Curious about how to boost your immune system naturally? Start here!
I have to admit that I have a healthy (not irrational) fear/ respect of the Coronavirus. I have asthma and tend to get hit with even simple colds a bit harder than most. While it's much more controlled than it used to be, at one point I'd be knocked down for weeks by anything I caught. I also now have toddler twins running around who seem to be a magnet for bringing crud into the house. I know for most people it's basically just like catching any other virus, but at the end of the day... much like colds and the flu... I'd prefer to just avoid it. To be fair I also have a healthy fear of catching both colds and the nasty flu which is also going around too.
So with colds, two strains of the flu and now Coronavirus spreading daily I've decided it never hurts to take some simple and practical steps to make yourself healthier and possibly even boost your immune system. This isn't a post to scare anyone about it, it's just sharing some useful information.
I did some digging through the interwebs and decided to share what I consider good advice on natural ways to boost the immune. I feel like there is a bunch of information out there that just isn't true, so I filtered through it and these facts about boosting your immune system seem to be based on actual science and can make you feel better... whether you are exposed to Coronavirus of not.
How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is critical to staying healthy. When you don't get enough sleep you are most likely to catch a cold, flu or whatever crud happens to be circulating. Not getting enough sleep can also lead to higher levels of stress hormones which makes your immune weaker. It can even lead to inflammation in the body.
Everyone's body is different but in general, that is 7-9 hours a night. It may seem silly, but from everything I've read, it is one of the most critical things you can do to stay healthy.
Do you have trouble sleeping? I do too. Here are my 6 Tricks to Fall and Stay Asleep Naturally!
Consider Your Stress Level
Everyone has stress in their lives and some of it is just unavoidable. However, if you are constantly stressed and it drags out for a long time, it can make you more vulnerable to illness. Chronic stress can also raise your stress hormone and weaken your immune system.
As much as you can, find ways to manage your stress through mediation, fitness or talking. If possible find creative ways to remove some stressors from your life. It can be a huge natural boost to the immune.
On the flip side, finding more ways to laugh has been found to be a great way to naturally boost your immune system.
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated keeps your body running properly and allow it to naturally flush out toxins. It also helps carry oxygen to your body cells, which keeps your body functioning properly. Very few folks actually drink enough water so start early in the day and keep chugging!
Have trouble drinking enough water? Here are my 6 Practical Tips to Finally Drink Enough Water.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
Food really can be medicine. Eating an abundance and wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables over a long period of time gives you lots of vitamins in your diet naturally. In general, the more naturally colorful your diet is, the more vitamins you get. Eat the rainbow really is true. Most fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals that act as soldiers in the immune system and protect the body.
Just a Few Foods that Boost the Immune...
- All Berries <--- loaded with antioxidants!
- Citrus Fruits
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Tea
Also, consider adding more fresh garlic and ginger to your diet! Its natural anti-viral properties can help fight viruses and are rich in antioxidants.
Food with probiotics like fermented yogurt, miso or even kombucha can improve the health of your gut. 70% of your immune system is IN your gut, so this is obviously going to help! Consider eating my mix and match Yogurt Bowls for breakfast.
One of my favorite DIY Immune Boosting Drinks is a combination of hot water, lemon, ginger, and turmeric. Another immune-boosting recipe of mine is my Vegetable Turmeric Soup. It's made in the slow cooker and is delicious. I also love the Orange, Ginger & Turmeric Smoothie.
Wash Your Hands
Wash. Your. Hands. Do it often and for a full 20 seconds. We have a family rule that you must wash your hands when you come into the house to try to keep from spreading something to the twins. We started it when they were premie newborns and just kept it up.
I also use a lot of hand sanitizer when I'm out. I keep it in my purse and car but there is nothing like actually washing your hands.
Curious about how to boost your immune system naturally? This is it.
Regular, moderate exercise can keep you healthy and happy. It reduces stress levels, can help you manage your weight and helps keep you generally healthier... therefore boosting your immune system.
On the flipside, intense exercise, like training for a marathon can actually reduce your immunity. Moderation is the key here.
I have to admit I'm the first to run to the store and pick up some Emergen-C or Elderberry at the first sign of illness or when I'm exposed to something. There seems to be very little evidence that taking single high doses of vitamins can actually help though. It does make me FEEL better though.
In general, though the best line of defense is a well-balanced long term diet that includes a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and gets your nutrients from whole foods. Now if you are like most of us (including me!) who doesn't eat perfectly ALL the time a multi-vitamin can be a great way to fill in the gaps, keep yourself healthier, and boost your immune. I consider it like an insurance plan to make sure I'm getting all the vitamins I need to stay healthy.
Facts About Boosting Your Immune System
Here are ways you can actually help your immune system over the long term....
- Get More Sleep
- Drink More Water
- Stay Positive and Reduce Stress
- Eat the Rainbow
- Exercise in Moderation
- Wash Your Hands MORE
There is a lot of information out there but these are things I've found that are simple to do and actually proven to help. I'm going to be mindfully doing my best to work on them until this whole thing blows over! Does anyone want to join me?
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What do you do to boost your immune system?