Runny nose, dry cough, scratchy throat, fatigue, body aches—everyone knows the familiar pain of coming down with a winter cold. Typically, your immune system does an impressive job of defending your immunity.
But every once in a while, a virus or bacteria breaks through your body’s line of defense and makes you sick. Not only do you feel terrible, but your ability to be productive slows to a halt.
Restoring balance and harmony to your body through healthy lifestyle choices—including diet, exercise, and managing stress—is one of the best ways to naturally bolster your immune system. Follow these tips to improve your chances of staying healthy through the winter.
Chronic psychological stress has been linked to a number of health conditions, including the common cold. Clinical studies have indicated that stress is associated with an increased risk of acute infectious respiratory illness.
The culprit is the stress hormone cortisol, which has the ability to suppress immune function. Spiked cortisol levels also inhibit the body’s anti-inflammatory response, which may prolong or worsen cold symptoms.
Try This Tea: Banish stress and restore your body to a state of balance with SuperAdapt™ Teas.* These wellness-oriented teas contain adaptogenic herbs like holy basil, Ashwagandha, Maca, and Ginseng root to help you feel calm, alert and harmonious.*
Much like chronic stress, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to elevated cortisol levels, thereby increasing your risk of getting sick this winter. When you sleep, your immune system releases cytokines—small proteins that are involved in regulating immunity and inflammation.
When you do not get enough sleep at night, your body does not have sufficient time to release these molecules. Over time, this may increase your susceptibility to cold viruses.
Try This Tea: Before bed, steep a cup of calming sleep tea. The gentle flavors and aromas of chamomile, lavender and valerian will lull you into a state of relaxation, and discourage nighttime tossing and turning.*
Eat a Balanced Diet
One of the best things you can do to boost your immunity is to consume a balanced, nutritious diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Citrus fruits, garlic, ginger, carrots and onions have all been linked to heightened immune function.
Try This Tea: Sipping immunity teas made with immune-supporting herbs such as echinacea, eleuthero and Asian ginseng may give your body the boost it needs to fight off infections.* Considering the role that gut health plays in overall wellness, sipping teas for digestion may also help to maintain your body’s immune response.*
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Staying hydrated is a smart idea year-round, but is especially important during the winter cold and flu season. Sipping liquids like water or tea helps your body flush out toxins that can make you sick and inhibit immune response.
Try This Tea: Steep a pot of your favorite herbal tea and sip throughout the morning, afternoon and evening for all-day hydration. Herbal tea is naturally caffeine-free, allowing you to avoid the effects of caffeinated beverages such as coffee.
Staying active through a regular exercise routine encourages healthy blood flow, which helps circulate disease-fighting white blood cells throughout the body. Studies have shown that being active may reduce the risk of having a cold by nearly 50%. Symptoms tend to be less severe among fit individuals.*
Try This Tea: The weather outside is frightful, and you would rather be curled up under a blanket than at the gym. Energize your body and get into a fitness-focused mindset with your preferred fitness tea blend. Choose from spicy and stimulating herbal teas, or energizing high caffeine teas.
Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco Smoke
Inhaling tobacco smoke (including second-hand inhalation) disrupts your body’s immune response, and may increase the risk of developing bronchitis and pneumonia. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption has been shown to impair the immune system, and may also elevate vulnerability to lung infections.
Try This Tea: Instead of pouring that glass of wine to help you relax at the end of a long day, steep a cup of soothing tea instead. Breathe in the calming aroma of lavender and rose petal, and let the gentle flavor deliver you to a state of balanced bliss.*
There is no foolproof way to prevent illnesses, but as always, a holistic wellness approach is an important part of boosting your immunity. The stronger and healthier your body is as a whole, the more support your immune system will have in fighting off diseases.
*Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.