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Looking to increase your immunity this holiday season, and fight off viruses at the source? These three tips might be the answer.

3 Ways to Increase Your Immunity This Holiday Season

From work Christmas parties to gingerbread house contests, you spend all year looking forward to the holidays. It’s your favorite season, jam-packed with all of your favorite activities.

Enter: The common cold.

Looking to increase your immunity this holiday season, and fight off viruses at the source? These three simple tips might be the answer.

1. Follow a healthy diet.

One surefire way to boost your immunity is to increase your vitamin intake – in particular, vitamins C, D, and A.

Vitamin C, found most commonly in citrus fruits, is thought to help boost immunity and fight colds. And while existing research varies, everyone agrees on one thing – it can’t hurt.

Especially in the waning sun of the winter months, vitamin D is critical. Vitamin D levels are important – and simple! – to follow, and should be in the 50-60 range for the best protection against disease.

Vitamin A, often found in leafy greens and orange root vegetables, has also been found to reduce inflammation and boost immunity.

For the best results, incorporate a variety of different vegetables in your meals, and try including a range of colors. And for an extra boost, try adding a supplement to your routine.

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2. Sleep, sleep, sleep.

If you feel run down every holiday season, it could be as simple as not getting enough sleep.

Whenever there is disruption to your routine, it’s easy to find yourself getting less sleep than you typically would. For example, if you have time off of work over the holidays, you might be enticed to stay up later. Alternatively, if you sleep in too late or nap throughout the day, your sleep quality may become poor.

It’s okay to catch up on some much needed sleep, but be careful not to overdo it.

3. Don’t overindulge.

If every holiday party you attend has an open bar, it probably won’t surprise you to spend a few mornings feeling less than stellar.

But it might surprise you to learn that heavy drinking can actually weaken your immune system over time. In the long term, it leaves you susceptible to a host of diseases, but even in the short term it can weaken your body’s defenses against common infections.

All content has been reviewed for medical accuracy by Michael Magnifico, MD.