It’s that time of year, cold and flu season, and worse yet, there’s still a global pandemic raging on. Having a strong immune system has never been more important – even a case of the sniffles these days has you assuming the worst.
However, boosting your immune system can be done naturally, and fairly simply. All it takes is dedication to altering a few lifestyle habits.
- Get More Sleep
This likely isn’t news to you. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep (some people need more, some need less) gives your body the chance to rest. Your body also takes this time to create infection-fighting molecules (read more here), so when you don’t get enough sleep, you are minimizing your body’s ability to fight off infection.
Being hydrated or drinking water also likely comes as no surprise as a way to boost your immune system. The why, though, is that lymph, a fluid in your circulatory system, carries infection-fighting immune cells through your body, and lymph nodes help filter them out. The lymph is made up mostly of water, so being dehydrated means that these cells are not carried as well or as quickly through your body, leaving it more open to infection. Read more here.
if you have a hard time drinking enough water, our hydrosols make for delicious water additives, plus they offer the added benefit of containing antibacterial and antiviral properties. Hot tea can also be a soothing option, and you can choose one with added benefits, as well. For example, a tea with echinacea would help increase the number of white blood cells in your system, which help fight infection.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
Consuming more fruits and vegetables is always a good idea. Not only will you be organically increasing your intake of vitamins, but some fruits and vegetables can help keep you hydrated, too.
Vitamin C in particular is important for a strong immune system, as it helps white blood cells function. Our elderberry syrup is an option, as well, as elderberries are known for shortening and lessening the symptoms of cold and flu – plus, they have high levels of vitamin C.
Getting your blood up is yet another way to help your immune system. Moderate exercise improves your circulation, which means infection-fighting cells circulate faster, when compared to an inactive person. Exercise has also been shown to lower stress levels, and stress has been shown to suppress immune function. Read more here.
5. Supplement for Additional Prevention
Vitamin D is often forgotten as an immune function defense. While it has links to aiding in mental health disorders, Vitamin D deficiency “is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection.” (read more here) You can increase your vitamin D intake by consuming foods rich in vitamin D like salmon, herring and sardines, egg yolks, wild mushrooms or mushrooms treated with UV lights, and fortified foods like cow or soy milk, and some cereals. Vitamin D intake can also be increased by 20 minutes of sun per day, and, of course, a Vitamin D supplement.
We mentioned the importance of Vitamin C in #3, and there are even more supplements you may add to your diet. Echinacea, for example, has been proven to lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of colds and flus. We have echinacea in our Immuni-Tea, Echinacea Hydrosol, and Echinacea Tincture. You can read about an echinacea study here.
It’s really quite simple, isn’t it? Of course, as many things are, it’s easier said than done. Even committing to improving on one of these five points will help you improve your immune system naturally. And what better time than now? At the start of a new year, during a global pandemic and, if you’re in Ontario, lockdown?
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