Do you know any natural remedies for giving your immune system a boost?
We all want to feel our best any time of the day, especially since Covid-19 has entered our lives. The majority of us looked for all sorts of remedies to improve our immune system, and not just because of the new coronavirus.
Whether it’s winter or summer, bacteria can be anywhere, even inside our bodies, without us knowing about it. All it takes to develop a bad cold or even the worst flu is a trigger.
Even though giving your immune system a boost is easier said than done, there are a few lifestyle and dietary changes that can help improve and strengthen the natural defense mechanism of your body, helping it fight bacteria and harmful pathogens.
Here are 8 natural ways to give your immune system a boost.
1. Add healthy fats to your diet
If you’ve read any of our articles before, you know that we’ve talked a lot about including healthy fats into your diet. That is because they are great for the brain, eyes, and your heart health.
According to researchers, healthy fats, such as those that are found in salmon, olive oil, chia seeds, avocado, and coconut oil are great for boosting your immune system’s response to pathogens by reducing inflammation.
Even though low-level inflammation is the natural way our bodies respond to injury or stress, chronic inflammation is severe and can affect your immune system (Check this article out for more details about inflammation: 10 Signs of Inflammation in Your Body to Watch Out For).
Healthy fats can help your body fight harmful viruses and bacteria, which can further cause severe diseases. For instance, olive oil is a magical anti-inflammatory ingredient and it’s also linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
2. Move your body
Having a workout routine is going to do wonders for both your physical and mental health. Several studies have discovered that moderate exercise, such as jogging, light hiking, brisk walking, swimming, and steady bicycling can give your immune system the boost it needs.
Regular exercise is linked to reducing inflammation and helping your immune cells constantly regenerate. You don’t have to hit the gym every single day in order to see these benefits. Experts suggest that at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week are enough for a healthy lifestyle.
If you are one of those people who like to work out with heavy weights or do high-intensity interval training many times a week, make sure you give your body plenty of rest, because too much exercise can actually do more harm than good.
3. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep throughout the night is one of the easiest things you could possibly do to improve your immune system in a natural way. Several studies have discovered that lack of sleep can cause a lot of issues, such as difficulty in losing weight, higher susceptibility to sickness, heart attack, depression, reduced immune system function, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
A study of 164 adults found that those who slept less than 6 hours per night were more likely to catch a cold, compared to those who slept for at least 6 hours each night.
Sleep is really important for our health, so you should try to get at least 6 hours of sleep per night (preferably 8 hours). Getting your Zzz’s in will help your body relax, rejuvenate, improve your memory and productivity, strengthen your heart, and improve your mood.
This is why you tend to sleep a lot more when you’re sick, allowing your immune system to rebuild itself and fight the illness.
If you have a hard time falling asleep, you can try limiting your screen time for at least an hour before bed, because the blue light emitted from your TV, phone or computer might mess with your body’s circadian rhythm.
Other things you can try to get a good night’s rest are sleeping in a room that’s completely dark, using a sleep mask, drinking chamomile tea before bed, and exercising regularly (but don’t do intense workouts at least 4 hours before you go to sleep, because you’ll have a lot of energy), and try going to bed at the same time every night.
4. Limit your added sugar intake
Several studies have discovered that too much sugar intake can shock your immune system, affecting your body’s capacity to fight off infections and viruses.
The white blood cells in your body, also known as “killer cells”, are highly damaged by sugar intake. Many experts say that this happens because the cells are not able to do their job properly and destroy the pathogens as quickly as they would in the body of someone who doesn’t consume sugar.
In addition to that, many studies have discovered that roughly 75 grams of sugar can affect the immune system. And once the killer cells are damaged, it is believed that the immune system is troubled for approximately 5 hours after.
This means that even someone who has a workout routine, eats healthy, sleeps at least 6 hours per night, but consumes too much sugar in a day can damage their immune system functions.
The right amount of sugar adults should consume in a day is no more than 25 grams, which means 2 tablespoons. In order to make sure your immune system can function at its best, it’s always a good option to say goodbye to those sugary and unhealthy treats or limit your intake as much as possible.
5. Drink water
Drinking enough water throughout the day won’t necessarily boost your immune system, but making sure you’re not dehydrated will play a major role in your health.
When you’re dehydrated, your body tries to cope with the lack of water, so you’ll feel headaches and you’ll also notice that your physical performance, digestion, heart and kidney function and your mood will have to suffer. Moreover, all these negative side effects will make you more prone to illness.
…Don’t forget to hydrate!
6. Eat more whole foods
Having a balanced lifestyle will help your body be stronger and your immune system more powerful in fighting against dangerous and harmful pathogens.
Fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and legumes, are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that will help your body decrease inflammation and fight against free radicals.
These plant foods contain a lot of fiber, which feeds your gut with microbiome (all the healthy bacteria in your gut), a key ingredient that helps your body digest food, protect against other bacteria that can cause health issues, produce vitamins such as B, B12, and K, and regulate your immune system.
7. Don’t stress too much
Trust us, we know that this is much easier said than done, especially given the fact that we live in a world where everything needs to happen as fast as possible.
However, in order to have a balanced life, experts recommend finding a way to manage stress levels. They say that too much stress and anxiety can lead to inflammation, as well as inequality in immune cell function.
You can try different things to keep your stress under control, such as exercise, yoga, meditation, or journaling. If these things don’t help you much, you can always talk to a licensed counselor or therapist, who is more than able to give you advice.
8. Get those probiotics in
Probiotics are microbiomes that naturally live in your body and help your immune system get rid of bad bacteria. Consuming foods that are rich in probiotics is a great way to add more good bacteria and help your gut get stronger.
Kefir, yogurt, kimchi, natto, and sauerkraut are great sources of probiotics and they will help your immune system feel its best!
Even though you might not be sure if all these things will help you keep bad bacteria at bay, these small lifestyle changes are not hard to implement in your day-to-day life.
And if you happen to get sick even after if you’ve tried all these tips previously mentioned, we are sure that your symptoms will be milder, compared to people who didn’t do anything to strengthen their immune system.
To sum up this article, make sure to drink plenty of water, have an exercise routine, get rid of sugar and junk foods, eat healthy and nutritious meals, and your body will be a lot stronger!
…If you want to know more about incredible lifestyle changes that will help improve your health and your overall wellness, check this article out as well: Eat These 8 Foods To Calm Anxiety (And Avoid These 6)!