We’re all familiar with the worry of “Oh no, I'm getting sick!” the minute a sniffle or scratch in the back of the throat hits us. And now more than ever, we need the absolute best cold and flu season immune support. Besides the obvious tips – more sleep, less junk food, better handwashing – what else can we do to get exceptional cold and flu season immune support? Keep reading for some simple tricks you can adopt into your lifestyle right away.
#1. Trade Out Your Milk Chocolate for DarkIf you love to indulge your sweet tooth this time of year, you may as well boost your immune system at the same time. Dark chocolate contains lots of cacao versus lots of sugar like milk chocolate. Cacao is rich in flavanol antioxidants, which reduce oxidative stress and lower inflammation in the body. And in one dark chocolate study, it was found that eating large amounts of 70% dark chocolate could affect the genes that trigger immune response.
#2. Rethink How You DrinkIt’s easy to overpour our wine glasses, especially during these stressful times. But if you’re regularly going beyond the “moderate drinking range” – which is 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men – your immune system could be paying the price. For instance, in the lungs, alcohol damages our cells and the fine hairs that clear bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms out of our airways. Alcohol also causes inflammation in the gut, and considering that 70% of our immune system cells are located there, overindulging can be a cocktail for lowered immunity. (Read about how you can better focus on your gut health.)
#3. Get 30 Minutes of Exercise 5 Days a WeekRegular exercise is great for our immune systems because it fights stress and causes our antibodies and white blood cells to circulate faster, which means they can detect and take care of bugs quicker. In fact, a URTI study that followed 1,000+ adults during cold and flu season revealed that those who worked out at least 5 days a week were not only less likely to get sick, but the severity and duration of their symptoms were reduced 32–41% versus those who were sedentary. Pro Tip: Exercise doesn’t have to mean training for a marathon or flinging tires around in the mud. Find something you love, like evening walks or dance exercise videos (your local library likely has a great selection).
#4. Run a HumidifierThe best part about running an air mist humidifier (besides saying goodbye to annoying chapped lips and staticky hair) is making your home less receptive to cold and flu bugs. The increase of colds during wintertime is because of dry indoor air where airborne viruses thrive versus the cold winter weather itself.
#5. Take a Cold and Flu Season Immune Support SupplementIt’s no secret that good nutrition is paramount for a healthy immune system. But let’s be honest: with our busy schedules and feelings of ALWAYS BEING IN THE KITCHEN, it can be hard to eat as healthy as we’d like. Even those of us who do a pretty good job of it are at a disadvantage because today’s produce has far less nutrients compared to decades ago. That’s why taking an immune system supplement is one of the best things we can do for our bodies. It fills in our nutritional gaps AND makes it easy to get the nutrients we need. But beware: many supplements don’t deliver on their promises. Many just go on a joyride through our systems because our cells can’t absorb the nutrients. Not cool! So what can you take that will actually work? Our go-to is Vitality. Vitality is a premium immune boosting supplement that works at the cellular level for results you can see and feel. It features a unique and incredibly powerful super fruit ORAC blend to defend against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules with unpaired electrons that “steal” electrons elsewhere in the body. These rogue molecules can make us susceptible to illness and premature aging. Super fruits are packed with antioxidants that neutralize free radicals by giving up some of their own electrons, in essence acting as an “off switch” and breaking a chain reaction that could otherwise damage healthy cells. Vitality sports the best antioxidant-rich ingredients that would be nearly impossible to incorporate into our lifestyles through diet alone:
- Acai berry
- Goji berry
- Grape seed skin & extract
- Raspberry powder & extract
- Wild bilberry extract
- Tart cherries
- Wild blueberry
- N-Acetyl Cysteine: NAC is a potent antioxidant and cell detoxifier. It’s also a precursor for glutathione production, the top antioxidant manufactured by the body and considered the first line of defense against free radical damage.
- Vitamin D3: Unlike many supplements, Vitality contains the superior form of vitamin D, D3 – the same form you get from the sun – so it’s more easily absorbed and used by the body. Vitamin D lessens the damaging inflammatory response of some white blood cells while boosting immune cells’ production of microbe-fighting proteins.
- Quercetin: This potent plant-sourced bioflavonoid, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine helps regulate immune function, modulates cellular stress, and helps maintain blood vessel health.