Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

With everyone anxious and panicked over the terrifying pandemic that is effecting the whole world, stress is not doing any favours for your immune system. Now is the perfect time to adopt a lifestyle that will not only keep you healthy, but make your immune system stronger and ready to fight anything! Here are some simple ways to boost your immunity:

  1. Citrus Fruits

Most people turn to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections.

Popular citrus fruits include grapefruit, oranges, tangerines and lemons.

2.Get enough sleep and manage stress:

Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone cortisol, prolonged elevation of which suppresses immune function.

3. Avoid tobacco smoke:

It undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone, and middle ear infections in kids.

4. Consider probiotics:

Studies indicate supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.  Fermented milk products have also been shown to reduce respiratory infections in adults and kids.

5. Catch some rays:

Sunlight triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D. In the summer, a 10-15 minute exposure (minus sunscreen) is enough.  Low vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection. A 2010 study in kids showed that 1200 IU a day of supplemental vitamin D reduced the risk of influenza A. However, a 2012 study that involved supplementing adults with colon cancer with 1000 IU a day failed to demonstrate protection against upper respiratory infections.

6. Go for the garlic.

Garlic is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent and immune booster. Because heat deactivates a key active ingredient, add it to foods just before serving.

7. Drink lemon, honey, ginger and turmeric with warm water.

Many people swear by this tonic as a tried and true remedy for colds. But does this magical elixir actually work or is it just an old wive’s tale? The research on each individual ingredient looks promising.

A 2012 review published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that honey, an antioxidant, acts as a natural immunity booster. Ginger, another powerful antioxidant with antiviral properties, can be used to treat digestive woes like nausea and motion sickness. Lemon juice is high in vitamin C, which according to Mayo Clinic can be used for its antioxidant properties and to prevent the common cold. Lastly, studies show that curcumin, a component in the spice called turmeric, can regulate the immune system.

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8. Indulge in tea time.

Sipping tea in the morning or right before bed is so relaxing, it might as well be its own form of meditation. But it’s not just a pleasant ritual: A 2003 study revealed that naturally occurring chemicals in tea called alkylamines strengthen the immune system to help it fight off infection, National Geographic reported.

Perhaps the best thing about tea is its variety in taste and in nutritional benefits. Peppermint tea can help with indigestion, bloating and IBS, while studies suggest that the black, green and oolong teas are rich in antioxidants and may have cancer-fighting properties, John Weisburger, a senior researcher at the Institute for Cancer Prevention, told WebMD.

9. Make workouts a part of your weekly regimen.

You don’t have to turn into a full-on fitness fanatic to boost your immune system. Simply going for a daily stroll or sneaking in a yoga class a few times week will keep you physically fit and help your immune system stay in top shape. It also causes your white blood cells to circulate more rapidly, allowing your immune system to detect illnesses more quickly.

10. Laugh a little (or a lot).

. A 2007 study found that laughter really is the best medicine: It can give your immunity a ridiculously easy boost.

Laughing — and an overall happy, positive attitude — lowers stress levels and can promote sleep, arguably two of the most crucial elements to a healthy body. And, admit it, it’s probably the most fun you’ll have giving your immune system a boost.

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