Are you looking for ways to boost your immune system when winter approaches? Who isn’t! The coldest months of the year bring surges in colds, congestion, and viruses like flu. Winter months’ general low temperatures and poorly-ventilated indoor spaces obviously add up. So what’s the solution? A stronger immune system.
As such, it’s not over the top to consider ways to boost your immune system in cold months. Recently, the potential medicinal properties of terpenes and terpenoids, a group of natural compounds, have become a hot topic of discussion (1). Terpenes and terpenoids are the primary ingredients of Vital Shield, a Sundt Nutrition immune-system-boosting supplement. We think you’ll love it!
- Winter can weaken your immune defences, leaving you at the mercy of various illnesses. As such, cold months demand you pay closer attention to your immune system.
- Ways to defend yourself include a healthy diet, exercise, and getting enough sleep. But at times, these don’t suffice. You may not have the time, and your hectic lifestyle may include harmful agents like alcohol and tobacco.
- Sundt Nutrition’s Vital Shield supplement is terpene-based and specially designed to support healthy immune system functioning during colder months. You’ll love it!
Boosting Your Immune System: What You Need to Know
Do you remember the last time you caught cold? It eventually cured itself, didn’t it? That wasn’t just thanks to the medications you took; it was because your body’s immune system created its own defences. But how does the immune system work? Who or what attacks it? How does it defend your body? This section offers answers for all these common questions, so take note!
What Is the Immune System?
It’s a set of cells, organs, and tissues which help your body defend itself from infections and other illnesses (2, 3).
Imagine that you’ve come down with flu. At that moment, the “soldiers” in your system begin attacking the infection. In other words, your body attacks germs, which may be viruses or bacteria. But what is the immune system made up of? This list explains it:
- White blood cells. Also called leucocytes, they’re genuine “soldiers” which combat germs and infections.
- Skin. Your skin is designed as a barrier to prevent germs from entering your body.
- Mucus. Another natural barrier comes from mucus and other substances capable of “trapping” germs.
- Lymphatic system tissues and organs. These include, for example, your bone marrow, spleen, lymphatic vessels, and lymph nodes. All of them are responsible for producing, storing, and transporting white blood cells throughout the body.
Your immune system defends you from outside visitors like viruses and bacteria. And though it’s hard to imagine, as soon as the immune system recognizes an unfamiliar element, it “attacks” it by producing antibodies.
These antibodies destroy germs. What’s more, your cells will carry a memory of their microscopic “enemies” for as long as they live. In other words, you can resist reinfection in the future. Your body will send the correct antibodies to fight the bacteria or virus that bothered it before.
What Factors Harm the Immune System?
Keeping your immune system strong is a basic requirement for your body to protect itself from “enemies” like infections, viruses, and other illnesses. The hostile forces facing your immune system include tobacco, drugs, and stress, among others. Watch out for this list:
- Tobacco. Tobacco is one of the immune system’s greatest enemies, and its harmful effects have been widely studied. Cigarette smoke can give rise to numerous illnesses. You may be more prone to cardiovascular, respiratory, and autoimmune diseases. Other increased risks include allergies, cancer, and transplant rejection (4).
- Lack of sleep. Sleep is closely related to your immune system. In fact, studies indicate that people with chronic infectious or inflammatory illnesses suffer from altered sleep patterns. As if that weren’t enough, various studies show that lack of sleep makes humans more prone to infection. It also weakens the immune system’s response to vaccination. As such, a good night’s sleep is fundamental for a strong immune system (5).
- Alcohol. As far as the immune system, studies do show that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced inflammation and better vaccine response. However, chronic excessive drinking is associated with higher risk of bacterial and viral infections (6).
- Stress. Stress is a beneficial response when the stressor situation is temporary. For example, when you’re suddenly in danger, stress is what helps you fight or flee. However, the more chronic stress becomes, the more it endangers immune system components. The association between stress and immune defences is still pending further study. So far, evidence shows that a relaxing life is a healthy life (7, 8)!
Using Your Diet to Boost Your Immune System
Though you may not be aware of it, micronutrient deficiencies weaken your immune function. High-quality nutrition is fundamental for your immune system to function properly. We’ve created a table to summarise the most important nutrients, what happens when a deficiency occurs, and the best dietary sources of them. Take a look (9, 10, 11, 12, 13)!
|Nutrient||Effects of a Deficiency||Dietary Sources|
|Vitamin A||Low vitamin A alters your immune response and makes you more prone to many infections. Vitamin A deficiency can result in night blindness, inflamed eyes, and dry, rough skin.||Cod liver oil, fish, liver, egg yolks, spinach|
|Vitamin D||Low vitamin D levels increase your risk of respiratory infections. Exposure to sunlight, which produces vitamin D, reduces the rate of viral respiratory infections. Cod liver oil has the same effect.||Eggs, blue fish, prawns, chicken, beef, aged cheese, milk, butter|
|Vitamin E||Vitamin E deficiency symptoms include serious muscular and nervous system problems, loss of balance, and a weaker, more sensitive immune system.||Leafy green vegetables, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, vegetable oils|
|Zinc||Zinc deficiency may increase the rate of infectious disease, especially respiratory and skin infections.||Oysters, clams, liver, red meat, fish|
|Iron||Iron deficiency negatively affects your immune system. Low iron can cause anaemia, which could weaken your ability to fight germs.||Lean meat, shellfish, poultry, lentils, beans, spinach, nuts|
|Selenium||Selenium deficiency may reduce your immune system’s ability to prevent infection.||Fish, shellfish, eggs, whole grains, seeds, Brazil nuts|
|Vitamin C||Vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, which can eventually be fatal. Scurvy causes fatigue, swollen gums, small red or purple skin blemishes, joint pain, and trouble healing cuts and wounds.||Citrus fruits, red and green peppers, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries|
Exercise and Your Immune System
Staying active boosts your immune system’s defences. It’s critical to get moderate physical exercise every day in order to optimise your immune system’s responses (11, 15).
If that’s not enough reason, exercise also helps manage stress and create more flexible metabolism. We’ve laid out the WHO’s recommendations by age:
|5-17 years old||Games, sport, trips, activities, physical education and scheduled exercise. 60 minutes a day should be spent exercising, and aerobic activity is preferred.|
|18-64||At a minimum, 150 minutes a week should be spent engaging in moderate aerobic activity. Alternatively, a minimum of 75 minutes a week should be spent on strenuous aerobic activity.|
|65+||The WHO recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes a week of strenuous aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and strenuous activity.|
Sleep and Your Immune System
Sleep is fundamental for regulating your immune system. While you sleep, your body’s defences regenerate and regain strength. In fact, there are studies showing that people who sleep less than seven hours a night are three times more likely to catch cold (compared to people who sleep at least eight hours) (5, 11).
We like this set of recommendations provided by the Cantabria Nursing Foundation:
- Maintain a consistent bedtime
- Avoid large dinners and late dinners
- Don’t go to bed immediately after eating
- Avoid caffeine during the afternoon and night
- Avoid stacking your pillows up too high
- Take a hot bath before bed
- Make sure the room is fully dark
- Avoid electronic devices for two hours before going to bed
- Engage in moderate exercise two hours before bed
- Try practicing a meditation technique
- Sleep on a mattress you find comfortable
- Keep the temperature in the room between 18 y 21 ºC
- Avoid self-medicating
Can Supplements Boost Your Immune System?
When winter arrives, cold and flu come with it. Your responsibility is to take care of yourself and build an effective immune system you can rely on to fight viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Why not take advantage of supplements? Our hectic lifestyles don’t always allow us to get all the nutrients we need, even though they’re vital for immune system health! Let’s take a look at supplements in more detail (16, 17, 18).
When people have low levels of one nutrient, they often have low levels of several! And you’re aware that your body’s defences need to be able to face the winter cold. We suggest Sundt Nutrition’s liposomal multivitamin. What are its advantages?
Liposomal technology is the key factor behind our recommendation. Nutrients are encapsulated in microscopic liposomes, whose structure is similar to our own cells. This resemblance to cells allows your body to absorb the vitamins more efficiently.
Plus, Sundt Nutrition’s multivitamin is gluten-free, sugar-free, GMO-free, and contains no animal products. And of course, it has all the vitamins you might need!
We think that’s all we need to say. Give it a try!
If you need to strengthen your immune system, there’s no better solution than Sundt Nutrition liposomal vitamin C. Bid farewell to vitamin pills and tablets! It comes in liquid drops we think you’ll love, but what really makes it shine is liposomal technology.
Scientific advances have allowed liposomal supplements to be developed. These liposomal versions have greater bioavailability – but what does that mean? In other words, vitamin C reaches its destination in the body much more efficiently and in higher amounts.
Plus, if you’re vegan or coeliac, this is the supplement for you. It’s cruelty-free, gluten- and sugar-free, and was made with no GMOs. You won’t regret trying it out!
Vital Shield: The Terpene Revolution
Our final recommendation belongs to a truly revolutionary supplement in the nutrition field. Vital Shield is a Sundt Nutrition supplement specifically formulated to boost and strengthen the immune system. How does it do that? The answer is terpenes.
Terpenes are natural compounds primarily found in plants. They have a wide range of medicinal uses – in fact, the bioactive terpenes found in some plants have shown results related to their antiviral properties. Their potential for fighting all kinds of illnesses is currently being researched top to bottom!
Vital Shield is made up of several ingredients: basil oil, eugenol, d-limonene, beta-caryophyllene, linalool, and eucalyptus oil. This terpene-based formula was designed with the goal of helping your immune functioning from the moment you take it. Don’t miss out!
Boosting your immune system is key during the leadup to long winter months. Viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens can creep up on us between the cold and the wet, humid conditions. As such, we need to provide our body’s defences with germ-fighting weapons.
If you’re experiencing signs of a weakened immune system, visit a healthcare professional first. If your doctor suggests taking a supplement, consider Vital Shield from Sundt Nutrition. We hope the power of terpenes can help you stay healthy this winter and year-round!
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