6 Easy – and Natural – Ways to Boost Your Immune System
Pandemic or not, supporting your immune system is an important part of a long-term, sustainable approach to health and wellness.
Quick review: The immune system is a system of cells, organs and chemicals that work to fight infection. It includes, but is not limited to, white blood cells, the lymphatic system and antibodies.
While it sounds like a part of your physical makeup that you can’t access or affect, your choices and actions can influence whether your immune system functions at peak performance or gets weaker. So take control with these six simple ways to boost your immune system naturally.
Get more Vitamin D and C
Vitamin D is known to strengthen the immune system while lowering the risk of illnesses like the common cold and the flu. The catch: It can be difficult to get enough Vitamin D from your diet, unless you eat a ton of foods like salmon, tuna, beef liver and egg yolks. Or a ton of Vitamin-D-fortified foods like milk and orange juice.
Meanwhile, Vitamin C is more commonly thought of during cold season. It can help lessen the effects of a cold, while working to prevent infections and offering antihistamine and anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s easier to get from your diet, through citrus and tomatoes in particular.
Try this for Vitamin D: On nice days, spend 20 to 30 minutes in the sun without sunscreen (apply sunscreen if you’ll be out longer than that!) so the skin can get exposed to the rays.
Try this for Vitamin C: Get an extra hit of this good-for-your-immunity stuff by trying our Immunity IV Hydration Therapy blend, which contains high-dose Vitamin C, among other immunity-boosting ingredients.
Exercise consistently in moderate bursts
That looks like exercise lasting under an hour, with moderate to vigorous intensity. This approach to fitness improves the circulation of specialized immune cells in the body. As for consistency, studies show that five days a week of aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections.
On the other hand, be wary of taking it too far. Extreme exercise – like training for a marathon or moving at high intensity for over an hour – has been shown to lower immune function and therefore increase risk for illness, at least temporarily.
Try this: Add variety during the week with yoga, jogging and cycling on different days. Move your body in ways you enjoy and in ways that invigorate you, without beating your body up. If you are doing intense training, just be aware that your immunity may be lower after long, tough workouts.
Make time for proper rest and recovery
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re not setting your body up for successful recovery from exercise, work or illness. Research shows that those who lack sleep have a higher chance of getting sick after virus exposure. Why: when your body sleeps, your immune system is busy releasing proteins that help the body respond to infection and inflammation. A sleep-deprived body may release fewer cells and antibodies dedicated to fighting infection as well.
Try this: All you adults out there should to try to get seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night.
Lessen the effects of psychological stressors
It’s simple: psychological stress is just not good for you. In terms of immunity, chronic stress can lessen the immune system’s ability to battle toxins or foreign substances, making the body more vulnerable to infection.
Try this: Settle in for a Salt Room Therapy session. In 45 minutes, the dry, Pharmaceutical grade salt can help boost lung capacity and oxygen intake while reducing inflammation. Both the setting and effects of the salt help the body and mind relax.
We’ve all had the three Ws hammered into our brains this past year: wear a mask, wait six feet away from other people and wash your hands. The nice thing is, that third W is probably the easiest way to support immunity. By washing our hands (and showering), we help keep toxins and pathogens from staying on our skin or getting into our eyes, nose or mouth. Then our immune systems can focus on responding to other threats.
Try this: Wash your hands more often. There’s no reason to complicate it.
Reduce your intake of processed foods
Notice how you’re choosing to fuel your body. Overconsumption of processed foods can increase inflammation and decrease immune system function. More specifically, one study has indicated that processed foods can, over time, alter the balance of bacteria in the gut, which is necessary to help protect the body against infection.
Try this: When you’re grocery shopping, reach for more whole and less-processed foods when possible. Consider whether what you’re choosing is still fairly close to its natural state – like raw chicken that hasn’t been turned into a frozen burger with other additives, or lettuce that’s only been chopped, washed and packaged. The body was made to process whole foods for nutrients.
Do you have other natural ways to boost your immune system that you’ve tried and loved? Share on social and tag us @TheInvigory.