As we move into the colder months we tend to spend more time indoors with each other, increasing our chances of catching many bugs going around this time of year. Coupled with the stress of preparing for the holidays that are right around the corner and Christmas shopping at those extremely busy malls, our immune system starts to get bogged down.
Boosting your immune system and adopting the right routines is key to staying healthy this time of year. I consulted some of the experts at Cold-Q, Saje Natural Wellness, the IV Wellness Boutique and CHFA (Canadian Health Food Association) to find out the best tips and remedies that will kick any cold to the curb. Here are my top 5 tips for how to support your immune system this fall and winter season.
1. Eat Well
According to the CHFA, the most common foods Canadians turn to during cold and flu season are chicken soup/broth (49%), oranges (49%), tea (48%), honey (41%) and greens at (41%). Canadians also turn to natural health products like vitamin C (46%), vitamin D (37%) and B vitamins (21%).
According to Registered Holistic Nutritionist and founder of Vancouver-based nutritional consulting firm My Edible Advice, Jennifer Brott recommends to add extra garlic and onions to their cooking and experiment with spices and herbs like oregano, turmeric, ginger, and sage. These foods help to support the immune system and some even have antiviral properties. Not surprisingly, it is the foods that are in season that will help to support the body best.
Did you know that engaging in 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise can actually improve your body’s immune response? Find some of my easy and simple workouts that you can do anywhere, anytime and ONLY take 5 minutes here.
The percentage of adults who sleep less than six hours per night is currently greater than at any other time on record, according to the CHFA. Studies show that not getting enough sleep is correlated with higher rates of susceptibility to the cold and flu virus. Cold-Q notes that sleep-deprivation leaves the immune system compromised creating a higher likelihood of catching a cold in comparison to those who get an acceptable amount of sleep.
Practicing mindfulness has a number of positive impacts on the immune system including reducing markers of inflammation and reducing stress hormones. I have a few favourite ways that I like to unwind.
• Consider setting an alarm on your computer or phone that reminds you to take three deep breaths and try starting and ending the work day with three things you are grateful for.
• Try the Immune Roll On and just breathe in wellness all day long while relieving cold symptoms and fighting viruses.
• When I get a chance I like to soak in a soothing bath with some Immune Bath Salt Soak, that relieves flu symptoms thanks to comforting eucalyptus, warming cinnamon and myrrh.
5. Be Proactive
Don’t let the unpredictable October weather put a damper on your weekend plans.
• Oil of oregano is a homeopathic natural remedy that never fails me if I take this at the first side of a cold.
• Another at-home remedy you can try is an echinacea throat spray that I like from Saje or an all-natural, oral spray from Cold-Q. “It’s medicinal benefits such as antiviral and immune boosting properties are immediately delivered to the site where cold and flu viruses attack,” notes Donald Segal, Ph.D. W
• When you’re on the run and need an all-in-one, try the Little Feel Better Bag, which has you covered from digestion and cleanse remedies to a headache remedy.
• If I feel a cold coming on and need a little extra boost, I go to the IV Wellness Boutique for a mixture of the Immune Booster and the Cold Buster IV, that will both prevent and support your immune system before you get that nasty fall cold. And all IV’s are 20% off on Sundays and booster shots are only $35 every day in October.
Another way I like to keep my immune system up while at the same time getting a little R & R in, is by booking myself a massage. Go ahead, treat yourself this winter. Your immune system will thank you!