Boosting Your Immunity Naturally
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
The concept of preventative health has never been more relevant. With the Corona Virus Pandemic sweeping the world, it’s time we start taking better care of our bodies.
Many of us are unaware of the simple decisions we make daily that greatly impact our immunity. Whether it’s a coffee first thing in the morning prior to being properly hydrated, or it’s that glass of wine before you go to bed. I am not saying that you have to give up everything that you love. But, I am requesting that you start prioritizing your health. You cannot simply boost your immune system while maintaining poor diet and lifestyle choices. Below are a list of ways to boost your immune system naturally:
Get Enough Sleep
The more energy you expend, the more you will need to recover during your sleep. In a study of 164 healthy adults, the ones who slept less than 6 hours a night were more likely to catch a cold than the ones who slept more than 6 hours a night.
Research has determined that adults should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night. There are many ways to improve the quality of your sleep including:
Limiting water and food intake prior to bed. Drinking or eating too close to bedtime will cause you to get up more often.
No alcohol 3 hours prior to bed. Alcohol may help you get to sleep, but it acts as a stimulant a few hours after it is ingested. Causing you to have a restless sleep.
Making your bedroom only for sleep. No TVs, computers, laptops, tablets, or phones.
Cooling down your bedroom. Lower temperatures provide a more comfortable sleep.
Consume Immune Boosting Foods
Citrus Fruits. Adding in a warm lemon water to your morning routine can be one the greatest things you can do for your health. Not only are packed with vitamin C, which can help you kick a cold quicker. But they are also alkalising, resulting in better digestion. Having better digestion will help your body get the energy it needs from the foods you eat resulting in more energy for you! Other citrus fruits include grapefruit, limes, tangerines, oranges, and clementine’s. Make sure you are aware of the sugar content hidden in oranges especially.
Red Bell Peppers. Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain three times as much vitamin C as an orange. That’s not all. They also contain beta carotene which your body uses to produce Vitamin A. This keeps your eyes and skin healthy.
Broccoli. You may be tired of people telling you to eat your greens, but this is one that you don’t want to miss. Broccoli is a superfood packed with vitamin A, C, and E, as well as fibre and many antioxidants. A good way to keep the nutrients in the food is to steam it, or to eat it raw. Baking or frying broccoli can get rid of the nutrients.
Spinach. Packed with infection fighting vitamin C and beta carotene. Spinach is best eaten either steamed or raw to keep its properties.
Garlic. There’s no surprise that garlic is one of the most used spices in foods. It has unique properties that make it great for fighting infections.
Ginger. When you find yourself with a sore throat or a stuffy nose, this is the first place you should turn. Ginger helps to reduce inflammation, which will help with your sore throat, but it may also help to alleviate chronic pain.
Turmeric. If you’re a curry lover, you may recognize this as the spice that can get your nose running from time to time. Research shows that turmeric is packed with curcumin, which can help decrease exercise induced muscle damage.
Limit Added Sugars
Sugar is addictive and it is a leading cause of obesity globally. Cutting your sugar intake can drastically decrease inflammation and help with weight loss. This will reduce your risk of certain chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
As sugars contribute to chronic disease, they dramatically suppress your immune system. Lowering your sugar intake is an effective way to give your immunity the boost it needs.
Everything in moderation. Although strenuous exercise and overtraining can have adverse effects on your immune system, moderate exercise can reduce inflammation and promote blood circulation.
Moderate exercise includes:
When exercising, it is important to try and do it in the morning. Exercising before bed can release the stress hormone cortisol which is meant to keep you alert. By exercising in the morning, it can also make you more productive throughout your day.
If the first thing you consume during the morning is a coffee, try swapping it out for a lemon water as stated above. Not only will it hydrate you, but it will level the PH in your body allowing you to digest foods better and it is packed with vitamin C.
Dehydration can cause headaches, and it can impact your mood, focus, athletic performance, digestion, heart, and kidney function.
A general guideline for the amount of water you need to drink is about 2.7 litres a day for women and 3.7 litres a day for men.
Stress, anxiety, and depression can all wreak havoc on your body over time. They can lead to restless nights, and eventually to chronic illness.
A boost in your mood by coming to the present moment can do wonders for your overall health. Rudolph Tanzi, from Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, stated, "Meditation is one of the ways to engage in restorative activities that may provide relief for our immune systems, easing the day-to-day stress of a body constantly trying to protect itself. The prediction is that this would then lead to healthier aging." Stress and anxiety are the ways that the body tries to shelter itself, but we have become addicted to these negative emotions. We need to break the cycle of stress, anxiety, and depression to give our bodies the break that it needs. Simple ways to meditate are:
Focusing on your breath
Going for a walk and noticing the little things
Reading a fiction book
Finding a guided meditation on YouTube.
Consult your doctor or naturopath before engaging in any supplementation. Supplements have been shown to improve your body’s natural immune response, but should not be taken instead of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Rather, they should be an addition to an already healthy diet and lifestyle.
Here are some supplements that can help you boost your immunity:
By making these simple life changes mentioned above, you are already on your way to having a stronger immune system.