Summer Immune Health

June 2022 - Health & Wellness

Hello sunshine! Summer living offers the perfect mix of environment and diet to either make or break a healthy immune system. While there is an increase in active living, fresh foods and sunshine, we also run the risk from having too much of a good thing. This summer we want you soak up sun while staying healthy, so you don’t have to play catch-up and “boost” your immune system too much come fall.

1 | Daily D
One question we hear a lot of at this time of year is “do I still need to take vitamin D?” and the answer is yes! The sun is our body’s favourite way of absorbing vitamin D. Fifteen minutes in the sun with our arms and face exposed will allow most of us to absorb 10,000 IUs of vitamin D. However, a sunscreen with SPF 8 or above reduces vitamin D absorption by 95%. This means if we wear sunscreen, it takes 3½ to 5 hours of sun exposure to absorb the same amount of vitamin D, so keep taking your daily supplement.

2 | Vitamin C and antioxidants
Lucky for us locals, the summer is packed full of a huge variety of local produce. Take advantage and eat the rainbow every day. From leafy greens, berries, peaches and cherries, summer harvest offers up endless antioxidants and vitamin C. These all support our immune system by offering protection at a cellular level and helping our bodies better cope with environmental stresses and damage. Bonus: they act as an internal sunscreen, helping protect our skin from sun damage.

3 | Stay hydrated
Dehydration and summer heat can easily go hand-in-hand, but a dehydrated body is the perfect trap for a weakened immune system. Staying hydrated with a clean source of water and electrolytes is essential for every bodily function to operate properly. Keep water on-hand and indulge in water-rich and cooling foods such as melons, celery and cucumbers.

4 | Watch for sugar
We know hot weather calls for frozen treats and a cold one or two, but increased sugar intake has a direct effect on immune function and increased inflammation in the body. Select products that use whole fruit as a sweetener and reduce alcohol consumption as much as possible. Moderation is key.

5 | Get to bed
Sleep is crucial for our immune function. Rest literally allows our system to repair from the day’s damages, so whether you want to take full advantage of the extended daylight or simply can’t sleep because it’s still light outside, find a way to get to catch some deep Zs. Close the blinds, invest in blackout curtains, ditch the electronics 30 minutes before bed and come in and chat about supplements to get to sleep.

6 | Get outside
Daily exercise is a great way to increase circulation, flush out toxins from sweating and reduce stress hormones, all of which play a key role in allowing your body to fight off infection and common bugs.

7 | Protect your lungs
Our lungs are our air filter for the immune system. It’s predicted to be another dry and hot summer, which sadly means we will likely see more forest fires. Many of the tips we have already touched on are also great for protecting the lungs. If you are prone to lung issues, we suggest starting a herbal lung support product at the beginning of the summer to limit the effects that smoke exposure may have on you. 

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