Are you looking forward to getting back into your routine? Back to school, back to work from vacation, back into the cold, back to schedules that don’t leave room to breathe and back to preparing for the cold and flu season. Fear not, we’ve got tips that will integrate the 4 pillars of immune health back into your everyday routine to help you build a strong immune system so you can keep doing the things you love.1
Stress management and restful sleep
Quality sleep is paramount to immune health. Did you know computers and tablet screens emit enough blue light to reduce your natural melatonin and disturb sleep? (2) So, get the computers, tablets, cellphones and TVs out of your bedroom, or at least switch them off one hour before bed.
Smile and laugh as much as you can
One of the best and cheap actions that improve your immune system (and most of all your health), it is laughter. Studies suggest that when you laugh, your stress level goes down and your white blood cells get more active.3,4
Stay away from added sugar
Studies have shown that added sugar might make your immune system sluggish.3,4 So, stay away from refined sugar and added sugar.
Classics, but good advice nonetheless
- Eat plenty of veggies (mostly) and fruits
- Drink enough water (2 glassfuls outside of meals, each day)
- Eat enough protein-rich foods8
- Enjoy spices and herbs, such as ginger, garlic, oregano, etc.
- Try to stay away from “comfort food” carbs. They lead to carb “coma”. You know that delicious looking chocolate cake, it will not only put pounds where you don't want them but will depress your immune system!
- Vitamin D, at least 2000 IU daily. Vitamin D is the one of the most important vitamins/hormone for the immune system. Without it, white blood cells may not be fully equipped to kill bacteria and viruses.9,10
- COLD-FX Daily Support®: helps reduce the frequency, severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms by boosting the immune system.
- If you have problems sleeping: melatonin or valerian work well
Please consult a healthcare practitioner prior to using any natural health product especially if you suffer from chronic health issues or take any prescription medication.
Regular moderate physical activity, anything that gets you warm and increases your heart rate, so not necessarily going to the gym, improves the immune system function and reduces colds and flus. Aim for 20 to 30 min, several times a week. Taking the stairs to work counts!11
You have the control: The right food, the right supplements, the right frame of mind, and the right activities. This quick list is a roadmap to a healthy fall/winter with all the energy to enjoy it and as little as possible of the miserable downside. Meet you all outside to make the best of the weather!
To be sure this product is right for you, always read and follow the label.
- Canadian Health Food Association. 2017. The Four Pillars of Immune Health. Retrieved from https://chfa.ca/en/lifestyle_tips/the-four-pillars-of-immune-health/
- Blue Light has a dark side. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
- Bennett MP, Zeller JM, Rosenberg L, McCann J. The effect of mirthful laughter on stress and natural killer cell activity. Altern Ther Health Med. 2003 Mar-Apr; 9(2): 38-45.
- Savage BM, Lujan HL, Thipparthi RR, DiCarlo SE. Humor, laughter, learning, and health! A brief review. Adv Physiol Educ. 2017 Sep 1;41(3):341-347. doi:10.1152/advan.00030.2017. Review. PubMed PMID: 28679569.
- Van Oss CJ, Border JR. Influence of intermittent hyperglycemic glucose levels on the phagocytosis of microorganisms by human granulocytes in vitro. Immunol Commun. 1978;7(6):669-76. PubMed PMID: 369990. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/369990
- Van Oss CJ. Influence of glucose levels on the in vitro phagocytosis of bacteria by human neutrophils. Infect Immun. 1971 Jul;4(1):54-9. PubMed PMID: 4117287; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC416264. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC416264/
- Sanchez A, Reeser JL, Lau HS, Yahiku PY, Willard RE, McMillan PJ, Cho SY, Magie AR, Register UD. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1973 Nov;26(11):1180-4. PubMed PMID: 4748178. http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=4748178
- Health Canada. 2011. Eating Well With Canada's Food Guide. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/canada-food-guide/get-your-copy/eating-well-2007.html#a1
- White JH. Regulation of intracrine production of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and its role in innate immune defense against infection. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2012 Jul 1;523(1):58-63. doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2011.11.006. Review. PubMed PMID: 22107948. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22107948
- Cannell JJ, Hollis BW. Use of vitamin D in clinical practice. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Mar;13(1):6-20. Review. PubMed PMID: 18377099. http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/13/1/6.pdf
- Gleeson, M. (2016, September 26). Effects of exercise on immune function and risk of infection. Retrieved from http://www.mysportscience.com/single-post/2016/09/25/Strategies-to-reduce-illness-risk-in-athletes-Part-1-Behavioural-lifestyle-and-medical-strategies