With cold and flu season back and rearing, it’s important to have a well stocked arsenal of tools to fight back against these nasty viruses. While most colds are harmless and pass on their own, why not do what you can to boost your immune system and get your defenses up?
The best thing you can do during this season is to work on prevention. Once you get a cold or flu, all you can do is manage your symptoms until it's gone.* Don’t wait until you’re sick to start taking care of yourself and follow the steps below to prevent getting ill this season.
Yes, this is easier said than done, but stress is so harmful to our nervous system and can actually weaken our immune system over time. This is because, when we are stressed, our body goes into flight or fight mode and transfers all of its energy towards survival. Unfortunately, our immune system suffers because it’s not necessary for an emergency. 1 To avoid this, make sure you are managing your stress through relaxation exercises, positive thinking, yoga, etc.
Get lots of rest.
Wanting to sleep is a natural response to feeling ill, however you should be ensuring that you get plenty of rest before getting a cold or flu. Your body does an incredible amount of healing and immune boosting during sleep, even increasing illness-fighting antibodies. Many studies 2 have been conducted that show that sleep deprivation increases the risk of contracting an illness and delaying the healing process.
Drink plenty of fluids. 3
We are all familiar with this one, but do you know why it’s important to drink plenty of water? Water carries oxygen to your blood which helps nurture the immune system. Also, water helps flush out toxins that might be wearing your body down and overtaxing your organs. If you are wanting water with more of a taste, add a lemon to it! Not only do lemons make your water taste better, but they are also a great way to get add natural vitamin C into your diet. 4 Vitamin C, from whole foods, is an important, natural way to boost your immune system and fight off pathogens.
Moderate exercise is an important aspect of overall health. Exercise improves our cardiovascular health and increases blood flow which allows the nutrients we consume to be shuttled through the body and used efficiently and effectively. 5 However, it is important to note that intense exercise has been shown to suppress the immune system, more so than being sedentary. 6 If you exercise, especially during cold and flu season, make sure you are doing moderate exercise.
Eat well. Eat fermented.
We all know that eating a healthy, balanced diet is important. The reason being is that eating all essential fruits, vegetables, complete proteins, etc. ensures that we are giving our body nutrients that it needs to not only survive, but thrive. Without consuming these important nutrients, our immune system will inevitably suffer. In addition, eating fermented foods can help support your immune system even more. Fermented foods have bioavailable nutrients that our body can absorb more readily. The bacteria in fermented foods also supports our gut flora creating an optimal foundation for digestion and a well running immune system.
Living Alchemy’s DEFENSE.
An excellent way to support your immune system this season is to supplement with Living Alchemy’s DEFENSE. We created a formula that provides therapeutic nutrients from fermented, activated herbs such as oregano, thyme, garlic, and clove, plus shiitake mushroom to help with infections and keep your defenses up.
Living Alchemy uses a unique Kefir-kombucha fermentation, combining 35 strains of live microorganisms to convert a select blend of certified organic foods and herbs into a living matrix of bio-activated nutrients, enzymes, and beneficial flora. Not only are you boosting your immune system, but you are also giving your digestive system extra help through consuming fermented, whole foods.
1. Goliszek, Andrew. 12 November, 2014. How Stress Affects the Immune System. Psychology Today. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/stop-a-cold#1 Accessed 30 July, 2019
2. Nordqvist, Christian. 2 July, 2012. Severe Sleep Loss Affects Immune System Like Physical Stress Does. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/247320.php Accessed 2 October, 2019.
3. Billups, Andrea. How to Stop a Cold. WebMd. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/stop-a-cold#1 30 July, 2019.
4. Culligan Water. How Water Can Boost Your Immune System. Culligan Water. https://www.culligan.com/home/solution-center/drinking-water-natural-immune-booster Accessed 2 August, 2019.
5. Harvard Health Publishing. 16 July, 2018. How to boost your immune system. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system Accessed 2 August, 2019.
6. Reynolds, Gretchen. 14 October, 2009. Phys Ed: Does Exercise Boost Immunity? The New York Times. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/phys-ed-does-exercise-boost-immunity/ Accessed 2 October, 2019.