Best Ways to Naturally Boost Your Immune System
- by Stephen Touhey
Your immune system works tirelessly to protect your body from infections and keep you healthy. Whether it’s working to heal a wound, fight off a cold or infection, or soothe inflammation, your immune system is working for you 24/7 365 days a year.
In a perfect world, everyone’s immune system would work like a fine oiled machine, but sadly that’s not the case for many people. Every day you’re exposed to toxins, bacteria, fungi, and viruses that your immune system is responsible for fighting against.
In order to give your body it’s best chance at protecting you from infection and disease, and especially if you have signs of a weak immune system, here are the best ways to naturally boost your immune system.
Eat immune boosting foods
When you eat and drink, vitamins and nutrients are absorbed through the small intestine, which then is dispersed throughout your body by your circulatory system. If you aren’t getting enough healthy foods in your diet, your body won’t be as effective at fighting office infection and disease. Here are some foods that will help boost your immune system.
● Fresh Garlic - According to a Cleveland Clinic article, a healing compound called allicin is released when fresh garlic is crushed or chopped. Garlic has been used as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant for thousands of years. When your body has less inflammation to fight, your white blood cells can focus on fighting infections.
● Fresh Ginger - Ginger is another powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that’s been used for thousands of years. According to an article in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, ginger also has anti-cancer effects to boot
● Turmeric - This popular spice, used often in Ayurveda (India’s ancient natural system of medicine), contains a robust component called curcumin. An article in the Journal of Clinical Immunology states that cucumin not only has an anti-inflammatory effect, but also directly boosts the immune system and fights against several diseases including cancer.
● Fruits High in Vitamin C - Eating fruits high in vitamin C like oranges, guavas, papayas, cantaloupes, and grapefruit will boost your immunity. A Nutrients article shares that vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that also boosts immune function in more than one way.
● Green Tea - This is another one that is an anti-inflammatory, an immune boost, and has cancer prevention effects. An Oregon State University study discovered that green tea increases regulatory T-cells, which not only means your immune system is getting a boost, but it also suppresses autoimmune disease.
● Probiotic Fermented Foods - Foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and greek yogurt contain probiotics that keep your gut microbiome working optimally. Since a large part of your immune health stems from your gut, this is an important one. A study in the Journal of Dairy Research shows that when fermented foods are removed from the diet, the immune system weakens.
● Almonds, Sunflower Seeds & Avocados - According to a study published in the IUBMB, the vitamin E found in these foods is one of the best ways to influence your immune system. This vitamin is found in very high concentration in immune cells, making it a great way to get a boost.
Take a vitamin D3 supplement
This vitamin is one of the most important when it comes to immune health. A study in The Journal of Investigative Medicine shows that vitamin D deficiency lowered immune function and increased risk of infection.
It’s tough for most people to get enough vitamin D through diet and sunlight alone, so a supplement is your best bet. The amount of food you’d have to eat to get enough vitamin wouldn't be realistic to keep up on a daily basis and the sunlight method brings its own challenges.
If you live below 35 degrees latitude, you can get enough vitamin D from the sun year round. If you live above it there are a few months in the winter where it’s not even possible. Make sure to wear sunblock that protects against UVA and UVB rays to prevent skin damage and cancer if you go the sunlight route.
Sleep 7-8 hours per night
Your body releases proteins called cytokines while you sleep, which is needed to help your body fight off infection and inflammation. According to the CDC, even one night with less than 4 hours of sleep weakened the immune system.
Use a BioActivate bio-frequency immune-boosting patch.
Using energy medicine technology derived from quantum physics, these patches work with the energy of your own body. They’re a simple way to get an extra immune boost without worrying about any active ingredients or drugs.
If you drink alcohol, only drink in moderation
The scientific community has come up with paradoxical findings on alcohol’s relationship with the immune system, but one thing is clear. High amounts of alcohol consumption leads to more diseases and can suppress a wide variety of immune responses, so moderation is key.
And just in case you’re wondering, here’s what “moderation” really means according to the NIAAA.
● Biological female bodies - No more than 3 drinks per day and no more than 7 drinks per week
● Biological male bodies - No more than 4 drinks per day and no more than 14 drinks per week
● 1 drink equals 5 oz of wine, 12 oz of beer, or 1.5 oz of liquor
Minimize stress using healthy coping mechanisms
Many people weren’t taught healthy coping mechanisms as children, which is when many of your habits were implanted in your subconscious mind. Some might not even know what a coping mechanism (health or unhealthy)is.
For some people it’s alcohol or drugs, for some it’s being a busy body, for some being a workaholic, for some it’s mindless scrolling, for some it’s denial and suppression - and everything in between.
A coping mechanism is a strategy someone uses to deal with stress and/or trauma. Thanks to neuroplasticity, the ability for our brains to rewire new connections and habits, learning healthy coping mechanisms is just some repetition away. It isn’t difficult to train your brain, but it does require patience.
The unhealthy variety can actually add to stress levels, but healthy options greatly reduce it. Here are some healthy coping mechanisms you can try.
● Yoga, Meditation, & Tai Chi - Focusing your attention during these activities activates the calming part of your nervous system, called the parasympathetic nervous system.
● Mindfulness - This practice trains your brain to be in the present moment instead of focusing on past stressful events or anxiety about future events. By being present, stress levels drop, improving immunity and decreasing inflammation.
● Journaling - Sometimes you just need to get it all out of your head. When you’re stressed, thoughts whirl around in your head, pushing emotions into overdrive. When you take that thought-tornado and write it down, the thoughts settle and allow you to become more present.
Make healthy lifestyle choices
Overall good health contributes to a healthy immune system. If you take a well-rounded approach to your lifestyle, there’s a good chance it will boost your immune system.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, here are some of the main contributing lifestyle factors to boost immunity.
● Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
● Maintain a healthy weight
● Don’t smoke
● Exercise regularly