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10 Ways to Strengthen Your Body's Immune System Now
Winter is coming and, especially with the cold and flu season, it’s important to know what we can do to keep a strong and balanced immune system to stay healthy and avoid infections.
1. Eat a balanced diet with whole foods
You need many nutrients, such as VitaminA, C, D and E, as well as minerals seleniumand zinc, and Omega 3s, to support your immunesystem. Focus on eating whole foods, such as quality animal protein (if you’rean omnivore), legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, as well as plenty of freshfruits and vegetables. Superfoods such as bee pollen, camucamu, reishi mushrooms, and microalgae can give you an extra boost.
Avoid processed meats, fried foods, soft drinks, processed baked goods, or products with artificial sweeteners or refined sugars. Eating too much of them suppresses the immune system.
2. Get plenty of Vitamin C
Fresh fruits and vegetables are our best sources of VitaminC, which help to strengthen our immune system and keep our body healthy. Great food sources of Vitamin C include berries, citrus, kiwi, bell peppers and dark green vegetables.
3. Use herbs and spices
Cook with onions, garlic, ginger, black peppercorn, cayenne pepper, all spice, curry and turmeric. They contain components that help to boost our immune system.
4. Drink plenty of clean water
Water helps in the production of lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells. Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. For an extra boost, add a slice of lemon, which will provide extra Vitamin C.
5. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day
Chronic fatigue is known to increase risk of illness. The body rejuvenates and strengthens when it’s at rest. If you can, sleep 7 to 8 hours a day, and if needed, take an afternoon nap. Your body will thank you.
6. Say hello to friendly bacteria
It’s known that about 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive system. So keeping a healthy gut is very important to keep a strong immune system. Probiotics are good bacteria that can be found in whole and fermented foods,such as raw sauerkraut, miso, yogurt, kefir, kimchi and microalgae or in the form of supplements. If you take supplements, it’s best to choose a brand that offers different sources of bacteria.
7. If possible, avoid antibiotics
As much as possible, try to avoid antibiotics. They’ve been shown to attack beneficial bacteria in the digestive system and suppress immune functions. Unless you really have to take them, see if you can find a natural alternative first.
If you have a cold, sip on a cup of hot water with lemon, ginger and organic honey. You can also get Echinacea or zinc, which are great for flu and cold. Make sure you get plenty of Vitamin C and drink a lot of water. If you’re taking antibiotics or any other medication, take quality probiotics.
Exercising is not only a great way to get in shape, but it also increases our immune function, improves sleep quality, and makes our body stronger. If you do not have any health conditions that prevent you from exercising, find the time to work out, even if it’s only a long walk!
9. Soak up some sun
VitaminD is important to strengthen our immune system, so try to go outside a few times a week for about 30 minutes, without sunscreen, when the sun is not at its highest. You can also get small doses of VitaminD from fatty fish.
10. Relax, laugh, and enjoy life
Chronic stress and depression can weaken the immune system and makes us more vulnerable to illness. It’s important to take the time to enjoy life and have fun!