About twice a month we get a call from a customer who has just returned from a vacation only to come down with an illness. I'm sure many of our readers are aware of ways to prevent illness while traveling abroad: wash your hands frequently, eat well, don't drink the tap water, etc... But in our opinion, staying healthy should start at home, before you leave for the airport.
Travel can be hard on your immune system, even if you love it; stress, jet lag, road food, exposure to sick people, and environmental toxins all take their toll as you take in the sights and visit your loved ones.
I'm sure you've heard the phrase "the best offense is a good defense". While washing hands frequently and drinking bottled water while you’re away are helpful, these practices won’t stop you from getting sick if you have a weak immune system before you embark. A strong immune system will protect you from the bacteria circulating through the airplane A/C or that sneezing stranger in line at the amusement park.
Here are a few things you can do to prepare your immune system before you travel.
I know you've heard this ad nauseam from us, but it really is such an essential element for a healthy immune system. If you're not getting enough Vitamin C, you could be more susceptible to disease.
This is another important immune-boosting vitamin that you've probably heard us talk about a lot. While Vitamin D is probably most well known for facilitating calcium absorption and strengthening bones, it is also a vital part of proper immune system function and disease prevention.
So much of your immune system is contained within your colon. Probiotics keep the gut healthy, to ensure the immune system functions well. A recent study showed that consumption of certain probiotics could reduce the risk of acquiring infections in healthy individuals.
Herbal Immune Boosters
Certain herbs and herbal formulas, such as Echinacea, our Immune Strengthen, and Anti Plague are all great for preventing and treating illness by boosting the immune system and stopping bacteria and viruses in their tracks.
It doesn't do much good to take all of these great immune system boosting herbs and vitamins if you're not moving your body and circulating those great nutrients to where they're needed. Plus, you'll increase your stamina so that those long walks on the beach or through amusement parks will seem like a breeze!
Stress significantly decreases our overall immune system functions. Make sure that as you're making your vacation plans, you're still taking time for meditation, exercise, and if necessary taking adaptogenic herbs such as those found in our Adrenal Complex or Relax Ease formulas to help you better cope with your day-to-day stress.
The best way to get the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to maintain good health is through your food. A diet high in fresh fruits and veggies will provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber that will provide a great foundation for a healthy immune system.
So there you have it: your essentials for boosting immune system function before you take off on your next vacation! Where are you planning to go this summer?