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Strengthen Your Immune System this Season

Healthy Living


This time of year brings many wonderful things such as cozy gatherings with loved ones, warm fires, and delicious food. Unfortunately, it also brings along coughs, sneezes, and sniffles.  At such a busy time of the year, getting sick can really put a damper on your holiday plans. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy and energized this season.

Develop healthy lifestyle habits.

  • Get adequate sleep. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Our immune system is most active at night while it focuses on recovery and developing immune memory.
  • Eat a colorful diet. Having a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in simple sugars will help ensure you’re getting nutrients that can boost immunity and decrease inflammation in your body.
  • Exercise. Many studies have found that exercise protects against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold, and COVID.
  • Reduce your stress. Too much stress, especially for prolonged periods of time, can significantly lower your immune system. I often find that changing my perspective and finding gratitude can help me stay positive.

Practice healthy hygiene.

  • Wash your hands often. Up to 80% of communicable diseases are spread through touch, so strive to keep your hands free of germs!
  • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Keep your hands moisturized. Dry, cracked hands compromise our first line of defense against infections – our skin.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Be sure to cough or sneeze into your elbow to keep your hands clean.

Dietary supplements provide additional support.

  • Zinc. This essential mineral is not naturally made by the body, so it must be obtained through diet or supplementation.  It regulates immune functions, has antioxidant activity, and helps maintain a balanced inflammatory response within your immune system.
  • Vitamin C. A recent study shows over 40% of the population is deficient in vitamin C. Vitamin C supports a variety of immune system functions, and it’s also necessary for the production of collagen. Collagen is an essential protein that’s necessary to heal and repair the body.
  • Vitamin D. This all-star hormone helps modulate the immune system – ramping up defense when necessary and calming the immune response when its work is done.
  • Melatonin. While typically associated with sleep, this hormone also has a powerful influence on our immune system and generally supports innate immunity.
  • Probiotics. A staggering 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. Probiotics are good bacteria that naturally inhabit our digestive system. Our immune system and the good bacteria that live in our gut work together to support a healthy immune response.
  • Quercetin. This nutrient is commonly found in fruits and vegetables. Quercetin helps the body maintain a healthy, stabilized immune response when facing illness. As a potent antioxidant, it also helps protect against the damage that can occur in our cells from infections.

Joseph Feick and Family-Joseph Feick, Pharm.D.

Owner, Double Oak Mountain Pharmacy


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