October has arrived, the weather is cooling down and cold and flu season is kicking off (with the worst expected to hit around January). While many people are heading out to get their flu shot we take a multi-faceted approach here at New Earth and focus on boosting our immune system.
To stay healthy through the winter, we rely on our immune system to do its job correctly and fend off the viruses and bad bacteria. A healthy body depends on a strong, healthy immune system and believe it or not, it all starts in the gut. In fact, a majority of our immune cells reside in the gut.
By maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and strengthening our gut health we are more likely to breeze through this cold and flu season. Here are a few tips to keep you thriving throughout the winter months.
- Take high quality probiotics
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are two important good bacteria that have been shown to have a positive effect on our immune system. When selecting a probiotic look for one that contains both Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum along with multiple other strains of beneficial bacteria. Always purchase from a reputable source that adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Remember, probiotics are actual living organisms. It’s very important to find a quality brand you can rely on.
Not sure where to find a quality probiotic? Look no further; we invite you to try our Spectrabiotic
In addition to supplementing probiotics, you can enjoy some yummy fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut.
- Get your ‘shrooms
Although traditional Chinese medicine has long recognized the health benefits of edible mushrooms, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that western medicine began devoting resources to explore the science. Immune function has been one of the most promising areas of mushroom research thus far and a number of mushroom species have proven immune-boosting effects.
Reishi is known as the “mushroom of immortality” and “spirit mushroom.” It has been used medicinally for millennia, revered for its health-promoting effects. While it’s not edible, reishi can be consumed in a capsule.
Maitake, also known as “Hen of the Woods” is valued as a gourmet culinary mushroom. It has excellent nutritional value, containing a variety of beneficial phospholipids, unsaturated fatty acids, and vitamin D2. Maitake offers medicinal properties comparable to those of reishi and cordyceps, showing a range of postivie effects and immune-stimulating properties.
Cordyceps has been shown to be a powerful immunomodulator, with the ability to both boost a depressed immune system and downregulate an overactive one.
Shiitake has been used in Japan and China for its benefits for thousands of years. This mushroom has been extensively studied for its health giving properties. It’s among the most popular and most studied medicinal mushrooms.
Wondering how you might consume all of these fantastic medicinal mushrooms? Look for a supplement from a reputable source. Two of our favorite mushroom loaded, immune boosting supplements are Forest and Defend.
- Load up on immune boosting foods
Strengthening your immune system is a daily event. One of the best ways to keep it thriving is to consume immune boosting foods on a daily basis. The best part, many are both delicious and nutritious.
Raw Garlic is a member of the allium genus family. It has both antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It is known to treat the common cold and GI infections. Although it may be difficult at first, try eating a clove a day.
Bone broth contains natural amino acids, gelatin, and collagen that have gut healing and immune boosting properties. The key here is organic homemade broth. You can even add some delicious veggies and whole grains and call it a meal!
Turmeric is a delicious spice that is common in Indian cuisine. Spice up your dinner and boost your immune system at the same time with some delicious chickpea curry.
Honey is not only a natural ingredient to sweeten your tea it is a natural antimicrobial and immune booster.
- Sweat it out
You don’t have to turn into a gym rat to enjoy the immune boosting benefits of exercise. We are talking about moderate physical activity here. Not only will it help boost mood, improve muscle tone, and maintain weight-it can also improve the antibody response to infections.
- Sleep tight
While it’s very tempting to stay up into the wee hours of the night watching your favorite TV show, lack of sleep doesn’t do your immune system any favors. In fact, it can wreak havoc on the immune system by activating the inflammatory immune response.
Do your body and immune system a favor by aiming for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
While we can’t guarantee you won’t catch a cold or the flu this season, implementing these tips will likely decrease your odds and keep you thriving throughout the winter.