How to Stay Healthy (and Pretty) This Cold Season

Just what does immunity have to do with beauty? Well, when was the last time you felt attractive with a cold? There's just no hiding your red nose, puffy eyes and dull skin when you're under the weather.

Before you find yourself curled under a blanket, sleeping away a winter sickness (which, by the way, is usually the best cure!), check out these easy, natural ways to boost immunity, courtesy of Dr. Frank Lipman of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in NYC:

  • Supplement vitamin D. You're not getting much sunlight in the winter, and you most likely don't get enough D from your diet. Supplement vitamin D3 daily (Lipman calls it "the most important step you can take to prevent the flu").
  • Take probiotics. Your gut is an crucial part of your immune system, so keep it functioning at top level by taking a daily probiotic supplement. To get the most out of yours, take it before breakfast with a full glass of water, and wait 15-20 minutes before eating so your stomach acid doesn't reduce the beneficial bacteria.
  • Consider antiviral herbs. Lipman recommends immunity-boosting herbs like andrographis, olive leaf extract, grapefruit seed extract and elderberry extract, especially if you're planning to spend time in a germ-filled area (like public spaces).
  • Cut down on sugar and processed foods. These empty calories do nothing to support your immunity or nourish your body. Skip them entirely.
  • Get your greens. Pack these into your diet and get more flu-fighting phytonutrients.
  • Eat garlic. This anti-viral food is a known immunity booster, says Lipman.
  • Get your zzzzs. This is a great beauty booster as well! Sleep helps your body rejuvenate, so get at least 7 hours each night.
  • Exercise. Yes, breaking a sweat helps your immune system run strong. Bonus: it keeps the chill away!
  • Relax. Too much stress lowers your immunity- so use this as your excuse to take a break (or a yoga class).
  • Skip the antibacterial soap. You just don't need it. Soap and water do the trick, so leave the antibacterial chemicals (like triclosan) out of your home. They contribute to resistant bacteria and can even dry out your skin further, making you prone to cracks that allow bacteria to enter your body, says Lipman.

Have more natural immunity-boosting tips? I'd love to add them to the list.

Hope you have a happy, healthy and beautiful season!

Image courtesy northsideent.com