It’s here. Cold and Flu “Season”. You may be wondering why I put season in quotes. To put it simply, the season doesn’t exist. There. I said it! Think about it. Have you ever had a summer cold? I have! And now that the world was turned upside down by Covid, with people getting sick at any given time during the year…it makes you wonder why are people more susceptible to getting sick during this time of year?
First, we eat way too much sugar. Increased sugar consumption begins at Halloween and extends through Thanksgiving, holiday parties, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day and even into Easter! One study found when you eat 100 grams of sugar (about as much sugar as you find in a 1 liter bottle of soda) your body is significantly less effective at killing germs. This can cripple your immune system for up to 5 hours after eating sugar!
The second culprit responsible for a weakened immune system is stress. From fall festivals to family gatherings, work parties, and school activities, life is CRAZY during this time of year! And don’t make me even mention the dreaded 2020. That stress seemed to be unending for so many people. Unfortunately we often stretch ourselves thin, which can affect our body’s ability to fight off illness and send our nerve system into overdrive.
Chronic stress ultimately leads to increased inflammation and can also lower immunity in an otherwise “healthy” individual. And lastly, decreased sun exposure during the winter months (while much more severe in states to our North) can lead to more sick days even in FL! Catching some rays stimulates our body’s ability to produce Vitamin D and supports both our innate and adaptive responses to fend off nasty germs. Inadequate levels of vitamin D is often associated with depression, autoimmune issues, and other illnesses.
Here are four tips for supporting your immune system naturally:
- Limit your intake of processed sugar. I know this is difficult with so many yummy holiday sweet treats, but your body and immune system will thank you!
- Reduce your stress as much as possible. Take time to be grateful. Prioritize and learn to let things go (trust me, your kids don’t even remember what you bought for them during the holidays last year!)
- Get out in the sun every day, even if it is just for 15 minutes. Many people may also benefit from adding a vitamin D supplement if their Vitamin D levels are severely depleted.
- Finally, have your nerve system checked by a chiropractor. Your nerve system controls and coordinates the function of every cell, tissue, organ, and organ system including your immune system. Some studies show that getting adjusted by a chiropractor can increase your immune system function by up to 200% more than if you were not getting adjusted!
If you want more information about how to optimize your immune system check out our free guide. Cheers to a Happy and Healthy Cold and Flu “Season”!