The immune system deserves credit for all it does. While it isn’t perfect or able to protect you against all viruses or bacteria, it usually can fight germs and keep you healthy. Some people have weaker immune systems than others, but people can actually weaken their immune systems without knowing it. Poor lifestyle or dietary choices, toxic work or home environments can negatively affect the body, and ultimately the immune system.
Your immune system takes care of you, so it makes sense to return the favor. How do you do that? Well, there are certain foods, practices, and diet regimens that can help to naturally boost your immune system. Here are the six best ways to give your immune system some extra strength.
Sleep, Sleep, and More Sleep
Sleep is your body’s natural way of regenerating. If you stay up late playing games or checking social media on your phone or tablet, you can disrupt your sleep pattern. Lack of sleep can lead to tiredness and a weakened immune system, making you more prone to getting sick. When the body is not rested it increases the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that can suppress immune function. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, or take an afternoon siesta if you go to sleep late.
Start Living More Healthily
This sounds simple, but it can be difficult for a lot of people. Depending on how the person was raised, he or she may think that certain foods are healthy when they actually are not. Processed foods, junk foods, meat, dairy products, refined sugars, artificial flavors, chemical additives, and trans fats wreak havoc on the body and can impair proper immune system function. By adopting more of a plant-based diet, you can get the proper nutrients you need to keep your body healthy. In addition to eating healthily, try to exercise regularly, control blood pressure, avoid smoking, and maintain a healthy weight. Eat these natural immune-boosting foods to help out:
- Oil of Oregano
- Dark Leafy Greens (kale, spinach, or chard)
- Stone Fruit (peaches, plums, and apricots)
- Nuts and Seeds
- Organic Berries
Participate in a Cleanse
When one thing in your body isn’t functioning right, then the rest of your systems and organs can’t function properly. Many health conditions can put strain on the body, so participating in a cleanse can benefit your entire body. By getting rid of built-up toxins in the body, your organs and systems may function more properly and leave you feeling healthier overall.
Soak up the Sun
Not only is getting some sunshine relaxing, but it also triggers your skin to produce vitamin D, which supercharges the immune system. Getting too much sun exposure, however, can cause sunburns, skin damage, and even skin cancer if protective measures aren’t taken. If you aren’t an outside person, eating Portobello or Maitake mushrooms boost your vitamin D, or you can take an herbal supplement to get your daily dose of the good stuff.
Laugh A Little
How can laughter help out your immune system, you ask? Well, laughing and an overall feeling of happiness can lower stress levels and contribute to healthier sleep, both of which are crucial for a healthy body. Just like the old saying: laughter is the best medicine. Not to mention, it’ll boost your morale while boosting your immune system.
Give Your Adrenals Some Love
Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and regulate hormonal jobs in the body. Modern stressors can throw your adrenals into overdrive and make them fatigued. When your adrenals go down, so does your immune system. Keep your adrenals healthy by lowering stress and eating foods high in antioxidants, as well as nutrient-dense superfoods such as coconut, olives, avocado, and cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.).