Whether you’re looking to fight off the seasonal flu, common cold or just want to be healthier, there are natural ways to boost your immune system. An immune system that is functioning properly has all the tools needed to fight off illnesses such as the seasonal flu and common cold. Additionally, a healthy immune system can help to defend your body against more serious diseases such as the swine (bird) flu and cancer. There are a number of ways to naturally improve your immunity. Additionally, preventative steps can be taken to minimize your risk of infection so that your immune system doesn’t encounter the germs in the first place.
Change your Diet
For effective immune system support, eat a diet that is rich in antioxidant foods. Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants. Next, choose healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish, flax seed and krill oil. Adding garlic and ginger to your diet will also help to naturally boost your immunity. Stay hydrated….with water!
Water is necessary for your body to function properly and to keep your immune system in top form. If you don’t consume enough water your body will become fatigued, your skin may become dry, you may start to suffer with headaches and this may leave your body in a state where it is unable to fight off illnesses including the flu.
Adding Herbs and Supplements to your Diet
While research has been inconclusive on whether Vitamin C can improve immunity, there is research that has shown that this vitamin can help to reduce the number of colds a person gets. The catch here is that it needs to be taken regularly, not just when you start to feel a cold coming on. Herbs such as Echinacea and elderberry help to reduce the duration of your cold symptoms. Taking these at the first sign of a cold make help to reduce the time that you suffer.
The first step to eliminating food allergens is to determine what foods you are allergic or intolerant to. This can be done by visiting an allergist or a naturopath. Once the allergen is identified, the allergist or naturopath will help you to desensitize yourself or help you to eliminate it from your diet all together. Once these allergens are removed from your system, your immune system will be able to function properly and focus on killing germs such as the seasonal flu.
Take Part in Regular Exercise
Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking for 20 to 30 minutes a day, can help to mobilize your white blood cells. These cells are responsible for guarding against infections such as the seasonal flu.
Reduce Exposure to Environmental Toxins
One of the best preventative steps that you can take for your health in general is to limit your exposure to toxins in the environment. Exposure to pollution in the air, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, etc. for prolonged periods of time will stress your immune system. A stressed immune system will leave you more susceptible to illnesses such as the seasonal flu. Try to buy environmentally friendly and natural cleaning products to decrease your exposure to toxic chemicals. While they may be a little more expensive than traditional cleaning products, it’s an easy preventative measure that you can take to protect yourself.
Learn to Cope with Stress
While occasional stress can actually help to build your immune system, chronic stress can suppress your immune system. For some individuals, stress is seasonal – for example, some people experience more stress around the holidays while others have more stress around tax time, etc. A preventative step that you can take is to learn how to deal with the stress in an appropriate way. Suggestions to deal with stress include meditation, yoga, physical activity, or speaking with a counsellor, etc.
Wash your Hands!
One of the easiest and most cost-effective preventative measures to stop the spread of illnesses, such as the seasonal flu is to wash your hands. It may seem simple, but many people do not practice effective hygiene routines such as hand washing.
Get enough sleep
Another preventative measure to avoid getting sick is to get a full 8 hours of sleep. In addition to feeling more rested and alert, it will help to stabilize your immune system.
Get an Adjustment
Another preventative measure to help boost your immunity naturally is to visit a chiropractor. Your nervous system is what is responsible for proper functioning of your immune system. A chiropractic adjustment will help to restore normal functioning of your nervous system allowing it to function properly to help fight against illnesses such as the seasonal flu. “Maintenance” chiropractic care means preventative care – you regularly visit your chiropractor for adjustments, even when you don’t have pain. This natural approach to health care is another preventative step that you can take to ensure your immune system is functioning at its’ highest potential year-round.
These suggestions will help you to naturally improve your immune system. Even if you follow some of the tips, you will likely notice an improvement in your resistance to infection.