Imagine a winter without congestion, coughing or a runny nose. Oh, wouldn’t that be amazing? It could be possible with the help from these 5 healthy habits to improve your immunity.

Avoid needing piles of tissue this winter with these 5 healthy habits.

1) Eat Chocolate
Inside cocoa powder are flavonoids, which have antioxidant and immunoregulatory properties. This plan to avoid getting sick is going to be so delicious!

2) Swallow Some Bacteria
Whoa! Don’t get grossed out just yet. Probiotics, the friendly microbes that live in your body, have been well studied for their health benefits. In a 2016 review, note was given to probiotics’ potential to improve how the immune system responds to viruses trying to invade the nose and throat. Children get 6 to 12 colds per year, and adults between 2 to 5. Data out of France suggests half a million sick days per year caused by cold-like illnesses could be prevented with generalize probiotic use. Fascinating!

3) Meet Some Fun-G“i”s
There are some fun guys in the produce aisle! Many of us call them mushrooms. They contain fungal polysaccharides with immune-modulating properties. Plus, new research is investigating lectins in mushrooms: lectins play a role in how immune cells communicate to one another. High-five, dude!

4) Boosters For Your Immune System
The immune system is complex like a spider’s web. Yet, at each turn there are ways nutrients can support it. Vitamin C is such a nutrient. According to Health Canada these natural health products also have notable immune-supporting abilities: Astragulus membranaceus, bovine colostrum, Echinacea purpurea, fish oil, multivitamins, Panax quinquefolius L. and zinc.

5) Go to Bed
Time to hit the hay. Go get some sleep. According to a study published in August 2016, the amount of sleep we get influences our innate immune system and may be tied to inflammation in the body. Time for some shut-eye!

Escape mucus and other disgusting aspects of being ill this winter with a strong immune system. Oh, and remember you’ll be better off if you frequently wash your hands!

Natural Health Products Week is November 7-13.
This is an annual event that focuses on the importance of natural health products, their benefits, and the impact they have on the 71% of Canadians who use them as part of their healthy lifestyle.

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References:
Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Nov 15; 15(10): 2779–2811.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4696435/
Ter Arkh. 2016;88(5):118-24.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27458629
PLoS One. 2015; 10(4): e0122765
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4393230/
Health Canada Mushroom Monograph
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=mushrooms.champignons&lang=eng
Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Apr; 16(4): 7802–7838.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425051/
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016 Aug 11.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27510422