Even though it’s important to support your immune system throughout the entire year, the winter months are filled with extra germs and cold / flu inducing temperatures. No one wants to get sick, ever, but getting sick when it’s already cold and gloomy out just seems to make it that much worse! So – today I’m sharing all the ways that I support my immune system so that I don’t fall victim to a stomach bug or flu over the holidays.
6 Natural Ways To Support Your Immune System
1: I take a probiotic strain specifically for my ears, nose and throat
Did you know that probiotics have strains for specific purposes? That’s right, probiotics can be used for more than just gut health! I recently came across a strain specifically for ear, nose and throat health by LifeStix called E.N.T Care and even though they market the strain towards kids, I love taking this supplement for myself. This specific probiotic strain colonizes in the mouth to protect against pathogens and boosts the immune system function in this area. It has the specific purpose of battling bacteria in our mouth and upper respiratory system. Pretty cool right? It also helps that you can eat the supplement like candy as it comes in powdered supplement sticks. If you want to learn more about this specific strain and LifeStix, you can watch their educational video here. You can Creep their website to purchase and check out their products or to see if there is a Walgreens close by. I’m starting to become addicted to taking it daily that it feels like a treat more than a supplement!
2: I practice intermittent fasting:
There are numerous reasons why I practice intermittent fasting, but one of the main reasons is to keep my immune system strong and kickin’. There are a few studies that show what intermittent fasting induces, such as the regeneration of old or damaged immune cells.
It’s quite easy and comes naturally for me to practice intermittent fasting. I can go 12-14 hours without eating when I eat dinner at say, 7pm and breakfast at 10am. Not only does it keep my immune system healthy, it also helps with digestion and all sort of other processes in my body.
3: I take a shot of apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been known to help break up built up mucus in our system among many other potential benefits. When it comes to our immune system it gives us a boost with its numerous enzymes, vitamins and minerals, and also has antimicrobial properties to fight off germs. It gives your gut healthy bacteria, acts as a great detox aid, may stabilize blood sugar, can help with digestion, to name a few.
4: I try to get at least 15 minutes of sunshine a day
The sun can be extremely scarce in the winter time here in Chicago – which means we’re more prone to a Vitamin D deficiency that can lead to not that great of an immune system. So I try to walk everywhere I can to get my daily dose of Vitamin D to keep these levels regular so that I don’t become deficient and more prone to infections.
5: I sit in a sauna or take hot yoga at least 3-4 times a week
I mean taking a hot yoga class already feels amazing when it’s 2 degrees outside. But some studies show that taking time in a sauna or a hot environment when you are sweating can help keep bacteria and viruses at bay by making it harder for these pathogens to live in our bodies. You also sweat out toxins that can lead to infections or a suppressed immune system in either a hot yoga or sauna session. Yet another reason why I’m obsessed.
6: I make it a TOP priority to manage my stress
Constantly being stressed out can have a major negative impact on the immune system due to an overabundance of cortisol. Cortisol can mess with the health of our white blood cells (which fight off germs), and can make our immune system so weak that we can get sick multiple times in one month! So it’s crucial that emotional health and stress management is a daily non-negotiable for me. I do this by making sure I have alone time *every day*, I meditate in the morning while I’m on the treadmill, I journal in the morning what juicy things I want to manifest, or write down what I’m so lucky to have in my life. There are so many ways that you can manage stress to get into in this one post, so I’ll just have to create another!
So there you have it! How do you naturally support your immune system in the winter? Would love to hear your answers – let’s inspire each other.
Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Life Stix ENT Care Probiotics. All writings and opinions are my own.