Jingle Well: Boosting Immune Health During Holiday Travel

a family is taking a selfie in front of an airplane before their holiday travel.


By Dr. David Shepherd
SAB Member

After the problems and restrictions of the pandemic many of us feel like getting away for pleasure or to visit loved ones. However, even before we reach our destination there are a hundred things to take care of. Find a place to go to, organize how to get there, what clothes we need. All this adds to our stress even before we leave. When we speak of stress it usually means we are stressing our immune system, which makes us vulnerable to health problems. Taking care of our wellbeing before we leave on a trip is probably the last thing on our check list.

When we go on vacation or even a business trip, we expose our bodies to all sorts of factors. We tend to have a totally different diet when we are away from home, often indulging more than usual, which can have the effect of upsetting our normal gut microbiome. It is known that one’s overall dietary pattern is a major influencer of our general health, partially via the microbiome. Another thing I personally have a problem with when I travel is to keep up with my five fruit and vegetable servings a day.

All these factors add up and affect the immune system.

The aim of this blog isn’t to make a detailed description of the immune system (many other articles have already covered this subject), but to indicate how we can support our immune system so we can enjoy a happy and stress-free vacation or business trip.

So, how to do this. Our diet is very important to obtaining these goals and of course it is our diet that provides the correct nutrients to support our immune system.

What are the specific nutrients that we need to look out for? We know that a balance of all nutrients involved in human nutrition are essential for optimum immune response. A deficiency in a single nutrient or even a small inadequacy may prevent the immune system working at its fine-tuned and balanced best.

One group of nutrients that is vital for our immune systems comes from us getting our five servings of fruit and vegetables – a goal that most of us have a problem attaining consistently. It’s phytonutrients, a broad spectrum of bioactive compounds produced by plants that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors. Phytonutrients can be divided up into categories including carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols and many more, all of which have varying effects on human health. Numerous studies have shown many phytonutrients have important roles as antioxidants, helping fight free radicals and the inflammatory damage they cause.1 Various phytonutrients have been shown to have beneficial effects on immune health, stress management, and even sleep.1

Vitamins and minerals can support immunity too. Think vitamin D for “defense,” it plays multiple roles in immune system regulation. Studies have linked low vitamin D status with greater vulnerability to viral infections.2 Vitamin D is also known for its role in bone health, promoting the absorption of calcium.

Zinc, a mineral, is involved in multiple aspects of the immune system. It is required for the proper development and functioning of immune cells like T and B cells. Zinc also serves as a signalling mechanism in the immune system, helping coordinate appropriate immune responses to threats perceived against our bodies.3

As you can see, a few key nutrients can help keep your immune system in top form, but when we travel we have other things to occupy us without worrying where we are going to get our carotenoids, vitamin D, and zinc.

Supplement with NeoLife

That is where NeoLife comes in with over 65 years of high-quality nutrition experience.

For instance, we have our PhytoDefense® pack which combines the power of Carotenoid Complex, Flavonoid Complex, and Cruciferous Plus all in one convenient packet, perfect to take with you on your travels.

Each product in PhytoDefense® contains a variety of important phytonutrients sourced from whole foods. This can help bridge the phytonutrient gap between the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables a day and what we’re actually eating.

Carotenoid Complex contains concentrates from tomatoes, carrots, spinach, red bell peppers, strawberries, apricots, and peaches that provide a broad spectrum of carotenoids. Carotenoid Complex was even clinically studied by USDA researchers and shown to help support healthy immune function.*

Flavonoid Complex contains a blend from cranberries, kale, green tea, beets, blueberries, elderberries, red & black grapes, orange, lemon, grapefruit along with additional Vitamin C to help enhance absorption.* This diverse formula represents a variety of flavonoid classes including anthocyanins, flavanols and flavones.

Cruciferous Plus includes a blend of extracts and concentrates from broccoli, radish, kale, mustard, watercress, extracts of limonene from oranges, chalcones from licorice, and isoflavones from soybeans.

Also, there is NeoLife’s Vegan D which provides 25 mcg of vitamin D in every tablet, which is 125% of the Daily Value (DV). Most vitamin D3 sources are from animals, but NeoLife’s provides a combination of both D2 and D3 from completely vegan sources of mushrooms and lichen. Obtaining adequate vitamin D is crucial for good bone health and proper immune performance.*

NeoLife’s Chelated Zinc has 30 mg of zinc per serving, 270% of the DV. NeoLife uses a chelation process where zinc is reacted with the amino acids glycine and methionine to help improve zinc absorption in the body.* Zinc is an essential mineral that helps support healthy immune system function.*

As it can be seen with a few key supplements you can travel at ease knowing that you are helping to bridge common nutrient gaps and support your immune system while away from home.*

References:

  1. Monjotin N, et al. Clincal evidence of the benefits of phytonutrients in human healthcare. Nutrients. 2022 May. 14(9): 1712.
  2. Ismailova A, White JH. Vitamin D, infections and immunity. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2002 Apr. 23(2): 265-77.
  3. Wessels I, et al. Zinc as a gatekeeper of immune function. Nutrients. 2017 Dec. 9(12): 1286.
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