It is a cold, hard truth that winter can take a toll on our health: Respiratory illnesses like the flu spread more readily once the mercury drops. In fact, though influenza season begins in fall when there is just a hint of chill in the air, flu cases are usually highest starting in December, with activity typically peaking come February.1
In other words, your immune health—although always important—is crucial now. Take your well-being into your own hands and stay feeling your best this month, and all winter long, with the following immune-supporting tips.*
5 Tips to Support Your Immune System
Catch Some Zzzs
Mom was right... sleep is essential and is just as important to good immune health and good health overall as diet and exercise. Experts recommend sleeping about seven to eight hours nightly, especially during immune season. Studies have shown that people who do not get enough shuteye are more likely to fall sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold.2 Sleep deficiency can also affect the amount of time it takes to recover from an illness.
Yet, falling asleep and staying asleep are both often easier said than done. Our sleep support formulas can help prepare your body for a good night’s slumber, support a natural transition into dreamland, and promote restful sleep for occasional sleepless nights.*
Take a Breather
If you are feeling stressed out, your immune system may not function flawlessly. Fortunately, taking a few quick breaks throughout your day to regroup can help to relieve stress and benefit your immune health. These “me breaks” can also improve your outlook on life and make you feel more in control of your schedule. Start small: Just stepping away from your desk for a five-minute walk can make a world of difference. Not to mention, physical activity helps strengthen your immunity as well.
Invest in Self-Care
In order to truly keep stress under control and your immune system operating effectively, you also need me breaks that are longer than five minutes. Make yourself a priority now and invest in self-care. Though you need to make space for self-care, what you do during this time does not have to be complicated. Something as simple as taking a warm bath with Lavender Epsom salts or indulging in your favorite new book can give you the break that you need from your stressful day at work, school, or even home. Keeping a lid on stress is important to both your physical and mental health.
Stress can be incredibly damaging to the immune system, and sometimes, even after you have taken breathers and self-care breaks, you can still feel frazzled. For this reason, you may want to consider adding adaptogens to your herbal regimen this immune season and beyond.
Adaptogens are herbs that help restore balance to the body.* They support your body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock, and adrenal health.* Our adrenal glands are vital to our existence, as they help regulate not just our immune system and stress response, but also our metabolism, blood pressure, and other essential functions.
Some of our favorite adaptogens that have a place in any wellness regime are Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, and Maca.* Our Adrenal Health Daily Support formula contains a synergistic blend of four adaptogens to support the healthy functioning of the adrenals and overall well-being.*
Eat Well-Balanced Meals
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is critical to immune health. When your body does not receive the nutrients it needs, your immune system may be compromised. Support your immune health by eating a variety of whole foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat proteins, and dairy products—choosing organic options whenever possible.
You can support immunity by eating probiotic-rich fermented foods as well. Prebiotics offer the nourishment that probiotics (healthy digestive flora) need to thrive within the GI tract. In addition to enjoying fermented foods, consider adding our Microbiome Food plant-based prebiotic powder to your regimen to support your immune health.*
Try Gaia Herbs Immune Support Products*
Immune Shine is a delicious and simple way to get immune support this season.* This Mushrooms & Herbs powder can easily be added to your beverage of choice. With a blend of Chaga, Black Elderberry, Maitake, and Ginger, it is a great solution to help maintain your body’s natural defenses.*
Black Elderberry Syrup
Black Elderberry Syrup is a pleasant change from traditional immune-supporting herbal supplements.* Our Certified USDA Organic formula is an immune season staple for the whole family, made with only organic Elderberries.* It concentrates the juice from 14.5 grams of Elderberries into a single, tasty teaspoon.*
Oil of Oregano
Oregano has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. Throughout history, Oregano was used primarily as a culinary spice in gardens and used to preserve meat in times before refrigeration was available, as were other spices that contain high amounts of volatile oils like Thyme. Our Oil of Oregano provides antioxidant support and is traditionally used to sustain overall well-being, making it a great choice during immune season.*
One of our best-selling products, Quick Defense helps to support a healthy immune response at onset.* Made with Echinacea, Elderberry, and Ginger, this fast-acting formula is an essential for home, school, and work.*
Astragalus Supreme is a popular choice for overcommitted adults struggling to balance life’s obligations and for anyone dealing with ongoing stress.* This formula, which includes Schisandra and Ligustrum in addition to Astragalus root, helps maintain overall well-being by supporting the body in adapting to stress in a healthy way.*
Whole Body Defense®
With Maitake, Astragalus, and Gaia-grown® Echinacea, Whole Body Defense is designed to be taken daily to support a healthy immune response and maintain overall long-term well-being.*
Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis
Traditionally used for throat health by anyone experiencing throat stress, our herbal throat spray contains a harmonious blend of herbs, including Echinacea, Goldenseal, and Bee Propolis extract, that supports your body’s immune defenses and overall well-being.*
Immunity All Season Long
The human body is an amazing vessel, but one that requires regular care. It is essential to support your immune system, particularly during times when immune stressors are high. To do so, make sleep a priority; invest in self-care (including chances to engage in physical activity); manage your stress levels; eat a balanced, nutritious diet; and consider adding the highest quality herbal supplements to your routine.* Each of these practical solutions on their own, but particularly in combination, can go a long way towards helping you maintain your immune health.*
“When Is Flu Season,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed January 25, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm.
Aric A. Prather et al. “Behaviorally Assessed Sleep and Susceptibility to the Common Cold,” Sleep 38, no. 9 (September 1, 2015): 1353-59, https://dx.doi.org/10.5665%2Fsleep.4968.