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8 Ways to Fortify Your Immune System Before Cold Weather Hits
Chelsea S. • November 14, 2016

As the weather gets colder, your thoughts may have turned to boosting your immune health. There are a few strategies for supporting your immune system that you may be familiar with (vitamin C, anyone?) but there are numerous other lifestyle habits and nutrients that are also vital players for promoting immune health.

With these eight tips, you can support your body’s natural defenses and stay healthy and active all winter long!

Chronic stress has an impact on your overall health. While it’s impossible to avoid all the stressors of modern life, taking time to relax and de-stress can only support your immune system! Everyone’s idea of relaxation is different, but some well-loved activities include reading a book, taking a bath, walking outside or meeting a friend for coffee or a meal.

It’s no secret that exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living, but many people only think of their weight when they exercise. Regular exercise can do way more than keep you in shape! Exercise supports the health of all your organs, which benefits your overall wellness. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym, either. The U.S. government recommends two and a half hours (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. As a bonus, many people find that regular exercise is a way to stress less.

Probiotics are well known for supporting digestive health, but they also promote immune health. A favorable balance of healthy intestinal microflora (the “good” bacteria probiotics provide) has been shown to support optimal immune system function. You can find live probiotics in fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha or yogurt. Alternatively, supplement your probiotics!

Did you know herbs and spices can boost your health in addition to adding flair to your food? Turmeric, garlic, parsley and more offer potent, immune-boosting antioxidants!

When you hear “immune health,” chances are your mind immediately jumps to vitamin C. There’s a good reason for that! This vitamin has long been known as a vital support for immune health. Make sure you’re getting your daily dose of vitamin C by eating a hearty portion of fruits and vegetables with every meal. And if you’re afraid you’re coming up short, stock up on vitamin C supplements.

I mentioned it above, but filling your plate with fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to boost your immune system. Eating nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats is a surefire way to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs to function optimally. Supplements can always help you fill in the gaps, but they can’t replace a bad diet.

Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep is an often-overlooked aspect of health. Many vital processes only occur while you’re sleeping. Not getting adequate sleep puts unnecessary stress on your organs and strain on your immune system.

Vitamin D is vital to a strong immune system as well as other benefits. Vitamin D is known as the Sunshine Vitamin because it is synthesized through exposure to sunlight. During colder months, though, it’s not easy to get this important vitamin, so many people choose to supplement.

  1. Stress Less
  2. Exercise
  3. Probiotics
  4. Herbs & Spices
  5. Vitamin C
  6. Eat Whole Foods
  7. Adequate Sleep
  8. Soak Up The Sun

There you have it: eight simple ways to support your immune system and maintain your health. Is there anything you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments!


  • health.harvard.edu
  • fitness.gov