lifestyle

Simple Tips to Support Immune Health

As we face a challenging immune season, it's good to remember that simple precautions can make a big difference in your health and well-being. Read our list below for tips to help you stay healthy.

Wash Your Hands

Hand washing is one of the best safeguards for the immune system. Experts recommend scrubbing for at least 20 seconds (hum the Happy Birthday song twice) with soap and water.1

Manage Stress

When the body is focused on responding to stress, it diverts attention from other normal bodily functions. To keep the body responding to stress in a naturally healthy way, nourish the adrenals. When the adrenals are functioning optimally, the body's natural defenses receive the attention they need. Adaptogenic herbs, such as Ashwagandha, also tonify and support the immune system by helping the body respond to stress in a healthy way.*

Add Herbal Support

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If you are looking for an herbal product that offers immune support, consider Astragalus Supreme, a formula that contains a blend of herbs traditionally for supporting overall well-being, and supports the body in adapting to stress in a healthy way.* This immune formula, with adaptogenic herbs, is designed for long-term daily use.* Another year-round favorite is our Black Elderberry Syrup—a delicious and organic daily elixir to support immune health.* Additionally, Quick Defense is our best-selling formula that supports immune response at onset.*

Exercise Regularly

Exercise naturally releases feel-good endorphins, and studies have shown that moderate exercise supports the immune system (versus strenuous exercise or inactivity).2 At the very least, exercise promotes normal, healthy blood circulation, which allows the immune system to do its job efficiently. Healthy adults should aim for 150 minutes a week.3 If you are short on time, consider High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. HIIT offers 10 to 30-minute full-body workouts that are fun and challenging.

Get Enough Sleep

The circadian rhythm, our natural 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, is a strong immune system regulator. Sleep is when our body replenishes its energy reserves and does the bulk of its growth and regeneration. On average, adults should aim for between 6.5 and 7.5 hours of sleep per night.4 Learning how to balance your circadian rhythm may help support your overall sleep routine, leaving you well-rested, and ready to take on the day. You can also turn to herbal support for sleep.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables Daily

man eating bowl of fruit

Eating a balanced diet that provides an appropriate amount of calories helps your immune system function properly. Fruits and vegetables, which are naturally low in calories by weight, should comprise half of the plate at mealtimes, and choosing produce in a variety of colors helps ensure you get a range of antioxidants.5

Stay Warm

Temperature regulation is one of your body's natural defenses. Your internal thermostat will adjust based on what the body needs. Staying warm allows the body to divert energy to support the immune system.

Stay Hydrated

Just as hydration is a healthy habit year-round, it's also a way to support the body during times of occasional stress. Drinking fluids supports a number of areas of the body and digestion. It also can help maintain proper fluid levels and appropriate perspiration levels. Try herbal teas to stay hydrated while also supporting targeted health concerns.

Take a Bath

Inhaling the essential oils of herbs helps soothe the upper respiratory system, and adding Epsom salts is a natural way to support detoxification and occasional aches. Plus, it can feel like an indulgent act of self-care to lift the spirits.

  
References:
1 http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/
2 Murphy EA, Davis JM, Carmichael MD, Gangemi JD, Ghaffar A, Mayer EP. Brain Behav Immun. 2008 Nov;22(8):1152-5.
3 http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp
4 Daniel F. Kripke, MD; Lawrence Garfinkel, MA; Deborah L. Wingard, PhD; Melville R. Klauber, PhD; Matthew R. Marler, PhD Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002;59(2):131-136.
5 http://www.choosemyplate.gov