Volume 8 Issue 4

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Page 14 of 35 | # 44 | Page 15 Once the cold weather arrives, I always start to notice an increase in my weekly emails and messages from friends and family members asking for my best tips for boosting immune health and fighting off those dreaded cold and flu viruses. While there really isn't just one way to help improve your immune health and protect your body from seasonal illnesses, over the years I have found that there are a few holistic herbs, vitamins, and behaviors that will benefit just about anyone. So, since we are at the beginning of what for many people can be a long winter I wanted to share with you a few of my go-to holistic methods for keeping you feeling your best and preventing colds all winter (and year!) long. What is the Immune System? The immune system is comprised of a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that all work with one another to help protect your body from potentially harmful pathogens and environmental exposures. When you think of your immune system, think of it as your body's very own personal defense system that is working 24/7 to keep you healthy and quickly fight off anything it determines as being potentially dangerous to your body. As long as your immune system is running smoothly, it isn't something that you would notice on a day-to-day basis, however when your immune system is compromised due to a particularly aggressive pathogen, this is when you can start to feel sick and run-down, as your immune system kicks into overdrive to work at eliminating the harmful exposures from our body. If you have ever noticed that the lymph nodes around your ears and throat begin to feel tender and swollen, or you suddenly are hit with a constantly running nose or fever, these are all signs that your immune system is working hard to remove an unwanted pathogen from your body to get you feeling your best as quickly as possible. The Best Supplements to Boost Your Immune System While your immune system was perfectly designed as your body's very own defense system, today we are constantly being exposed to external stressors, environmental pathogens, poor quality foods, and often too little sleep – all of which can over time cause our immune system to get a little run down. When this happens (or to prevent this from happening), as an integrative dietitian I believe that there are a few specific herbs and supplements that can help to support our immune systems. Think of the following supplements as a helping hand to your immune system, that will aid your immune system in doing the best job it can but will never be your main form of defense. Herbal aids and supplements will always be just that – supplements, which is why it is so important to utilize them in a specific supportive role while also focusing on other lifestyle and behavior changes. Zinc Zinc is an essential mineral that helps to promote skin and immune health and plays an active role in healing. This Zinc Food Complex from New Chapter is one of my favorite zinc supplements because it combines whole- food-based zinc with other complementary immune- supportive herbs like astragalus, ginger, turmeric, and elderberry. Something that is important to know about zinc is that it will compete with copper in the body. For these reasons, if you plan to include zinc in your wellness routine long-term it is important to ensure that you choose a supplement like this Zinc Food Complex that includes complimentary copper. * Naturally This Winter Boost Your Immune System How To By New Chapter

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