7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Immune System
There are so many wonderful things to look forward to as autumn approaches – the glorious rainbow of leaves in the trees, the flavor of pungent spices in much of our foods and beverages, fun and delicious holiday parties… Unfortunately, another thing that comes along with fall is cold and flu season.
As the temperature starts to drop and pumpkins start appearing, it’s a great time to take proactive steps to boost our immune system. The microscopic warriors within our bodies are standing guard, ready to attack invading germs. Due to our modern lifestyles, however, our immune system can get sluggish or compromised. Here are some simple steps we can take to sound the trumpet and get our immune army in formation.
1. Catch Some Z’s
One of the best things we can do to fortify ourselves is to get enough sleep. Studies show that people that don’t get adequate sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, like a common cold virus. Sleep deprivation may also slow how fast we recover if we do get sick. This is because infection-fighting cells and antibodies are reduced during periods when we lack sleep.
How much sleep is enough? Most adults need seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night. The optimal amount for teenagers is nine to ten hours of sleep, while younger children may need ten or more hours of sleep.
2. Eat Colorful Fruits and Veggies
Our immune army needs nutrition to keep it powerful and energized. Everyone agrees that the best place to get a wide array of fortifying vitamins and minerals is from colorful, edible plants. When eating fruits and vegetables, variety is as important as quantity since no single plant can provide all of the nutrients that we need. So mix it up, and try to eat a rainbow of nourishment each day! Or make it easy by adding Pure Synergy Superfood powder to your diet.
3. Move Your Body
The simple act of regularly going for a walk can reduce our chances of getting sick. When we move around, our white blood cells and antibodies circulate throughout our bodies more rapidly. This allows them to detect invading germs earlier than they would have without physical activity. Exercise also helps flush bacteria out of our lungs and airways, which can lower the probability of catching a cold or flu.
Ideally, we should find a fun way to move our bodies that we can commit to doing on a regular basis. Riding a bike a few times a week, playing tennis with family or friends, or taking a yoga or Zumba class are all great options. Whatever it is, it will not only help improve your immune system, it will also help strengthen your heart, boost your energy and improve your health in a myriad of ways.
4. Manage Stress
Stress suppresses the immune system, plain and simple, which in turn increases our susceptibility to illness. While we can’t always avoid sources of stress in our lives, we can develop healthy ways of responding to them. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, and focused breathing exercises have been developed around the world that have shown to drastically reduce the stress response.
If feeling stressed, it’s important to take time out for self-care. Even the nourishing act of silently drinking a cup of tea can quiet our mind and reduce our levels of stress. Laughing is also a great way to lower stress, so watching our favorite TV comedy or going to a funny movie is actually good for our health! To learn more, check out our post 8 Ways To Naturally Reduce Stress.
5. Avoid Smoking
The negative effects of smoking tobacco and other products are well documented. Smoking impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to respiratory infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia. It not only damages delicate lung tissue, it also weakens and destroys antibodies. This causes smokers to not only get sick more often, but to also stay sick longer than nonsmokers.
6. Good Gut Health = Good Health
An incredible 70% of our immune system resides in our gut! Therefore, the health of our digestive system literally affects the well-being of our entire body. Our modern, highly processed, high sugar, low fiber, and high fat diet has drastically altered our gut bacteria for the worse. To keep our digestive and immune systems strong, we need to focus on what eating whole, fresh foods like – you guessed it – fruits and vegetables. It’s also beneficial to eat fermented foods to help the good bacteria in our gut flourish.
7. Take Immune Boosting Mushrooms & Herbs
An array of medicinal foods and herbs have been traditionally used across the globe to support a healthy immune response. For example, several mushrooms are famous for fortifying the body’s defenses including reishi, shiitake, and maitake. But if you don’t have time to put them in your favorite recipes, don’t worry! You can take Immune Health™ daily to support your healthy immune system year-round.
Or if you feel like an all-out assault is already under way and want to sound the alarm to mobilize your immune army, Rapid Rescue® might be what you should reach for. With nine renowned herbal extracts including echinacea, elderberry, and oregano Rapid Rescue® provides immediate support for a strong, healthy recovery.