While we are all prone to get sick once in a while, there are many ways to boost your immune system naturally to provide protection against illness. Every person has an immune system but not all immune systems are created equal. Some people naturally have a very healthy immune system that provides excellent protection while others might have a weak immune system due to various factors that leave them more vulnerable to infection. While nobody, no matter how hard they try, can give themselves an immune system that functions so well that they can never get sick (wouldn’t that be nice!), there are many ways you can boost your immune system and give yourself more robust protection from infection. As always, consult your physician before beginning any new regimen or diet to ensure it is optimal for your unique health and wellness!
Boost Your Immune System Naturally
- Eat a Healthy Diet Rich In Immune Boosting Foods
- Though we would all love to think popcorn, cookies, and pizza will provide our body with all the nutrients it needs for optimal health, that simply is not the case. Just like all immune systems are not created equal, not all foods offer the same benefits. It is important to eat a diet packed with nutrient-rich foods that will naturally enhance your immune system. This generally means loading up on things like fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods with moderate amounts of lean proteins and whole grains, Such foods include citrus fruits (oranges, kiwis, grapefruit), red and green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, oysters, cashews, almonds, chickpeas, carrots, kale, apricots, papaya, mango, sweet potatoes, spinach, elderberry, flaxseed, salmon, and much more!
- Get Sleep!
- We have all heard that we need to get more sleep but when you want to boost your immune system it is imperative! Sleep is your body’s chance to naturally regenerate important cells that protect against free radicals and infection. All adults should aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, but more ideally, get 8-10 hours if you are trying to support your immune system. Children need even more – as much as 14 hours per night!
- Consume Probiotics
- There are many ways to get probiotics that can suit any lifestyle and preferences! Are beneficial bacteria that gather in your digestive tract and help your body distinguish between good healthy bacteria and bad harmful bacteria. There are many great probiotic supplements that can be taken orally but there are also a variety of delicious foods that have probiotics including fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kombucha, and more!
- A healthy immune system tends to live in a healthy body so the healthier you keep your body the healthier your immune system will be. Exercise is a critical component of anyone’s health but that doesn’t mean you have to run out and join a gym – unless you want to, of course! Walking, jogging, hiking, bicycling, dancing, and more are great forms of exercise. But there are also many low impact options including yoga, swimming, tai chi, and more! There is no need to overdue it and, actually, too much can be harmful to your immune system! Aim to get roughly 30 – 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise or activity every day
- Reduce Stress
- Stress and anxiety are not just exhausting mentally and emotionally, they wear down your immune system as well. Stress promotes inflammation in the body and when your body is inflamed your immune system is suppressed, making it not very effective at fighting off harmful bacteria that could lead to illness. The good news is, there are a lot of ways to reduce stress to suit any lifestyle or personal preferences including exercise, meditation, yoga, journaling, therapy, and doing things you enjoy like painting, hiking, having fun with friends, etc.