How to Boost your Immune system…Naturally!
With cold and flu season right around the corner, I wanted to take the time to provide you with a few things that you can do to help boost your immune system … Naturally! These are things that I do to help keep myself healthy and I hope it helps you as well!
What better way to start than to provide you with some food tips that will do the work for you. These foods are known to boost your immune system, so why not incorporate them into your diet? Honestly, a lot of them are probably things that you already eat and that is great! Just keep eating them and ensure that your diet is a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats! There are so many foods that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that can help boost the immune systems, so I just listed few of my favorites!
- Citrus Fruit such as oranges, lemon, grapefruit, lime, etc. These help boost vitamin C in your body which is known to increase the production of white blood cells, which aid in the fighting of infection and help boost your immune system. Your body does not store vitamin C, so I recommend a daily intake!
- Garlic This is a super easy one for me. I believe you can literally never have too much garlic! Garlic is an easy way to boost your immune system and a great way to add flavor to your meal.
- Ginger is good for all sorts of things. It’s an anti-inflammatory, helps soothe a sore throat, settles your stomach, and helps reduce nausea. Some easy ways you can add ginger into your diet:
- Ginger tea
- Ginger shots (little bitter but does the trick)
- Add ginger to your smoothie or juice
- Ginger candies/dried ginger
Eat Your Veggies:
- Red bell peppers, believe it or not, bell peppers actually have more Vitamin C than citrus fruit.
- Broccoli while being super delicious and my favorite vegetable, is also the healthiest vegetable there is! It has Vitamin A, E, and C. In order to keep the nutritious value intake try to cook it as little as possible!
- Spinach is not only high in Vitamin C, but is packed with antioxidants. It is better to eat it raw to maximize the nutrients you get from your spinach … so next time you are making a salad swap out the lettuce for baby spinach! OR add spinach to your next smoothie!
- Almonds Vitamin E is just as important to building an immune system as Vitamin C, so snack on these next time you have an afternoon craving.
- Green tea another super powerful antioxidant that aids in the boosting of your immune systems….so let’s switch that afternoon latte to a green tea. Who’s with me? Plus Green tea: aids in healthy skin, reduces your chance of cavities, and helps to detox your body.
- Acai a healthy and delicious berry loaded with antioxidants! Plus who doesn’t love a delicious Acai bowl? As a bonus, add mix some almond butter in and boost your Vitamin E as well!
Water is so important and something that I talk about in a lot of different blogs, but that’s because people underestimate the power of a glass of water. When my body is lacking water I can feel it … headaches, fatigue, lack of focus, etc. Becoming dehydrated can have a negative impact on your body and make you more susceptible to sickness and infections. For tips on keeping yourself hydrated, check out my blog.
Sleep Sleep, oh yeah, and Sleep!
A well-rested body is a healthy one. I understand that with all of the outside pressures in the world right now, sleep is something that may suffer, but it is something you really need to work on. If you are having issues sleeping, lose the phone and consider meditating, doing some yoga, and finding ways to relax so you can get that sleep and stay healthy! In order to keep a healthy immune system, it is recommended that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep a night and teens need 8-10.
Okay, okay, I know this is not an easy one at all and honestly, I wish I could give you all a magical solution for this. With all the political and social unrest and the pandemic, it seems at times that stress is at an all time high. Even so, there are some things you can do to provide yourself a break from the constant bombardment of stress that many of us feel:
- Slow down
- Come to terms with the fact that you can’t control everything
- Accept help
- Talk to others/seek advice (you are not alone)
- Make time for fun … find something that gets you at of your head and allows you to live in the moment (for me this is hiking)
- Work out/meditate
- Develop a journal
- Find a creative outlet for your anxiety (cook, paint, write blog posts)
And the list goes on, find what works for you. Prolonged stress is known to cause inflammation and affect immune cell balance.
Not only is this a great way to reduce stress, but regular exercise is known to be associated with living a healthier life! Find a workout that you enjoy, I’ve recently been hopping on my Peleton in between hikes. There are tons of different ways that you can stay active and healthy; find the one that works for you. Just make sure that you are not pushing yourself too much and getting run down because that is when exercising can have the reverse impact!
Being outside in the fresh air can only help you mentally and physically. Staying locked in the house, binging Netflix, isn’t the answer. Go for a walk in your neighborhood, sit in your backyard with friends, whatever you’d like, just get outside. Vitamin D is so important and what better way to get it than the SUN!
Please note that I am by no means a doctor, but I have done some extensive research on the topic and felt that I should share my findings with you. Also, these are by no means a cure and if you are feeling sick you should seek professional help. These are just some preventive measures that I hope can help you live a healthier and happy life!
Stay healthy and keep being your amazing self!