Everyone is concerned with immunity these days, especially as the cold weather season sets in. Just as you nurture yourself in the fall and winter with cozy sweaters and steaming cups of tea or cocoa, your immune system needs some pampering, too.
A robust immune system doesn’t come from just one action, though: it’s the result of several healthy behaviors. And while what we’re about to tell you won’t rank high on the new info scale, it’s important not to overlook how profoundly these foundational habits can bolster your natural resistance.
- Get Your Heart Pumping. Exercise isn’t just good for your heart, lungs, and muscles. It’s also good for your immune system. One study compared people who exercised five days a week with those who only laced up their sneakers once a week or less. The gym-goers took 40% fewer days off work than the more sedentary folks.
- Sleep Well. Your immune system depends on sufficient sleep. Certain immune players, like cytokines, are night owls. They’re most active while you’re slumbering. Other components of the immune system rely on sleep, too. Even a single night of poor sleep can lead to a 70% decrease in your level of natural killer cells the next day! Aim for 7–8 hours a night to keep your immune system strong.
- Chill Out. Don’t underestimate the impact stress has on your body. Continual exposure to stress hormones strains your immune system, partly because stress can interfere with sleep. You can ease everyday worry through exercise, connecting with loved ones, or talking to a therapist.
- Eat the Good Stuff. Fruits and vegetables are full of immune-boosting vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, so eat plenty of these healthful foods. The deep hues found within a ripe orange, the jewel-like kernels of a pomegranate, and the dark-green leaves of the kale plant are nature’s way of telling us there are different kinds of nutrients in each, so try to eat the rainbow. And minimize sugar. It (sadly) depresses the immune system.*
- Supplement. Even with the best intentions, your diet may have gaps. That’s why it’s a good idea to supplement with key immune-supporting nutrients.* Here are our top four picks:
- Vitamin C is the first nutrient people think of when it comes to immunity – with good reason. It improves the function of immune cells such as natural killer cells and lymphocytes.* As a result, vitamin C has been shown to help people who have succumbed to whatever’s going around get back on their feet faster.*
- Vitamin D is hard to get through diet alone, as it’s not in many foods, and most of us don’t get enough from the sun during the wintertime. That’s important because vitamin D is crucial to immune health.* How do we know? The fact that there are vitamin D receptors on almost every immune cell in your body is one indication. In one study, people with sufficient levels of the sunshine vitamin were 54.5% more likely to stay well in the face of immune threats.*
- Zinc is one powerful mineral. If taken within 24 hours of the first sign of discomfort, it can help people get back into the pink faster. Who wouldn’t want that? Even better, one study in children found it may help keep the nasties away to begin with.
- Quercetin is a phytonutrient found in apples and onions. This unsung hero works behind the scenes to activate vitamin D receptors and ferry zinc across cell membranes, so these nutrients can do their vital work.*
For all your immune health needs, try Natural Factors’ All-in-One Immunity Startup Kit, which contains a month’s supply of the following nutrients:
✓ Vitamin C, with 1,000 mg of time release vitamin C per tablet for gradual release over eight hours, plus citrus bioflavonoids and hesperidin for optimal absorption
✓ Vitamin D3, featuring 50 mcg (2000 IU) of D3 per softgel in its natural, most bioactive form (cholecalciferol), in a base of organic flaxseed oil
✓ Zinc Citrate, providing 15 mg per tablet, in the bioavailable and well-tolerated form of zinc citrate
✓ Quercetin LipoMicel Matrix, with a unique, patent-pending, and clinically tested technology that increases absorption up to 10x compared to regular quercetin*
The All-in-One Immunity Startup Kit saves you up to 55% off the suggested MSRP of buying these immune defenders separately. You can find at a natural health store near you.
Have a healthy fall!