By Alane Archer, ND, CNC
I looked out the window the other day and realized that, without a doubt, fall is fully here. The days are shorter, the air brisker, and the trees more colorful. Everywhere I go, I see someone sipping a pumpkin spice latte and that beautiful slant of the sun that comes this season.
And yet, with the beauty of fall sweeps in a much less beautiful time: cold and flu season. Now is the time to amp up our health routines, so we are well-protected from the germs around us. Here are five must-know immune tips that can keep you feeling good while everyone else is going through Kleenex like it’s their job.
1. Eat well. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other whole, natural foods doesn’t just give you the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. They also help to lower inflammation in your body. Think about it—if your immune system is fighting unnecessary inflammation, it’s using up resources that could be directed at germs and pathogens. Eating well and avoiding foods that you are allergic or intolerant to ensure your body’s reserves are in place to fight off colds and other illnesses.
2. Wash up! Sure, you wash your hands after you use the bathroom, but they also need a good cleaning anytime you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze; when you feed or stroke your pet; or after you visit or care for a sick person. Make sure you get the backs of your hands, wrists, fingertips, under your nails and between your fingers.
3. Bundle up and get out there. Exercise is just as important, if not more so, in fall and winter than in the warmer months. Maintaining or starting this healthy habit means your immune system will function better. Exercise protects your body from environmental assaults and bolsters your ability to fight off a cold before it takes hold. If you’re concerned about being cold, get exercise-friendly technical apparel that is designed to wick sweat and keep you warm.
4. Avoid ice. No, really! Freezing doesn’t necessarily kill germs. Shared or communal ice machines may not be safe from germy hands, so avoiding them is a good call if you want to stay healthy.
5. Chill out (and I’m not talking cool fall temps)! The stress response suppresses the immune system, increasing susceptibility to colds and other illnesses. Plus, the buildup of stress can contribute to anxiety and depression, which makes you less likely to exercise and eat well. It’s a cycle that’s dangerous for your immune system, so take steps to both reduce stressors in your life and relax and rest more.
The days are beautiful right now, and you want to be healthy to enjoy them. Faithfully following these immune boosting tips may mean the difference between your awesome autumn and a season of sickness.
Consider doing some comprehensive bloodwork to check your health and inflammation levels.
Do you suspect you may be allergic or intolerant to certain foods, there’s a simple way to find out—without a doctor visit. Our IgG and IgE food tests can help you find out if you pinpoint any immediate food allergies or delayed food intolerances—all in one test!
Imagine—these pieces of knowledge can help to boost your immune system now, as well as keeping you feeling better all the time. Questions about how it works? Call us—our staff is here to help you get back to your best.
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Medical disclaimer: Our tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.