4 Essential Ways to Prep Your Immune System for Fall & Winter

 

With summer fading into fall, it’s all hands on deck to ready your immune system for the coming cold weather.

Respiratory infections, colds, and flu spread more efficiently in colder weather for a few reasons. The first is proximity. We spend more time indoors, where we are less likely to social distance. At the same time, we are more likely to be face to face, passing along air-borne pathogens. 

 

Humidity is lower in the winter, a condition that spreads virus particles more easily. The particles breathed out by infected people absorb less water and remain lighter. They fly further around the room and are more likely to be inhaled.  

Now, you can’t completely control when and if you get sick. Germs are on almost every shared surface and floating all around us in the air. Even taking the most extreme precautions, you may unwittingly breathe in infected floating particles. You could lock yourself away – and never again open a public bathroom stall or shop at the grocery store – but that’s no way to live. 

Your best defense is to support your immune system in every way possible. By reinforcing a balanced immune system response, you take significant steps towards staying as healthy as possible this fall and winter. Let’s take a look at the top four ways to keep your immune system strong.

 

1. Adapt A Healthy Diet That Includes Probiotics 

The design of your immune system is complex and fueled by many factors and not by any one specific food or nutrient. Accordingly, a healthy diet consisting of a range of vitamins and minerals most effectively primes your body to fight infection and disease.

Nutrients essential for the growth and function of immune system cells include vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron, and protein (including the amino acid glutamine). (1,2) 

Prioritize these vitamin-rich foods in your diet:

Vitamin C: citrus, including oranges and berries, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach.

Vitamin D and Magnesium: dark leafy greens, beans, whole grains, fatty fish like salmon, nuts, bananas, and avocados. Treat yourself to real dark chocolate, loaded with magnesium and antioxidants. 

Vitamin B6: Potatoes with skin, chicken, salmon, and tuna. 

Vitamin E: Seeds, peanut butter, and spinach.

At the same time, try to reduce or eliminate overly processed foods from your diet – anything deep friend, fast or fatty and replace them with antioxidant-filled options.

 

Probiotics have been shown in numerous studies to reduce the duration and severity of illnesses, including respiratory infections. (3) Over 80 percent of immune system cells live in your gut and interact with the good bacteria in your microbiome. Replenishing your gut microbiome with a quality daily probiotic is an easy way to support your immune system health. 

It’s best to pick a probiotic with high counts of bifidobacterium and lactobacillus strains like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics. 

Studies have shown these strains to be most beneficial for your immune system while helping eliminate the uncomfortable symptoms of an imbalanced microbiome. (7)

 

2. Exercise Regularly, But Don’t Overdo It

Boosting immune function and reducing inflammation are two positive effects regular exercise provides. Still, in this case, more is not necessarily better.

Overworking your body may lower your immune system’s defenses and increase your illness risk, especially when chronic soreness interrupts your sleep. A better approach replaces intense workouts with stretching, walking, yoga, and fun sports-oriented activities. (4)

3. Establish Good Sleep Habits

Sleep is one of the foundations for a good immunity response, so much so, the chance of catching a contagious illness is 450% greater if you get less than five solid hours of sleep at night. (5)

During sleep, your bodily systems – nervous, cardiovascular, and immune – reset and refresh themselves. When you miss sleep, you deprive your body of the opportunity of repairing itself. 

Give yourself a fighting chance for a whole night of slumber by establishing good sleep habits. 

Stick to a Schedule: Go to bed and set your alarm for the same time every day. Consistency reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

•Restful Environment: Make your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.

•Limit Naps: Naps can disrupt nighttime sleep. If you must nap, limit the time to less than 30 minutes.

•Avoid Stimulants: Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol take hours to wear off, so avoid them at least 6 hours before bedtime.

 

4. Supplement Your Immune System

To guarantee you are getting all the necessary vitamins and nutrients you need every day to support your immune system fully, consider taking a quality immune system supplement like Dynamic Immunity from Stonehenge Health. 

They’ve combined the critical nutrients – Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, L-Glutamine, and Zinc – in one daily dose to help restore and maintain your body’s natural defense system. You’ll also find Elderberry, Echinacea, Garlic, and Turmeric, powerhouse antioxidants shown to boost white cell and antibody activity. 

And if you do find yourself coughing and sneezing, Dynamic Immunity helps speed up your immune response and boosts your capacity to help fight off infections.  

 


Citations:
1. Guillin OM, Vindry C, Ohlmann T, Chavatte L. Selenium, selenoproteins and viral infection. Nutrients. 2019 Sep;11(9):2101.
2. Wessels I, Maywald M, Rink L. Zinc as a gatekeeper of immune function. Nutrients. 2017 Dec;9(12):1286.
3. Maldonado Galdeano, Carolina, Silvia Inés Cazorla, José María Lemme Dumit, Eva Vélez, and Gabriela Perdigón. 2019. “Beneficial Effects Of Probiotic Consumption On The Immune System”. Annals Of Nutrition And Metabolism 74 (2): 115-124. doi:10.1159/000496426.
4. sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254618301005
5. “Sleep Deprived Get Sick More Often”. 2015. University Of California. universityofcalifornia.edu/news/sleep-deprived-get-sick-more-often.
6. medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320099
7. 2021. Applied And Environmental Microbiology. journals.asm.org/doi/full/10.1128/AEM.65.9.3763-3766.1999.      Alessandri, Giulia, Maria Cristina Ossiprandi, John MacSharry, Douwe van Sinderen, and Marco Ventura. 2019. “Bifidobacterial Dialogue With Its Human Host And Consequent Modulation Of The Immune System”. Frontiers In Immunology 10. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2019.02348.

Breathe Easier with these 7 Seasonal Allergy Essential Tips


If you’ve got seasonal allergies, you’re probably struggling with fierce coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes this year, more so than in the past. Of all the things that can cause allergic reactions, pollen is the most widespread. And due to persistently hotter and hotter weather, pollen production has been heavier and lasting longer year over year.

For instance, April is typically the start of warmer weather. This year, some areas in the Northeast experienced temps in the ’70s as early as January. Plus, the first frosts are happening later in the year, keeping pollen-producing plants around even longer. This year, allergy season will be ten days longer than in 1990, while plants will produce 21% more pollen. (1)

With so much pollen in the air, you’ll need all hands on deck to manage your seasonal allergy symptoms. Along with your over-the-counter and prescribed medications, consider these simple, soothing remedies to help you breathe easier again.

 

 

What are Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies happen when your immune system reacts to allergens – the most widespread being pollen. Your body releases histamine, a chemical found in your immune cells, to fight off the perceived invaders. Histamine sends blood flow to fight the allergens in your nose and throat, promoting your body to make more mucus. The mucus causes a stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, and sore throat. Histamine can also make your eyes water and itch.

 

When is Allergy Season?

May – June: In May, grass, trees, and weeds gang up on your senses by pumping out allergens. We are in the mines of the worst of it for allergy sufferers, which continues through July.

July – September: Ragweed, a common flowering plant, takes center stage. Tajweed is the leading cause of allergies, with up to 75% of all allergy sufferers affected.

October – April: With temperatures falling, flora becomes dormant. The air clears up, bringing an end to seasonal allergies. Finally, take a deep breath – without coughing – until next year.

 

Reduce Your Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

If you’re struggling with seasonal allergies, there are a few things you can do, along with taking antihistamines and other drugs, to reduce your body’s reactions and soothe your symptoms.

 

1. Know Your Triggers

Have an allergy specialist perform a skin test to pinpoint your allergy triggers. Once you know your allergens, you can make a plan to avoid them.

 

2. Shut Out the Breeze

It’s tempting to open the windows and let the breeze in on a sunny spring day. But for allergy suffers, keep the windows closed to protect your indoor air. Adding a HEPA filtered home air purifier can help eliminate allergens and improve indoor air quality.

 

3. Wash Up

When you walk into your home, you bring in particles from the outside. So, at the very least, leave your shoes outside by the door—shower before bedtime, including thoroughly shampooing your hair to wash away pollen.

Extra bonus, steam from the shower can help relieve allergy symptoms. Along with cleaning yourself, frequently wash your bedding. Dust and allergens accumulate on your sheets and pillow, so give them a good wash a few times a week.

 

4. Keep Pets Out of the Bedroom

If your pets spend time out of the house, keep them out of your bedroom. This way, you don’t add extra pollen and other allergens to where you sleep.

 

5. Wear a Mask

When you can’t avoid allergens outside, masks help keep them from entering your airways. N95 respirator masks are available at most drugstores and block 95% of small particles like pollen.

 

6. Rinse

Nasal rinses clean out mucus from your nose easing allergy symptoms. Use a saline rinse or a neti pot to clear pollen from nasal passages after exposure.

 

7. Vitamin C

Vitamin C has many important jobs, but it’s probably best known for bolstering your immune system. Vitamin C is also one of the most critical nutrients for fighting allergies. Allergens trigger specific cells – specifically mast cells – to produce histamine, which causes reactions like excess mucus, runny nose, and teary eyes. Studies show that high levels of vitamin C help reduce histamine release and make histamine break down quickly once it is released. Other studies show that deficiency in vitamin C can send blood levels of histamine soaring.

Although vitamin C is available in many fruits and vegetables, surprisingly, studies show that 33% of the population is vitamin C deficient. When even a moderate deficiency can lead to impaired immune system response, supporting your body with a quality vitamin C supplement is a no-brainer.

Stonehenge Health Dynamic Liposomal Vitamin C can quickly and efficiently replenish your daily need for this critical vitamin. It’s 1,500 mg of vitamin C encased in an advanced liposomal delivery system to optimize absorption power. This season you need every tool available to fight your allergy symptoms. Dynamic Liposomal Vitamin C is a natural and effective way to help you breathe easier and feel your best.

Sources
1. https://acaai.org/news/does-more-pollen-mean-worse-allergy-symptoms-probably

2. https://www.prevention.com/health/a20460618/3-supplements-for-allergies/#:~:text=Vitamin%20C%20stops%20histamine.%20Studies%20have%20shown%20that,levels%20of%20histamine%20soaring.%20Daily%20amount%3A%20200-400%20mg

3. https://www.verywellhealth.com/seasonal-allergies-82644

4. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/ss/slideshow-natural-relief