b'We all do our best to dodge germs during the dreaded cold and flu season; thats aCONTENTSgood thing, as fending off these pesky bugsWhat Is The Immune Systemis important. But theres more to the story ofAnd How Does It Work? 3good health than being on the defensive.The Gut-Immunity Connection .4 Shifting your focus to proactively strengtheningStress Less, Be Healthier 6 your immune system, rather than simplySweat It Out 7avoiding germs, not only helps keep youSupplement For Immunity 8healthy, it benefits wellness on a larger level. Feed Your Immune System .10Immunity is not just a defense against sickness; it isMouthwatering Immunity- synonymous with overall health, says Kris Somol, ND, anBoosting Recipes .13adjunct faculty member at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle. By caring for your immune system, you also heal from injuries faster and prevent chronic disease. Its a daily practice, meant to be as easy and natural as any other part of your normal routine, and the benefits are greatnamely, optimum health, all year long.Immunity research supports this focus on overall long-term health and the complexity of our immune system, too, with the recent and growing focus on how we can support the microbiome, the trillions of bacteria and other microbes that live in the gut and communicate with the entire body. This new research is proving that supporting the microbiome can help protect you from everything from the common cold to a myriad of more serious health issues down the road. Bonus: A healthy microbiome also may support memory, reduce stress and improve mood. More on the gut health-immunity connection to come.Similar to losing weight for your overall health, not just to fit into your skinny jeans, bolstering immunity links up with happiness, productivity and even longevity. If this whole-body approach to staying well seems like another thing to do at this very busy time of year, remember that maintaining good health is the one and only foundation absolutely necessary for doing everything else in your life well. The good news is that with our well-rounded, holistic approach (including lifestyle choices, supplements and food), the immune system, quite simply, responds and thrives, doing its absolute best to keep you well.Brought to you by & 2'