Fall and Your Immune System

The Autumnal Equinox is behind us. It’s time to start thinking about ways the changing seasons impact the immune system. We all know how winter weather wrecks havoc with our bodies, what about Fall? Is your immune system ready for it?

The CDC warns us that we in the United States will experience epidemics of seasonal flu each year. Flu Season starts mid-Fall and trudges on through the winter months. This is when the most viruses are transmitted. It’s not that those viruses don’t exist in the summer, it’s just that the drier, colder conditions of fall and winter dehydrate the mucous membranes which prevents the body from effectively defending itself against respiratory virus infections. Read: Achoooo!

Adding insult to injury, some viruses stay more stable (and more transmittable) in cold, dry air. “As long as flu has been recognized, people have asked, Why winter? The very name, “influenza,” is an Italian word that some historians proposed, originated in the mid-18th century as influenza di freddo, or “influence of the cold.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/health/research/05flu.html) Another contributor is that our bodies make less Vitamin D (which support normal immune function) when the days are shorter. But one of the largest factors involved in the the spread of viruses is that kids are back in school – spreading germs among themselves and bringing them home to their parents who then bring them into work to their colleagues who bring them home to their kids.

But it’s still fairly warm out there. We can get a jump on the flu before its season starts. Here are 8 ways to get your immune system ready for fall:

  1. Get a Flu shot. The Mayo Clinic calls it your best bet. The CDC lists age appropriate flu shots here: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldvax.htm
  2. Go with your Gut – a healthy gut makes a strong immune system.”70 percent of your immune system is in the gut — and probiotics help keep your gut engine humming…Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help reduce inflammation and prevent infection; they may also reduce the severity of a cold or flu.” (https://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/boost-your-immune-system-cold-flu-season/#02) Psst: Blossom Water contains probiotics!
  3. Clean up your diet – avoid processed foods (see above).
  4. Zinc and Vitamin C – take them for their anti-inflammatory benefits and for their antioxidant and antibiotic qualities.
  5. Get enough sleep. http://drinkblossomwater.com/in-defense-of-the-nap-six-reasons-why-you-need-one/
  6. Keep your house clean! Use a natural tea tree oil solution (water, vinegar, tea tree oil in equal parts) to clean the biggest offenders: phones, computers, desks.
  7. Get some air. Even thought the weather will get colder, make sure you have good fresh air circulation around the house and office. If things get too clammy at work, take a brisk walk outdoors!
  8. Drink Blossom Water – it will keep you hydrated, give your body a boost in probiotics, and it might just make you smile.