Spring is the season when everything starts to bloom. But it’s also the season when ailments start to crop up—namely allergies, cold sores and respiratory infections. The most beautiful time of year can also be the most aggravating for those with weakened immune systems.
Now’s your chance to break the cycle. As spring approaches, learn about the importance of immune health and how it can save you from common seasonal grievances.
Get relief from seasonal allergies
Allergies are closely tied to the immune system. They develop when the immune system mistakes a harmless substance for a dangerous pathogen. Immune cells respond to the allergen by producing antibodies designed to eliminate it. When you’re exposed to something you’re allergic to, these antibodies release histamines to neutralize the threat, resulting in allergy symptoms.
Pollen and grass allergies flare up during spring. That’s why keeping your immune system in check is crucial at this time of year. A healthy immune system will balance the various types of cells it produces. This means seasonal allergens are less likely to trigger an immune response. When your immune system is healthy, all that itching and sneezing won’t be as bad.
Stop cold sores from breaking out
Spring can make cold sores pop out of nowhere. Many people carry the herpes simplex virus (HSV), a common infection easily spread from one person to another. HSV lies dormant in nerve cells around the lips, but a weakened immune system can allow the virus to replicate faster. Active HSV strains cause cold sores, which are tiny blisters filled with fluid. People with compromised immune systems typically develop cold sores more often.
The warmer days of spring encourage people to spend more time outside. Unfortunately, wind and sun exposure are common triggers for cold sores. Aside from wearing SPF lip balm, maintaining a strong immune system is key to preventing cold sore breakouts. Bolstering your immune health will allow the virus to stay dormant while you’re outside.
Lower your risk of getting sick
Cold and flu infections are more prevalent in the early days of spring. Despite what you’ve been told growing up, going outside during inclement weather won’t make you “catch a cold.” People are more likely to get sick this time of year because viruses stay in the air for longer when it’s cold and dry. And, when those April showers roll in, you’ll be cooped up indoors near people who might be sick. Spending time inside speeds up the rate of infection.
A strong immune system is your best defense against the cold or flu. You should prioritize immune health all year round, but it becomes even more important during flu season. Even if you do get sick, a healthy immune system can reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms.
Natural ways to boost immune health
It’s clear that immune health is essential during spring. Now that you understand its importance, the next step is to strengthen it through a balanced diet and healthy habits. Here are some tips to take with you into the warmer months.
- Daily immune supplements: One tiny capsule can provide all the nutrients your body needs for positive immune health. Immune system supplements are packed with organic herbs and a range of medicinal mushrooms that bolster your natural defenses. Turkey Tail, in particular, is an adaptogen that improves your stress response. Immune supplements also often contain Cat’s Claw Bark, which boasts anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to sooth overactive immune responses.
- Stress-relief techniques: Stress can hamper your immune system. Dealing with daily stressors in a healthy way could potentially reduce how often you get sick or experience seasonal allergies. There are many ways to relieve stress, such as meditating, journaling, deep breathing and regular self-care. Try out a few different techniques and stick with the one that works best for you. Stress-relieving activities can take as little as five minutes each day.
- Healthy foods: You’ve heard it a million times, but fruits and vegetables really are the key to good health! The antioxidants in plant-based foods reduce inflammation by combatting dangerous molecules called free radicals. This anti-inflammatory effect can ease allergy symptoms. Whole foods are also packed with fiber, which the intestine needs to support its gut microbiome. A healthy gut helps immune cells identify and get rid of dangerous pathogens.
You don’t have to muddle your way through spring anymore. The immune system certainly takes a hit, but there are lots of things you can do to stay healthy. Whether it’s allergies, cold sores or the flu, the inconveniences of spring are easily avoidable with a healthy immune system.