6 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Immunity
6 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Immunity
I was in CVS the other day when I saw something that struck me as unusual.
As I made my way back to grab a few staple items, I noticed an entire section labeled “Immunity”.
Maybe it had been there all along and I had never noticed, or maybe it was recently added to my local store to remind people that it is in fact flu season, in addition to the latest COVID-19 variant. Nonetheless, it grabbed my attention immediately.
Amongst the shelves were what seemed like hundreds of different supplements all plastered with the phrase, immunity boosting. From stabilizing tablets to lozenges and gummies, the options were endless when it came to buffing up my immune system without having to do anything besides chew for 2 seconds.
The thought of that left me questioning—is it possible that people don’t know there are natural ways to boost our immune system using simple health practices?
And guess what…they’re more effective and cost less than that big bottle of supplements.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely wandered the aisles of my local vitamin shop hoping to find the perfect supplement. But our first and natural line of defense is already built right in and has more power to ward off illness than we realize!
Boosting your immunity the natural way just got a whole lot easier with these 6 practices that you can start doing today…
1. Stay hydrated throughout the day.
This is something that we learned in grade school but quickly forget about in our adult lives–our bodies are 60% water! Without water and proper hydration, our body loses brain functionality, muscle control, and experiences high stress.
This stress then lowers our ability to ward off illnesses in the form of bacteria and viruses, leaving us more susceptible to sickness. Not only that, but water also flushes out the toxins in our bodies, thus, the less we have of it, the harder it is to do so!
Try the 8×8 rule—8, 8oz glasses of water a day that includes electrolytes. I’m not talking about a splash of Gatorade, I mean real electrolytes that will help improve overall body function. Our bodies are working overtime during the winter season, so supplying them with some extra electrolytes will help keep your energy high throughout the day and fight off any microscopic enemies.
2. Prioritize nutrient-dense foods in your meals and snacks.
It seems like a given but munching on fast food and snacks every day will not boost your immunity at all. Chances are you’ll only increase your odds of getting sick down the road.
Instead, prioritizing clean protein and carbs, vegetables, and fruit in all of your meals and snacks can drastically improve your immunity.
Protein is a major catalyst for antibody management and development, so making sure to pack your meals full of lean, clean protein is a must if you want to boost immunity. Look to load up on organic chicken or turkey, wild-caught fish, or even a protein substitute like tofu or beans.
Similarly, whole fruits and vegetables can also contribute to buffing up that immune system. Vitamins A, C, D, and E are all critical components to building up your body’s, antioxidants and immunity. These vitamins can be found in different types of fruits and vegetables such as citrus, bell peppers, spinach, ginger, turmeric, broccoli, even garlic.
Trust me when I tell you this one tip can make a major difference in your overall health and immunity, especially when you start making it a daily habit!
3. Consume a thumb-sized portion at every meal.
I know this might sound scary, I mean who wants to eat fat, but the fat we are talking about here is actually good for you!
We’re talking about healthy fats like hemp seeds, chia seeds, avocado, walnuts, and more. These healthy fats have been found to improve the production of white blood cells, which fight off all the viruses and bacteria trying to bring you down.
The best part about this tip is that it’s super easy to implement into your routine! Just add a small scoop of hemp, chia, or flax seeds to your morning shake, a midday salad, or even your dinner and you’ve nailed your daily requirement.
4. Avoid refined sugars, highly processed foods, and limit alcohol.
If there’s one tip that is hard to follow, it’s this one. We all have our favorite snack, meal, or treat that has some not-so-great ingredients.
Whether that be your daily Starbucks run which consists of a Venti double frappe with extra caramel sauce, some greased-up Chinese takeout, or those extra glasses of wine at dinner, these are the things preventing your body from warding off invaders.
Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you to cut out everything—life is all about balance—but I am going to say that you need to be selective about your consumption of these types of things.
Why you may ask?
For one, processed foods and refined sugars cause inflammation and suppress your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to illness. They also can increase the amount of omega-6 that you consume each day, which canweaken immune response and increases disease risk.
While eliminating all refined sugars, processed foods, and alcohol might not be an option for you, limiting them to weekends or even one day a week can make a difference in your immunity and overall health.
5. Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Sleep is absolutely critical to our health and wellness! Though the world likes to tell you that sleep is for the weak, the fact of the matter is you become weak when you don’t sleep. The same can be said for your immune system when you only get a few hours of rest each night.
When we sleep our body releases a protein called cytokines that also helps keep our immune system intact. As we start to lose sleep and rest, our body decreases the production of these cytokines making it harder for the body to keep infections at bay.
If that’s not enough, research suggests that those who get less than 5 hours of sleep every night have a higher mortality rate than those who get 6-8.
The message should be clear, if you want to avoid getting sick and continue staying healthy, shoot for 8 hours of sleep per day!
6. Take 20 minutes a day for dynamic activity.
Yes, activity helps boost your immune system!
I’m not talking about crazy, labor-intensive activity like scaling a mountain or running a marathon on your 20-year-old treadmill in the basement, I’m talking about simple activity that gets the body moving each day.
We’ve been indoctrinated with the idea that in order to be healthy, we need to go to the gym for multiple hours a day and leave drenched in sweat, barely hanging on. That is further from the truth!
Rather, just 20 minutes of dynamic activity (walking in your neighborhood, dancing with your kids, even playing with the dog) can have a major impact on your health and immunity.
Similar to sleep, when we are active our bodies release cytokines and begin the cell recruitment process. During this process, the body increases the production of white blood cells that are the first line of defense against infection and disease.
Just to give you an idea of the impact activity can make on your health, researchers found that regular physical activity is associated with 31% lower risk of infectious disease and 37% lower risk of infectious disease-related mortality. Pretty amazing stuff, right?
Thus, finding time 3-5 days a week to get 20 minutes of activity in will pay massive dividends both for your immunity and long-term health.
What are you waiting for? Your immune system needs you!
There you have it, 6 natural ways to boost your immunity without having to drop the big bucks on supplements. It’s not hard, it just takes consistency, but I promise, the more you intentionally add these practices to your life, the results will show themselves.
Take these tips and run with them, as they will serve you across your entire health journey, not just during this flu season.
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