Maintaining Immune Health in the Winter
Grab the Tissues... Cold and Flu Season is Peaking!
The signs are all too familiar: sore throat, blocked nasal passages, coughing, sneezing and headaches - oh my! Cold and flu symptoms are no joke.
According to the CDC, cold and flu season peaks from December to February, with February being the peak month for flu activity. It’s no doubt that there are still some colder, winter weeks ahead of us, and maybe a great time to start focusing on some preventative measures for our health.
Does cold weather make it easier to get sick?
Research shows that viral infections, which are the cause of the common cold and other respiratory illnesses, may duplicate more efficiently at lower temperatures. This is because the main entry point for these viruses is the nose, and conditions within the nasal passages change when exposed to colder temperatures.
In optimal temperature conditions, the mucus in our nasal passages trap harmful germs, and eradicate them as the mucus moves to the stomach where these microbes are neutralized. When cold, dry air cools down your nasal passages, it slows down the production and evacuation of mucus, and allows these microbes to infiltrate your system. As this happens, we must depend on our immune system and keep immune function strong to fight off any viral infections that occur.
So, how exactly does my immune system work?
The immune system is a group of cells, tissues and organs that act together to protect our bodies from foreign invaders and sickness. When a threat to our health is identified, an immune response is triggered to recognize and terminate it.
The immune system branches off into two components: the innate, and the adaptive. Our innate immunity consists of the defences we are born with, and our adaptive immunity consists of the defences we pick up along the way, as we are exposed to different types of infections and are vaccinated against others.
What does cold weather have to do with my immune health?
In addition to colder weather providing an ideal environment for viruses to spread, exposure to lower temperatures can also compromise the body’s immune response. This could be due to a deficiency of vitamin D, which is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. This is a common occurrence during the winter months when we have less exposure to direct sunlight, which is where we’d commonly get our dose of this all-important vitamin.
A drop in temperature and humidity can cause cells to contract, affecting our body’s ability to wipe out viruses. When we breathe in the cold, dry winter air, the blood vessels in our upper respiratory tract narrow to conserve heat. This can make it difficult for white blood cells to reach the mucus membrane to fight off and eradicate harmful microbes.
Winter can also mean spending more time indoors alongside other people, making the transmission of germs more likely. Always remember to wear a mask if you are required to work indoors or enter a setting where you are in close proximity to other people.
Luckily, there are many accessible ways you can counteract the effects of colder temperatures on your immune system.
How can I boost my immune system?
It’s important to keep your immune system in good shape year round, and this can be done by making a few healthy lifestyle choices. Committing to healthy practices will provide overall balance and strengthen your body’s ability to fight off infections.
● Eating a well-rounded, healthy diet
● Exercising regularly
● Getting an adequate amount of quality sleep
● Frequent hand washing and general upkeep of hygiene
● Effectively managing stress and anxiety
These are simple steps to take, but it makes all the difference when trying to maintain your immune health, especially throughout the winter.
Supporting with supplements
When it’s not possible to get all the vitamins and nutrients you need from your diet, it’s a great idea to support your system with supplements. Here are a few to start with.
Zinc deficiency has been linked to the immune system’s response to inflammation, which accompanies most infections. If taken at the onset of your symptoms, zinc can reduce the impact a common cold has on your health, as it is thought to prevent the virus from multiplying in the upper respiratory tract. CanPrev’s Zinc Bis-Glycinate provides an optimal form of zinc, and prioritizes all-important absorption and gentleness.
In addition to supporting immune health, vitamin C is responsible for the growth and repair of all cell tissues in the body, including wound healing and scar tissue. This multitasking antioxidant also helps strengthen blood vessel walls and produce collagen. CanPrev’s version of vitamin C comes packed in a clean, vegetable-based capsule with no fillers or binders to ensure you’re getting the purest vitamin C possible.
Cold-Pro Immune Formula
Protect your immune system against colds and sickness by taking Cold-Pro Immune Formula daily. It contains a combination of antivirals, adaptogens, immune boosters and immune modulators to help provide complete support. Research shows that each ingredient in Cold-Pro Immune Formula is extremely effective on its own, and combining them has produced a synergistic and powerful immune formula.
The Flu Season
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