The holidays are nearly upon us! And after scaling down our holiday celebrations last year due to a worldwide pandemic, many of us are beyond excited to get back to our normal traditions. Whether you are going to be traveling to see family or are hosting your own holiday celebrations, there is definitely a lot to be excited about.
With that being said, you may also be apprehensive about getting the whole family together again. After all, a larger family get-together often means more time spent planning, increased stress levels, and, perhaps worst of all, more germs.
With cold weather, stress, and diet changes already putting pressure on your immune system, the added exposure to germs from a family gathering could potentially be too much for your body to handle.
Don’t worry though. This doesn’t mean you need to cancel your holiday plans. It simply means you need to give your immune system a little extra attention over the next few weeks so it can do its job to keep you as healthy as possible.
How do you do this? The first step is understanding how the immune system works. Let’s take a look.
How The Immune System Works
The immune system is one of the most complex and interesting systems in the human body. This is mainly because all of the organs that make up the immune system are borrowed from other organ systems.
Without getting too complicated, it is easiest to think of the immune system as being divided into two parts. These two parts of referred to as innate immunity and adaptive immunity.
The innate immune system acts as your body’s first line of defense, and it responds to invaders in a non-specific manner. Your innate immune system is primarily made up of barriers such as your skin and mucus membranes. These barriers work to keep potentially harmful pathogens from entering your body. However, this part of your immune system also has specialized cells that will attack and neutralize any pathogens that are able to cross those physical barriers. Essentially, the main goal of this system is to hold off pathogens until the adaptive immune system is activated.
On the other hand, the adaptive immune system is acquired over time as your body is exposed to various antigens and foreign bodies. Because of the way your adaptive immunity is built, this part of your immune system is better equipped to launch more focused attacks when harmful pathogens are detected by the innate immune system. In this case, specialized cells, as well as specific antibodies, are utilized to target and attack the invaders.
6 Ways To Care For Your Immune System
In a healthy immune system, these two parts will function in perfect harmony with each other to keep the rest of your body as healthy as possible. But how can you make sure your immune system is functioning optimally, especially during the holiday season? Here are a few of our favorite tips.
1. Get Plenty of Vitamins and Minerals
While a healthy diet, in general, is great for you, micronutrients, particularly certain vitamins and minerals, have been shown to play a large role in improving immunity.
While eating a diet rich in a wide range of vitamins is always beneficial, vitamins D and C are particularly helpful when it comes to your immune system. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight; however, this important vitamin can also be found in foods like fish, red meat, mushrooms, and egg yolk. Meanwhile, you can get vitamin C from foods like oranges, broccoli, kiwis, brussels sprouts, and kale.
In addition to vitamins, your immune system also needs minerals like selenium, zinc, and iron. These can all be found in food sources like red meat, dairy products, leafy greens, and seafood.
2. Move Your Body
It’s well known that exercise is good for various aspects of your health, such as the health of your heart and gut. However, you may not know that regular exercise is also a good tool to help keep your immune system strong.
In fact, research shows that regular exercise can have both short-term and long-term effects on the immune system. In the short term, working out can help your immune cells be able to identify and attack harmful pathogens. In the long term, it can help slow down the effects of aging that could otherwise decrease its effectiveness.
Whether you hit the gym, go for a walk, or have to shovel snow every day, finding ways to stay active throughout the holiday season will help your body stay as healthy as possible.
3. Don’t Forget to Rest
With work deadlines to be met, gifts to be purchased and wrapped, gatherings to organize, and feasts to prepare, there is no doubt that the holiday season is busy. While it may be tempting to stay up an extra hour or two so you can get everything done, doing so can put a huge strain on your immune system.
Studies have shown that getting enough sleep can have a substantial impact on your immune system. Not only does sleep help ensure that the cells that make up your immune system are able to function optimally, but it also plays an important role in the formation of your adaptive immunity.
Therefore, if you want to stay healthy during the holidays, one of the best things you can do is give yourself a break by prioritizing your sleep schedule.
4. Embrace Laughter and Positivity
Positive thinking and conversations full of laughter are great for lifting your mood and relieving stress. Furthermore, they also have resounding benefits for your immune system.
In fact, research shows that negative thoughts can set off chemical reactions that create stress within your body, which can ultimately weaken your immune system. Alternatively, positive thinking can trigger the release of neuropeptides, which are compounds that help prevent stress and all of its negative effects on your body, including your immune system . What’s even better is that laughter has a similar effect! So during this holiday season, be a beacon of positivity and laughter amongst your family and friends. It will have amazing benefits for all of you.
5. Care For Your Gut
The gut and the immune system are closely connected. In fact, it is estimated that 70% of your immune system lives in your gut. Because of this, the health and diversity of the bacteria in your gut microbiome can directly impact the health of your immune system.
Eating a diet rich in whole foods and getting regular exercise are known to support a healthy gut. But if you want to make sure your gut has everything it needs to thrive and support your immune system, you’ll want to add food or supplements rich in probiotics and digestive enzymes to your daily routine.
6. Supplement Smartly
If you find yourself coming up short in any of these areas, or you just want to give your immune system a little extra boost, there are a number of immune-boositng supplements that can help. In fact, supplements can often contain higher levels of those important immune-supporting micronutrients and are a lot more convenient to incorporate into your daily routine.
With that being said, it is important to remember that not all supplements are created equal. When shopping for an immune support supplement, look for something that is all-natural and contains ingredients like medicinal mushrooms and other superfoods that are known to nourish and support your immune system.
Boost Your Immune System With Defend
The holiday festivities will be upon you before you know it, and making sure your immune system is ready to handle whatever this season throws at it should be priority number one. Thankfully, Defend is here to help.
Defend is an all-natural supplement specifically designed to give your immune system the support it needs.* At the core of this proprietary blend is six of the most widely researched medicinal mushrooms, including reishi, shiitake, and more. When these mushrooms are combined with beta-glucan and organic Wild Microalgae® (a near-perfect superfood), it creates a powerful tool to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
And the best part? You can put it to the test risk-free with our 90-day money-back guarantee.
At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly, nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae®, AFA is a unique type of blue-green algae that is available in many forms including algae tablets, algae pills, and algae powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part? We offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.