5 Tips to Protect Your Immune System Over the Busy Holidays
Holidays bring everybody together, and while celebrations are a time for happiness and fun, they can also be a time for germ sharing, and flu swapping. Planning to share the roof or the dinner table with several guests? Take these precautions to keep your immune system at its best over Thanksgiving and onward.
1. Start Juicing: Some of the best immune boosters are found in your refrigerator and local grocery store. Produce like oranges, carrot, pineapple, and ginger are loaded with vitamins and nutrients proven to decrease your chances of catching the common cold. Of course, these aren’t miracle foods, it takes more than vitamin C to keep your immune system in tip top shape, but eating well helps.
A great way to include these foods in your daily diet quickly and easily is to juice them. Natural juices with no added water or sugars taste great and provide several health benefits
2. Get Your Rest: Whether it’s prepping for the Thanksgiving Day meal, or cleaning up for a week after your guests leave, the holidays rarely leave time for sleep. Unfortunately, studies show that disruption in sleep patterns, and being overtired can be cause for lowered immune responses. In other words, if you want to boost your immune system, don’t skip out on the zzz’s.
To make your holiday flow without complaint, and get the turkey on the table on time, enlist the help of family or friends and delegate tasks. Many hands make light work, and leaves more time for you to catch up on your beauty sleep. For a few weeks before the holidays begin, try to get into a better sleeping routine. Set a bedtime and stick to it as best as you can, eventually your body will regulate this new pattern and you’ll feel rested in no time.
3. Eat Your Daily Dose of Protein: The holidays are filled with opportunity to boost protein levels whether you’re eating roast turkey or roast tofurkey. Protein helps your cells grow and regenerate, it is also what your antibodies are made of. Antibodies help your body to fight those nasty colds and flus, so by getting enough protein, you can be sure your antibodies are in full force. Beans, seafood and nuts are another great source of protein, as well as some vegetables, such as broccoli.
4. Have Some Me Time: It isn’t just sleep and good eating you’ll need to keep your wits about you during thanksgiving, you also need some time to yourself. Believe it or not, stress can cause a big impact on your immune system, even going so far as to wear you out and make you feel sick. Avoid the holiday stress by taking time out for yourself. Whether this involves a hot coffee in silence in the morning, an afternoon jog, or a night out with friends, make time for yourself so you don’t drive yourself crazy.
5. Clean Up: Finally, and perhaps most importantly, try your best to keep things clean this holiday season. Vacuuming and dusting regularly will keep your home clear of airborne dust and allergens. Wiping down kitchen and bathroom surfaces regularly will help reduce the level of bacteria and hidden germs lurking in your home.
It isn’t just your home that requires extra TLC when it comes to washing up, your hands take the brunt of the bacterial contamination due to touching things at work, at home, and even at the grocery store. Combat this by washing regularly, especially before you touch your mouth, eyes, or nose. Not able to wash as much as you’d like? A small bottle of hand sanitizer in a desk drawer at the office, in your purse, or on the kitchen counter at home will help kill bacteria and reduce the chances of a cold during the holidays.
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