Many people seem to come down with a cold or the flu when the seasons change. While there´s no magic pill agains falling sick, there are certainly many small things that can help strenghten the immune system and prevent mild symptoms from getting worse.
We asked our team about their favorite immune-boosting strategies for autumn.
1. Hot & cold method
Our Finnish team members swear by the hot & cold method. The traditional way includes sauna bathing and going for a refreshing swim afterward...and then repeating the cycle a couple of times. In fact, Finns practice this method throughout the year, even during winter. Usually, that requires making a hole in the ice of a frozen lake… and then dipping in the ice-cold water.
If you don´t live in Finland and there´s no sauna around, you can simply take cold showers at home. Scientific studies have found that taking a cold shower increases the number of white blood cells in your body, and that's just one of the many benefits.
We recommend checking out the famousWim Hof methodto learn more about the benefits of cold therapy.
2. Immune-boosting drinks
Nutritious drinks are an easy, tasty, and inexpensive way to boost your immune system naturally.
While our HR manager Carlota prefers freshly pressed orange juice (she´s lucky to live in Spain where oranges are readily available), Diana from our Customer Happiness team loves the following mix:
- hot water
- lemon juice
- orange juice
- ginger and honey.
She says: “When I have a cold or have pain in my throat, this is gold!”
Julia from our customer happiness team adds: “A concentrated shot cooked from lemon, grated ginger and honey saves you!”
Another great way to energize your system is a nutritious green smoothie. Experts recommend balancing the mix by adding a dark leafy greens like spinach, kale or Swiss chard and protein. This helps keep the blood sugar in check and control cravings and hunger as well. Check out the Almond Avocado Smoothie with Spirulinahere.
3. Hot soups
Many cultures around the world swear by the curative power of chicken soup. Turns out its healing properties are not just a myth. Studies indicate that chicken soup may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease cold symptoms. Generally hot soups can help keep the nasal passages moist, relieve congestion and also hydrate the body. However your favorite soup may look like, it's probably great for cool autumn days.
In Poland (the native place of our marketing head Maja) people prefer Rosół, a traditional Polish meat soup. The most popular variety is Rosół z Kury or clear chicken soup. It is usually served with capellini noodles. You can find one version of a traditional recipehere.
4. Regular exercise
Regular exercise is known to have a positive effect on the immune system (as long as it is done in moderation).
While the link between exercise and the body's defense system is complex and it can´t prevent Covid-19, there are many other scientifically-proven benefits that you will notice quickly:
- Exercise can make you feel happier
- Can help with weight loss
- It's good for your muscles and bones
- Reduce risk of heart disease
- Improve your focus
Whatever is the main motivation for you, adding regular exercise to your routine can surely give you a daily boost of energy.
5. Vitamin D, C & zinc
Vitamin D, C and zinc are among our top product picks for the cold season. Otso, the founder of AAVALABS, trusts a combination of high doses of vitamin D and zinc and a complex of mushrooms and greens.
A good choice as vitamin D plays a significant role in skeletal health and the normal functioning of the immune system.
Known as the “Sunshine Vitamin”, Vitamin D is produced by our bodies when the skin is exposed to UVB rays. For this reason, supplementation is needed especially in winter when it's virtually impossible to produce vitamin D from the sun.
Our Vitamin D formula:
- Provides 5000 IU, 365 soft gels
- Contains added extra virgin olive oil for better absorption
- Is third party tested & manufactured in Europe
- Is 100% vegan, NON GMO
Zinc is contained in a number of our products, such as Probiolac, Premium Probiolac and Triple Zinc.
Our natural Vitamin C Complex is made from Camu Camu, Rosehip & Acerola Cherry. It provides you with 1284% of the recommended daily intake (NRV) of vitamin C.
Besides contributing to the normal function of the immune system, vitamin c plays a role in normal collagen formation for the normal function of the skin.
6. Immune boosting fruits and vegetables
While supplements are a great way to ensure sufficient intake of certain nutrients like vitamin D, a healthy diet is key if you want to function properly.
In Finland people love to pick berries and store them for the winter. Blueberries and other Nordic berries are packed with antioxidants and a number of vitamins and taste amazing in smoothies, as a topping on porridge or as a juice.
If you don't have access to fresh or frozen berries you can opt for dried berry powders instead and mix them into your smoothies and foods.
Some other great foods in the cold season include:
- Foods such as oysters, spinach and legumes are good sources of zinc.
- roasted root vegetables
- garlic or ginger
- sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers and citrus fruits for vitamin c
- Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, for example salmon.
7. Getting a good night's sleep
The importance of proper sleep is often underrated.
On average, adults need between 7 - 9 hours of sleep a day. However, people with a high need for sleep can also need up to 10 hours of sleep to feel rested and fit. So the first important question is: Are you sleeping enough?
Lack of sleep is a common reason for tiredness and lack of energy. According to studies two thirds (67%) of UK adults suffer from disrupted sleep. Too little sleep not only causes moodiness but also leads to concentration problems. Lack of sleep can also affect your immune system. Studies indicate that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus.
That said, one of the easiest ways to support your immune system is to give your body enough rest.
The power of a healthy routine
A routine that includes a balanced diet, sufficient exercise and adequate sleep in combination with other proven techniques can really make a difference. As passionate biohackers and health enthusiasts, our team members have tested a variety of things over the years, and we hope you can benefit from them too. The following quote summarizes it pretty well:
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”