Welcome back to the TIB Pharmacy blog! The holidays are officially here, which means many of our Newark pharmacy customers will be setting off on holiday adventures over the next two months. In a recent blog series, we looked at some of the ways to prepare for your upcoming travels with our travel preparations checklist. Once you have all the necessary flight plans in place and you have your adventure itinerary all planned out, you will also want to consider your health when traveling. There is nothing worse than spending months and weeks getting ready for a holiday vacation, only to come down with a cold the day after arriving at your destination. Airplanes are breeding grounds for all sorts of germs, as are door handles, escalator railings, and stairway rails in airports. To ward off any unexpected illnesses that may ruin your holiday fun, follow these tips to boost your immune system in the days and weeks before you travel.

Get Your Fill of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the go-to antioxidant for supporting a healthy immune system because it fights off free radicals that are associated with illnesses and diseases. There are numerous ways to get your daily dose of vitamin C (which differ depending on age and sex): by eating vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, and cantaloupe; by getting your fill of broccoli, cauliflower, red and green peppers, spinach, and brussels sprouts; and by drinking fresh-squeezed orange, grapefruit juice, and tomato juice. You can also take chewable vitamin C or take it in pill form; however, consider taking these with a flavonoid like dihydroquercetin which helps vitamin C recirculate throughout the body and enables it to last longer.  

Get Plenty of Sleep

Getting adequate sleep helps keep the immune system strong. You’ll want to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night, especially in the days leading up to your vacation, so that your body and mind are rested. For many, they put off packing until the night before they leave, which can make for a late night. Start packing ahead of time to avoid staying up late before traveling, which will help support your immune system. Also, try to avoid late night social events in the days before your journey, which can reduce the amount of sleep you should be getting that will take a toll on your immune system.

Cut Out Unhealthy Habits

Try to cut out any unhealthy habits that may contribute to lowering your immune system. Quit smoking cigarettes that weaken the respiratory system and contribute to cardiovascular disease. Smokers have a higher risk of catching respiratory illnesses than non-smokers, so quitting is the best way to minimize your risk of getting sick. Drinking alcohol also weakens your immune system, so it’s best to drink adult beverages in moderation. Additionally, most alcohols contain sugar, which can interfere with your sleep patterns, causing you to wake up earlier and keeping you awake later. Try to keep stress-inducing activities to a minimum, as suffering from high levels of stress takes a toll on your immune system and body functions.   

Drink Matcha Green Tea

Drinking just one cup of matcha green tea packs more of an antioxidant punch than that of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea. Pretty amazing, right? What’s great about matcha is that, unlike other superfoods, which have intense, often unpleasant tastes, matcha green tea has a mild flavor often described as earthy, yet flavorful and delicious. There are many flavors to choose from and you can add matcha green tea powder to immune-boosting shakes, juices, and even bake with it! Load up on matcha to get that extra boost of antioxidants before your holiday trip.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Most people eat out nearly every night while on vacation. What’s more, when traveling to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving, a Turkey Day meal is usually full of starchy, salty, sugary, high-fat foods that are delicious, but also very rich. In the weeks and days leading up to your holiday travels, avoid eating takeout and instead, cook healthy meals at home with fresh and flavorful ingredients that will not only taste amazing, but will also stimulate a healthy immune system and digestive system.

No matter where you’re traveling this holiday season, following these tips will help you ramp up your immune system so that you can fight off any germs you may come into contact with during your travels. If you need to refill any prescriptions before you go, or if you have any questions about your health, contact TIB Pharmacy today. You can schedule a ConsultPlus visit with our pharmacist, where they can answer any questions and address any health concerns you may have. For those who are searching for a “pharmacy near me,” go with TIB Pharmacy, Newark’s Top Rated Local® pharmacist, and experience the difference of our unique pharmacy. We look forward to meeting you!