With the crazy holiday season upon us, many people are burning the candle at all hours of the day and night. We hustle from party to party all the while trying to squeeze in a little work and some quality time with family. Often during this time, our bodies pay the price, becoming sick. Below are some suggestions for keeping yourself healthy during this holiday season.
Wash your hands: The single biggest boost you can give your immune system is to be sure to wash your hands as often as possible. Washing your hands for 20 seconds with warm soap and water before eating, after being in public and after every sneeze or trip to the bathroom.
Get your gut healthy. Upwards of 70% of our immune system exist in our gut. Be sure yours is healthy by regularly consuming pre and probiotics and avoiding antibiotics both prescribed and in our food system.
Get enough sleep. The average healthy adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Disrupting your body clock through a lack of sleep can have harmful effects on your gut bacteria, which can then impact your immune system.
Minimize alcohol consumption. Alcohol has a multitude of impacts on our immune system. Too much alcohol can have a negative impact on our gut bacteria, decreasing our immune system. Alcohol consumption can also impact our body’s ability to sleep. Excess alcohol consumption may lead to immune deficiency, causing increased susceptibility to certain diseases.
Protect your liver: Your liver is your body’s main detoxification agent. Ensure its health by eating cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage and broccoli. Asparagus, green tea, beets and leafy greens have also been found to promote liver health. Drinking a cup of dandelion tea will further support the liver. Limiting exposure to toxic chemicals and alcohol will minimize the stress on your liver, ensuring its optimal functioning.
Decrease Stress: People who experience chronic stress have increased likelihood of acquiring illness and increased signs of inflammation in the body. Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases inflammation, increases weight gain (especially around the belly) and suppresses the immune system. Go to yoga, workout or add a daily meditation practice to keep stress under control.