Sleep when you can!
Getting less sleep—even just an hour less—can triple your odds of catching a cold. The extra socializing we do this time of year, not to mention the stress of getting all the gifts picked and wrapped, can be stressful and take a toll on your immune system. So make sure to get at least one or two normal nights of sleep to recharge your batteries.
Don't kiss someone who has a cold.
Well duh, you say, but it's easy to forget, especially after you've had a drink or two at the company's Holiday party, or when you suddenly find yourself under the mistletoe...
Have fun... in moderation.
Most of us eat and drink too much at this time of year. While the sweet and fatty foods we encounter during the holidays are okay in small doses, they weaken your immune system when consumed every day. Try to space your guilty pleasures out over the course of a week: schedule in a few light salads and maybe try to go a day or two without drinking alcohol.
Look after your throat.
All the singing and cheering can strain your vocal cords, which makes you more prone to picking up microbes. Shouting to make yourself heard above "Baby is cold outside" being belted out by Bob from Accounting has the same effect and is even worse if you're a smoker. To soothe a scratchy throat, try our Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray.
Vitamins are your friends!
Eat plenty of apples, kiwis, berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries), red and orange bell peppers and citrus fruits: your immune system will reap their positive effects. As if that weren't reason enough, vitamin C is key to having radiant skin—score one for ascorbic acid!
Just say no to fudge!
Refined sugar competes with vitamin C inside the body, so satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh or dried fruit and get additional nutrients in the process.
Turn up your nose to fatty foods!
Fried or fatty foods undermine the body's immune function, so set aside more space on your plate for vegetables and whole grains. The evidence is clear: a high level of "bad" cholesterol is harmful to cardiovascular health and the immune system. Artichoke and garlic are your allies in the battle against bad cholesterol!
Drink plenty of water.
Not only is water good for your hangover, it also plays a key role in your body's cleansing routine as it processes the heavy foods commonly on offer during the holiday season.
Beware of smoking!
We can't say it enough: smoking harms the immune system. If you plan to keep smokers company when they slip outside for a cigarette, remember that second-hand smoke is just as harmful as smoking itself.
Go easy on the caffeine!
Try to cut your consumption of coffee and caffeinated soft drinks, and opt instead for hot drinks that cleanse the body, such as herbal tea made with mint, goldenrod or licorice, which also calm the nervous system so you're more zen when the socializing begins. Bambu is a 100% caffeine-free organic fruit and grain coffee substitute. Even the most die-hard coffee-lovers agree that it's an excellent alternative to coffee. To reduce your coffee consumption gradually, start with a delicious blend: half Bambu, half coffee.
Just like getting more sunlight, exercising or walking for 10 to 20 minutes outdoors is an excellent way to boost the immune system and burn off surplus calories at the same time.
Don't worry, be happy!
Take time to do the things you love—yup, happiness is good for the immune system—as long as one of those things isn't stuffing your face with chocolate! Spending time with family, just because that's what families are supposed to do, can be tough on some people. If that's you, put on your best smile, take deep breaths and think zen thoughts. After all, the holiday season happens only once a year, so make the most of it!
Make room for aromatics!
Garlic, sage, ginger, rosemary and thyme are all immune boosters, so add them liberally to your recipes!
Tackle a cold head-on with Echinaforce. A recent study showed that taking echinacea daily for four months during the winter is a safe and effective way to reduce the incidence of colds and flu.
Thomas, Y. et al. Appl Environ Microbiol 2008
Cohen, S. et al. Arch Intern Med 2009; 169: 62-67
Jawad, M. et al. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012. doi: 10.1155/2012/841315