It’s fall y’all! Are you tired of hearing that yet? This time of year is supposed to be glorious as October brings joy to people through all sorts of activities. Some folks use Halloween to dress as their sexy alter ego, while others love taking a drive in the spectacular foliage. Maybe pulling on a sweatshirt and tailgating at a football game is your thing. Isn’t autumn wonderful?
Hold on a minute! Fall also comes with raking a billion leaves, allergies, and the cold and flu season. The days shorten, and the air becomes drier. Your vitamin D levels drop as your cravings for comfort foods heighten. Life moves indoors, making you less active and more of a couch potato. It’s not just pumpkin season – it’s fat, sick, and lazy season.
So, what are some things we can do to help fight against this unhealthy onslaught? Use these five tips for naturally boosting your immune system this fall.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The tips below may help boost your immune system, but they are not a substitute for social distancing, wearing a mask, or vaccination against COVID-19.
Eat Whole Foods
Fall is comfort food season, and comfort means carbohydrates. This injection of warm goodness doesn’t always have to be grandma’s famous lasagna and a loaf of garlic bread. Not all carbs are the same, and how you choose to get yours can be the difference between fit and fat.
Avoid processed junk and eat whole foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These foods contain both fiber and nutrients. You’ll feel full longer without all the sugar. Keeping your sugar (carbs) to a minimum also decreases inflammation associated with almost every chronic disease.
Whole foods are a great way to get healthy fats from meat and fish too. Processed foods contain hydrogenated oils, which are highly inflammatory. Unlike sugar, healthy fats are necessary for human function and naturally combat illness.
Check out this upcoming week’s Revactin newsletter to understand why you crave carbs in the fall. Don’t yet receive the newsletter? Sign up here.
Avoid Added Sugar
Do you get the feeling that avoiding sugar might be vital to your health and well-being in any season? If so, you would be correct.
According to a study of 1,000 obese adults receiving the flu vaccine, obesity more than doubles the risk of getting sick compared to healthy individuals. What’s the number one culprit of obesity? Sugar!
Sugar is not a nutrient. Your body makes glucose naturally and doesn’t need it as a dietary supplement. There’s no such thing as a daily recommended dose of sugar. Try to eat as little added sugar as possible.
Sofa season is upon us. Fight the urge to move indoors and become lazy. Moderate exercise boosts your immune system. Taking a walk or going for a bike ride in nature will not only reduce inflammation and assist in immune cell regeneration; it’s a form of meditation.
Exercise is your body’s way of destressing and detoxifying. Studies show that a single session of moderate exercise boosts the flu vaccine’s effectiveness and regulates immune functions.
Be careful with the physical intensity of your workouts because it can be a double-edged sword when it comes to immune health. Too much exercise can negatively impact your immune response. Moderate exercise is healthy, but obsessive training leads to poor health outcomes.
A person’s ability to fight off infection and the quality of their sleep work hand-in-hand. Think about every time you’ve been sick in your life. What’s the one thing your body needs most? Rest.
Sleep is our most ignored human function, and almost all of us lack proper sleep on a regular basis. An adult male should get a minimum of seven hours of restful sleep per night, allowing the body to recover and build immunity naturally.
A recent study concluded that shorter sleep duration before viral exposure was associated with increased susceptibility to the common cold. If you don’t give your body time to recover, you will get sick.
Supplement Your Health
Taking a daily supplement is a fantastic way to enhance your body’s immune system. People who use dietary supplements are also more likely to exercise regularly, eat better, and get quality sleep. Supplements are the keystones of better health and well-being.
A few supplements stand out as far as strengthening your body’s immune response when the weather turns chilly.
- Zinc – Studies report a 33% – 40% reduction in cold symptom duration in patients who supplemented with more than 75 milligrams of zinc per day.
- Vitamin D – When it’s cold outside, we spend less time in the sun, causing our vitamin D levels to drop significantly. Vitamin D is vital to our immune systems and affects our hormone levels.
- Vitamin C – This daily vitamin is the standard by which we measure supplements for fighting the common cold. Something to bear in mind with vitamin C supplementation is that it’s great at fighting colds, but there’s no evidence that it helps prevent them.
Some other helpful immune-boosting supplements are garlic, echinacea, and elderberry.
Fall is a magnificent time of year but does come with an avoidable downside. Celebrate the season with healthy habits; eat right, exercise, get some rest, and supplement to give your body a fighting chance.
Take care, even down there.
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