The arrival of winter is an excellent reminder to be proactive about your health and wellness, especially your immune health. The good news is you can take some simple, effective steps to help your winter wellness. We sat down to chat with Wellness Expert Lynn Laboranti, R.D., to discuss the steps you can take to safeguard your well-being during the colder months.
What things can I do to support my immune health this winter?
Lynn Laboranti: It is important to be conscious of many things to maintain a well-functioning immune system. First, the single most important tip is to wash your hands frequently. This is especially important if you are around others indoors --whether they are family, friends, or co-workers. Also, try to keep a clean environment around you., etc. By keeping all surfaces as clean as possible.
Engage in some consistent, moderate exercise, even if it is in a few short bouts throughout the day. Exercise can help keep your immune system healthy. If you can’t get to the gym for a workout, take brisk walks on your lunch break, and take the stairs when possible. Try to find a few ways to get some exercise on a regular basis. Proper rest is also vital to a healthy immune system. And, of course, eating a healthy diet helps to keep your immune system up to par. Consider some dietary that may also help support immune health.†
What vitamins and minerals can I take to help my immune system?
Laboranti: Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, along with vitamin D and the minerals zinc and selenium, are all important for healthy immune function.†
How do those vitamins and minerals work to help me?
Laboranti: Antioxidants, such as vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene, and the mineral selenium help protect cells from damaging substances called free radicals. Vitamin C plays a vital role in many immune functions. Vitamin C also works closely with other antioxidants in the body, like vitamin E. Both vitamins C and E work together in the body to fight off free radicals and protect healthy cells. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for strong bones, and also supports immune health. Zinc is a trace mineral that plays an essential role in the immune system by helping our immune cells function properly. A zinc supplement may help support a healthy immune system, during the winter months.†
What other steps can I take?
Laboranti: You may not know , but our sleep, stress and immune health are interconnected. When one system is thrown off balance, such as not getting adequate sleep, for example, then the other systems, like our immune system, may be affected. Therefore, supporting your sleep routine and managing stress, helps to support your immune health. So make sure to get some rest and relaxation this winter.†
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Amy has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles and is a credentialed English teacher, though she left the classroom to write full time. She especially enjoys creating educational content about health, wellness, and nutrition. Her happy place is in the kitchen, and when not writing, you can find her trying out “kid-friendly recipes” and “healthy desserts for chocolate lovers” from her Pinterest board.
Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and is a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. She has over 20 years of experience in integrative and functional nutrition and has given lectures to health professionals and consumers on nutrition, dietary supplements and related health issues. Lynn frequently conducts employee trainings on various nutrition topics in addition to educating retail partners on vitamins, minerals and supplements. Lynn has previous clinical dietitian expertise in both acute and long-term care, as well as nutrition counseling for weight management, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Lynn earned a bachelor’s of science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a M.S. degree in Human Nutrition from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, and holds a certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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