial. Studies have shown that Vitamin C along with Vitamin D, Zinc, and Quercetin are very helpful to fight off viruses and flu. Oranges, strawberries, guava, bell peppers, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are all great sources of Vitamin C.
2) Drink more water. Getting enough water every day carries oxygen to all of the cells in your body and helps keep your system free of toxins. Many people have difficulty drinking enough water, and this can be especially true during the winter months. If this is you, try mixing some fresh lemon or lime juice into your water or try carbonated water in place of a soft drink. If you prefer hot drinks, adding a non-caffeinated tea like chai, ginger or chamomile to your day will also help improve water intake.
3) Add probiotics to your diet.
Probiotics, also called beneficial bacteria, boost your body’s immune response by combatting any bad bacteria you come in contact with. Probiotics can be found in Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, and unpasteurized sauerkraut. When choosing a probiotic, make sure the packaging says “live cultures” on the label.
4) Make time for self care.
Being busy is so common in our culture - especially around the holidays! Don't forget to take care of you first - always invest in self care. What qualifies an activity as self care? It can be as simple as bundling up for a daily walk around your neighborhood, taking a hot bath with essential oils, or setting aside time every day to read a good book - as long as it is stress relieving and a regular part of your life, it counts.
5) Focus on your sleep.
Getting enough sleep at night helps your immune system produce the T cells your body needs to fight illness. When our bodies are sleep deprived, T cell production drops, making us more susceptible to infection. Finding a sleep routine that works for you and making it a permanent part of your life helps with both the quality and quantity of sleep. Silencing your phone at least an hour before you plan to go to sleep, going to bed at the same time every night, and getting up at the same time every day will help encourage your body to stay on a schedule. If you find that poor sleep is still affecting your daily life despite your best attempts, get in touch with us to explore further options.