OK…so we got through the Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday deals and starting our Christmas lists.
Now we can rest.
Ah, not so fast…. for many students final exams are coming up. Others have dead lines at work, shopping, traveling (which means sharing germs with the passenger next to you), family plans and preparing for Christmas and New Years. You don’t want to be slowed down by a nasty cold.
Here are some strategies to boost your immune system:
1. Wash, wash, wash your hands. Do I really need to tell you why? The alcohol-based sanitizers and wipes are good in killing bacteria and viruses, but hand washing is more effective in killing the germs that make you sick.
2. Get your rest…It is recommended that adults sleep 7-8 hours every night. That means sleeping straight through the night with no interruptions or bathroom breaks. Lack of sleep makes you more susceptible to colds and illness by raising our stress hormone cortisol and wearing down the adrenals. Lack of sleep can also add to weight gain.
3. Let the Sun Shine. Not only does it feel good, but it helps regulate your circadian rhythm which helps you fall asleep. It also allows us to manufacture Vitamin D which is an immune modulator and keeps your immune system in check. The best time to expose your skin to the sun is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. for 20-30 minutes several times a week.
4. NAC known as N-acetyl-cysteine. This is an amino acid supplement that is excellent for preventing and treating colds and other upper respiratory infections (especially sinus infections). It converts to a potent intracellular antioxidant known as glutathione. The dose is 1500-3000 mg daily.
5. Drink. Water that is…. A good test is to drink enough filtered or spring water so your urine is almost as clear as the toilet water. I know that may sound gross but it assures you that you are cleansing your kidneys, gut and liver from toxins that cause inflammation. Try to reduce your amount of caffeine, sugar and alcohol as these tend to compromise your immune health and lower your resilience.
Wishing you Happy Healthy Holidays!