It’s time to finally put the summer behind us and welcome in the fall. The kids are back in school, and life is starting to slow down a bit (hopefully). We love the cooler weather, our warm fuzzy sweaters, UGG boots and of course our pumpkin spice lattes. What we don’t like however are the sore throats, stuffy nose, and body aches that come with the first of the season colds. If you have small children, unfortunately, they can be germ magnets, exposing them and you to a variety of ailments.
Even though there is no one magic pill, there are things you can do on a daily basis to help protect and boost your body’s own immune system.
The DO’s and DON’T’s
Get enough sleep and manage stress. Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone cortisol, prolonged elevation of which suppresses immune function. Aim for a minimum of 7.5 hours of sleep each night, and try meditation and/or yoga. Deep breathing helps to lower blood pressure and relax the central nervous system.
Try to get regular, moderate exercise. Aim for at least a 30-minute walk everyday. Exercise can help your immune system fight off infections. Research shows us that those who don’t exercise on a regular basis are more likely to catch a cold that someone that does. Exercise can also boost your body’s feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better (which we already know is important).
Laugh often. Laughing curbs the levels of stress hormones in your body and boosts a type of white blood cell that fights infection.
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. These foods will provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs. A study in older adults showed that boosting fruit and vegetable intake improved antibody response to the Pneumovax vaccine, which protects against the pneumonia virus.
Get rid of the sugar. Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks.
Go for the garlic. Garlic is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent and immune booster. Because heat deactivates a key active ingredient, add it to foods just before serving.
Eat medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake. A recent study showed that a concentrated extract of shiitake enhanced immune function in women with breast cancer.
Eat foods high in Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and zinc. Go for a wide variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, peppers, and carrots.
Avoid tobacco smoke. It undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone, as well as middle ear infections in kids.
Drink less alcohol. Excessive consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections.
Consider probiotics. Studies show probiotic supplements, aka the good bacteria, reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. This type of bacteria can also be found in certain fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
Catch some rays. Sunlight triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D. In the summer, a 10-15 minute exposure (minus sunscreen) is usually enough. However, depending on where you live, the sun might not be strong enough to get you what you need. Low vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infections. Supplementing with a minimum of 2000 IU daily may be necessary if you live in areas with little or weak sunlight.
Use Immune boosting oils. Designed to support healthy immune functions, Mindful Mixtures SHIELD contains a proprietary blend of essential oils known for their anti-viral and anti-microbial effects. Ginger Grass, along with Niaouli, Oregano, Black Pepper, Frankincense and Thyme offer a fragrant, natural and effective way to help boost and protect overall body wellness.
As we move through the fall and into winter, try utilizing as many of these natural remedies as possible. One round of antibiotics can mean months of probiotic therapy just to get your system back on track. By providing your body the necessary tools, you can stay healthy and happy all year long 🙂
PS – Thank you for reading this post – to show our gratitude, we are offering you a 15% savings on your purchase of SHIELD through our website now through the month of October. Simply enter the code SHIELD15 at check out!