Being healthy can sometimes be more complicated than it sounds. During these difficult times, the only thing we can do to stay away from the Coronavirus is boosting our immune system, along with from practicing social distancing and staying home. When you think of immune boosters you might be picturing a bottle of multivitamins, but did you know there are plenty of natural ways to boost your immune system? Keep reading to find out how to get your body prepared for whatever may come.
1. Sleep Well
Maybe you didn’t know it, but a good night of sleep and your immune system are more related than you’d think. When a person sleeps their minimum 8 hours, or even more, the body is more prepared to fight possible upcoming viruses and diseases. And even if you’re currently sick, having a full night’s rest can aid in a quicker recovery. Some studies suggest that a person who sleeps less than 6 hours a day is more likely to catch a cold. So, if you’re having trouble sleeping, try darkening your room and leaving all electronics turned off, you’ll notice your immune system improving.
2. Don’t Smoke
Smoking is the worst thing for your immune system, because it damages all of the cells in the body, making your immune system fight it off until it completely wears out. Eventually, your immune system will be fed up with trying to fix the damaged cells caused by the smoke, and it won’t be able to help in case a disease comes. For a strong and healthy immune system, limit the number of cigarettes you smoke, and if you can get rid of this habit altogether it’s even better.
Related: How to Quit Smoking Forever
3. Eat Vitamin C From Natural Sources
When you have the flu, it’s common that people, or doctors, suggest getting higher amounts of vitamin C. But this little ingredient is even better when you ingest it BEFORE even getting sick! Vitamin C is known to build up your white blood cell count, preparing your immune system to fight infections. Vitamin C can be found in fruits such as grapefruit, lime, oranges and clementines. It’s always better to ingest vitamins from natural sources instead of relying on a supplement.
4. Eat Healthy Fats
Healthy fats as found in several foods have the best anti-inflammatory action. Chronic inflammation caused by certain ingredients can ultimately suppress your immune system and its response to certain pathogens. Healthy fats are found naturally in ingredients like olive oil and salmon, and they can decrease inflammation in the body, boosting your immune system and helping it naturally combat all sorts of illnesses. Another reason to eat more healthy fats is because it can decrease the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. So, remember healthy fats equals healthy diet!
5. Exercise Regularly
If you want a fun and natural way to boost your immune system and get it ready for flu season, engage in some moderate exercise daily or, at least 3 times a week. Immune cells tend to inflame over time, and even a bit of exercise can reduce this condition as well as help immune cells recover and regenerate on a constant basis. Some great examples of moderate exercise are walking, cycling, jogging, swimming and even hiking. Even if you perform more intense exercises, they’re probably helping you stay healthy.
6. Stay Away from Added Sugars
There’s a pretty detailed link between added sugars and your immune system. Added sugars contribute greatly to obesity and overweight, which in turn makes it easier for you to get chronic diseases and all sorts of health conditions. If a person with obesity keeps down that road, they’ll eventually develop Type 2 diabetes or heart disease, which ultimately weakens your immune system to the core. Try to limit your sugar intake to less than 5% of your daily calories to follow a healthy diet.
Related: 24 Ways Sugar Harms Your Health
7. Include Ginger and Garlic in Your Diet
Asides from adding flavor to your meals, garlic and ginger are two of the most recommended ingredients when looking to boost your immune system. Garlic can lower blood pressure and it has great antibiotic properties (from their high concentrations of allicin), while ginger can decrease all sorts of inflammations and even decrease chronic pain, making your defenses strong. Both ginger and garlic can be consumed raw or they can be turned into teas or infusions and drunk regularly.
8. Include Turmeric in Your Meals
Turmeric not only brings curry its particular flavor, it can also act as a powerful anti-inflammatory against the worst cases of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Since this ingredient can be hard to eat outside a meal, you can take it as supplement or make infusions, sweetened with natural ingredients to mask the flavor.
9. Try Stress Relief Techniques
One of the most important tips on boosting and caring for your immune system doesn’t have anything to do with your nutrition. Getting some much-needed stress relief can have a very positive impact on your body’s defenses. Stress can lead to cell inflammation and imbalances of all immune cells, ultimately suppressing your immune response to diseases. To practice stress relief, you can engage in meditation, doing yoga, keeping a journal, using a stress ball or going to therapy with a mental health expert.
10. Eat More Fermented Foods
Did you know that fermented foods are packed with probiotics? These are healthy bacteria that live in your digestive tract and, when they flourish, they can help immune cells differentiate between healthy cells and harmful microorganisms. As you’d imagine, a healthy gut means that everything that comes into your body will be either absorbed or eliminated, depending on their utility. Increase your intake of fermented foods by eating yogurt, kimchi, fermented milk, sauerkraut, kefir and natto. If you don’t feel like these foods are appealing, you can always turn to probiotic supplements.
Asides from these useful ways to boost your immune system, remember that keeping a healthy diet and steady habits in all aspects of your life is key to prevent Coronavirus. So, make sure you get a balanced diet, eat the right proportions, have your stress ball at hand and keep a positive mind. While these tips can’t prevent any virus or disease from entering your body, it’ll be way more prepared to fight them than if you were careless about your health.