This is typically the time of year that many people get sick. Anytime our body takes a hit, it can make things harder for us. Even daily tasks such as work, taking care of children, cooking, or anything else we do regularly can become challenging with a weakened immune system. Keep reading for PRACTICAL immune boosting tips!
Tips for Immune Support
The simplest and cheapest method for immune boosting success is drinking W A T E R! There are many more benefits to increasing your water consumption other than quenching your thirst. When we look at how water impacts us on a cellular level, it is known that water carries oxygen throughout our body to enhance all body system functionality. This in return, helps the body focus on immune function.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
Every food item that we put into our body has an effect one way or another. Hopefully, it's mainly positive for a majority of readers! Another easy way to boost our immune system is by eating healthy foods. A strong immune system needs good nourishment to thrive and power on!
Foods that are red, orange, and yellow tend to have high vitamin c content. Most of us know that vitamin c is a vitamin that is great for immune support. Some great options include citrus fruits, red and orange peppers, and strawberries.
Dark leafy greens are a good choice because of the power punch of vitamin c, k, and folate. The darker the vegetable the more antioxidants it contains. Some of my favorites include collard greens, spinach, arugula, and bok choy.
Fruits such as blueberries, grapes, berries also have antioxidant healing properties. This means that your body can get rid of the free radicals that damage our bodies on a cellular level.
Don't forget about hot herbal teas! Ginger and turmeric tea are two options that help to boost the immune system, aid in digestion, and help warm the body up.
3. Sleep More!
The human body does magical things when we sleep at night. It repairs itself, our muscles relax, energy is stored, and MUCH MUCH more. One of the important tasks is the production of cytokines. Without an adequate amount of sleep the body makes less cytokines. This is the protein that are important for cell signaling. They more importantly target inflammation and infection. With more sleep, our bodies can focus on the inflammation and infection before it becomes a chronic issue that makes us sick.
4. Avoid dairy
Consuming dairy products is something that we NEVER recommend, but especially when you are sick. Individuals with autoimmune conditions and chronic inflammatory conditions notice flare up symptoms when dairy is consumed due to the inflammatory properties. This also becomes an issue when fighting with the immune system. Rather than combatting inflammation it actually becomes more prevalent in the system. It also causes mucus or phlegm in the body to thicken.
5. Avoid Stress
The body releases cortisol in times of high stress. Cortisol then alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. In return it could cause anxiety, depression, digestive issues. Stress also decreases the bodies lymphocytes, which fight off infection in the body.
It's pretty simple, right?
There are many other ways to boost the immune system that aren't included in this list, but these are a few of the simple solutions. I know many of us don't have the time or desire to get sick this season. Let me know what your favorite immune boosting tips are!
-Stephanie Kennedy, LMT, CHN