A strong immune system is key to preventing or at least alleviating the symptoms of several different illnesses including the common cold and the flu. The good news is it’s not all that complicated. Research shows that you can boost your immune system naturally through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.
1. Add These Foods to Your Diet
- Flax seeds, walnuts and salmon – All of these are foods are rich in essential fatty acids that give your immune system a healthy boost.
- Yogurt – Yogurt contains probiotics, which improve your gut flora so they work more efficiently to keep your intestinal tract clear of disease-causing organisms. Read more about healing your gut naturally with probiotics.
- Garlic – The allicin in garlic boosts your immune system’s ability to fight bacteria and infection.
- Oysters, lobsters, clams and crabs – Selenium found in shellfish is great at producing cytokines, proteins which protect you against flu viruses.
- Black and green tea – L-theanine is a wonderful amino acid found in green tea and black tea, and it strengthens your immune system in several ways.
- Lean beef – Zinc is important for a strong immune system, and is one of the more common elements missing in today’s diet. Lean beef is very high in zinc.
- Mushrooms – All mushroom varieties give your white blood cells a boost. That’s great for your immune system, and reishi, shiitake and maitake ‘shrooms deliver the most powerful immunity boost.
- Kimchee, pickles, sauerkraut and olives – All of these fermented foods deliver “good” bacteria to your gut, powering your natural defense system against pathogens while also creating helpful antibodies.
- Coconut oil – The lauric acid in coconuts turns into monolaurin in your body.. This is the same compound found in mother’s breast milk which begins to strengthen a child’s immunity, and you need it throughout your life as well.
- Avocados – Avocados are rich antioxidants and amino acids, which help improve adrenal function, which in turn helps your adrenal glands continue to provide the right hormones to your body for a healthy immune system.
2. Add These Herbs to Your Diet
- Echinacea – Echinacea has long been associated with boosting the immune system and helping to prevent the cold and flu. Echinacea is a type of herb that contains natural antibacterial and antiviral properties. It works to strengthen the immune system by boosting the production of white blood cells, which are instrumental in fighting off all types of bacterial and viral infections.
- Elderberry – Elderberry is a unique herb that helps fight off different types of infections, including the influenza (flu) virus, bacterial infections, and viral infections. Numerous studies that have been done have shown that elderberry is very effective for boosting the immune system.
- Calendula – Calendula is a type of plant with healing flower petals that are similar to that of marigold flowers. Calendula is rich in natural antioxidants that help prevent your body from free radical damage, which can also in turn help to boost your immune system.
- Green Tea – While not technically an herb, the antioxidant-rich leaves used in green tea are powerful immunity boosters and are very effective at fighting the cold and flu. Try to drink 2-3 cups of green tea a day. In addition to boosting your immunity, green tea also offers several other benefits, from supporting your weight loss efforts, to improving your skin.
Aloe Vera, echinacea, garlic, ginseng and probiotics supplements in the form of capsules, pills and powders are also great for boosting the immune system. However, it is very important to speak to your doctor before you take any type of immunity boosting herbal supplements.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Food cannot digest, and your body cannot work properly without being fully hydrated. Unfortunately, most of us walk around partially dehydrated because we have learned to turn off our thirst. Drink at least 64 ounces of filtered water a day.
4. Add a Juice a Day to Your Diet
Get a juicer and drink one vegetable and fruit juice serving each day. Juicing is a great way to get the nutrients you need when you don’t particularly like certain fruits and vegetables.
5. Use Immunity Boosting Essential Oils & Blends
Lemon, peppermint, lavender, oregano, and ginger are the best essential oils for the immune system. Learn more about how immunity-boosting essential oils work to keep you healthy.
6. Get Enough Exercise
Studies show that exercise can lower the risk of upper respiratory infections. The sweet spot is 30 minutes to 45 minutes of moderately intense to intense exercise at least 3 days a week. But make sure you don’t overdo it.
Unlike diet, there are no specific exercises that you need to incorporate for an immune system boost. That’s great news as it means you can do whatever exercise or workout that you enjoy best, whether that’s dancing, yoga, pilates or talking your dog for a walk.
Remember, you need to exercise at least 30 to 45 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week, to get the immunity-boosting benefits of exercise.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Your body needs some downtime to rest and recover from the non-stop activity of the day. People who don’t get enough sleep tend to fall ill more often. You’ve probably experienced it yourself. This is because the body has not had enough time to recover and is just too tired to fight off any infection.
Studies suggest that most people should get between eight and ten hours of sleep every night. But everybody is different. The only way to know for sure how much sleep you need is to experiment with bedtimes. Ideally, you should be able to go to bed and fall asleep quickly, and then wake up without the assistance of an alarm at the time you need.
Several studies have been done in recent years that suggest that loneliness is a factor in lowering immunity. People who don’t socialize tend to get sick more often. Make time to have lunch with friends regularly or invite a friend over and catch up on old times over a cup of coffee. It’s a fun way to boost your immunity and stay healthy!
9. Get Plenty of Fresh Air and Sunshine
Spend some time outdoors every day preferably when the sun is out. Sunshine gives you important vitamin D, and the fresh air will clear your lungs and help you relax.
10. Avoid Toxins
Stop smoking, drink alcohol in moderation, and try to use as few prescription drugs as possible. The more toxins you can avoid putting into your body, the healthier you’ll become.
Want to boost your immune system naturally? Start by improving your diet, exercising more regularly and reducing stress. It’s that easy!
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here