It is always important to take care of your body and focus on your health and wellbeing. But right now, taking care of your immune system is even more important! The good news is, that you don’t need fancy treatments of medications to do this. There are lots of healthy and natural ways that you can take care of yourself and strengthen your immune system in the process. Here are my top tips for natural ways you can build your immune system:
1) Get Good Sleep
Yup, sleep is always the holy grail! Sleep is a time of natural hormonal balancing and a time when proteins are made that target infection and inflammation. So, if your sleep is not adequate, your inflammation levels increase and your body’s ability to fight infection decreases. And you can fight all of those effects by just sleeping well! (If you need some tips on how to sleep better, check out my FREE Sleep Tips Guide!)
2) Banish The Stress
We can’t talk about stress without talking about your stress hormone, cortisol. Prolonged chronic stress means prolonged cortisol elevation which can wreak havoc on your immune system. Ultimately, chronic stress makes us more vulnerable to infections by reducing our bodies’ supply of killer immune cells. So, make a point to de-stress regularly! Consider regular medication or deep breathing and implementing some feel good ‘me time’ daily!
3) Catch Some Rays
Sunlight is definitely your friend when it comes to your immune system! Sunlight is how our bodies naturally create vitamin D and vitamin D is strongly correlated with healthy immune function. In fact, low vitamin D levels have been shown to increase risk for respiratory infection. So, get out there and catch some rays! Shoot for 10 to 15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure daily. If that’s not an option, take a D3 supplement.
4) Take Care of Your Gut
Your G.I. tract represents a huge part of your immune system so you want to keep it healthy and happy and full of all that good bacteria. Having a healthy gut microbiome can boost immunity and lower risk of respiratory infection. So, consider adding probiotic-rich foods (like sauerkraut, kimchee, kefir, tempeh, and kombucha) into your diet regularly and/or using a daily probiotic supplement.
5) Hydrate, Hydrate,
Hydrate One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep your body healthy and functioning optimally is to ensure an adequate water intake. Drinking water regularly helps your body eliminate toxins while providing the support your body needs to keep your immune system humming along. Consider upping your water game by setting hourly water reminders or drinking a large glass before every meal.
6) Break a Sweat
Regular exercise creates healthy blood circulation which makes white blood cells (our amazing disease fighters!) more active and abundant. Regular exercise also improves our lymphatic drainage which removes bacteria and other toxins from our system. AND, the temperature increase we experience from exercise can also help your body fight infection. So, regular exercise is a great way to take care of your body and increase your defenses. If you can’t get to a gym, consider starting a HIIT program at home.
7) Go For Garlic
Garlic is wonderful tool for boosting your immune function. When you crush garlic, allicin is released, which is a natural antimicrobial agent. Regular intake of allicin can help your body fight off any infection-causing microbes that may find their way into your system. BUT, heat can deactivate the effects of allicin, so mince or grate garlic and throw it on your food after cooking.
So, start implementing these tactics today. Not only will you have an insanely powerful immune system, you will also feel calm, well-rested, and ready to take on the world!