Updated: Mar 13
6 Awesome Ways to Boost Your Health & Immune System.
It’s no secret that a lot is happening in the world right now. And although scientists and doctors continue to research and test treatments for a potential vaccine, there is still no cure to date.
Yet, hope is not lost as you continue to take preventive measures to protect your health, including following CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, wearing the proper face coverings (PPE), and frequent handwashing to prevent infection.
So, as winter rapidly approaches, and we continue to adjust and deal with our “new normal,” you must also protect your physical health by getting an annual Influenza immunization (flu shot), as well as ensuring you have the best immune health possible!
While strengthening your immunity is easier said than done, several dietary and lifestyle changes may improve your body’s natural defenses to help fight off illnesses, harmful pathogens, and disease-causing organisms.
Here are six healthy tips thanks can help
strengthen your immunity naturally.
HDC Tip #1: Manage Your Stress Levels & Practice Self-care.
In general, women tend to experience stress at higher baseline levels than men. African Americans can also experience health disparities like higher blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease than other groups, partly due to inadequate access to care or other resources. However, left unmanaged stress can cause these types of chronic health conditions to worsen.
Relieving stress and anxiety is key to immune health. Lowering your stress levels through meditation, yoga, exercise, and other practices can help keep your immune system functioning correctly.
Physical activities, such as meditation, yoga, journaling, active reflection, and other mindfulness practices, can reduce stress levels.
You also can try changing your mindset.
Saying daily affirmations, statements intended to create self-change or remind you of things you want or believe, may help. Alternatively, consider faith-based or spiritual practices like reading devotionals, praying, or listening to messages that positively move you. If you are having trouble managing stress or are feeling significantly down, contact a licensed health care professional or wellness practitioner.
HDC Tip #2: Engage in moderate exercise or activity.
Engaging in consistent and routine, moderate exercise can give your immune system a boost and may reduce inflammation and help your immune cells regenerate regularly.
Great options for moderate exercise include brisk walking, steady bicycling, jogging, swimming, and light hiking. Most people should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
HDC Tip #3: Have a healthy, balanced diet & have adequate hydration.
To help boost your immune system and help prevent illness, it is essential also to watch what you eat. If you want to increase your immunity, you want to make sure that you are getting fresh fruits and vegetables, that you’re eating a balanced diet, that you’re not overdoing the greasy fried foods, and that you’re not doing a lot of the complex carbohydrates that are not good for you.
Eat more healthy fats: Healthy fats, including olive oil and Omega-3s, are highly anti-inflammatory and may boost your body’s immune response to pathogens by decreasing inflammation. Since chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, these fats may naturally combat illnesses.
Eat more whole plant foods: Whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C may give you an advantage against harmful pathogens and decrease susceptibility to illness.
Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated is essential. Given that dehydration can make you more susceptible to illness, be sure you’re drinking plenty of water each day. Hydration doesn’t necessarily protect you from germs and viruses, but preventing dehydration is vital to your overall health. While drinking water can be an effective way to get the hydration needed, beverages like coffee and tea can also be consumed in moderation for proper hydration.
And remember, dehydration can cause headaches and impede physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, and heart and kidney function. These complications can increase your vulnerability to sickness.
HDC Tip #4: Take a probiotic supplement.
Gut health and immunity are deeply interconnected. Probiotic supplements may strengthen your immune system by helping it identify and target harmful pathogens.
Additionally, fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria/probiotics, which populate your digestive tract. These bacteria-rich foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and natto.
HDC Tip #5: Get enough sleep.
Sleep and immunity are closely connected. Insufficient quality sleep is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness. Getting adequate rest may strengthen your natural immunity. Also, you may sleep more when sick to allow your immune system to better fight the illness.
Recommended Amounts of Sleep Needed
Adults should aim to get 7+ hours of sleep nightly.
Teens need 8–10 hours of sleep nightly.
Younger children & infants need up to 14 hours of sleep nightly.
Are you having trouble sleeping?
Limit screen time for an hour before bed, as the blue light emitted from your phone, TV, and computer may disrupt your circadian rhythm or your body’s natural wake-sleep cycle.
Fall asleep in a completely dark room or using a sleep mask.
Go to bed at the same time every night.
To encourage a good night’s sleep, try to:
Make your bedroom as cozy as possible, and
Limit bedroom activities that do not relate to falling asleep. For instance, if you want to briefly catch up on the news, don’t do it from the bed.
HDC Tip #5: Consider Using Supplements Wisely.
Ideally, your daily diet offers excellent nutrition. Nevertheless, if you are unable to get the daily nutrients needed, a multivitamin can help. Additionally, some supplements may help fight viral infections; none have been proven effective against COVID-19. If you decide to supplement, make sure to purchase products that have been tested by a third party.
The following supplements may strengthen your body’s general immune response:
Elderberry: The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of elderberry allow it to support your immune system in several ways. It can help reduce pain, but it can also temper the immune response and reduce inflammation that can be associated with chronic disease.
Echinacea: Supports the immune system to help resist bacterial and viral invaders by increasing properdin, a natural chemical that increases the body’s cellular resistance to infection. Even today, many who value natural and herbal remedies use it to boost their immune system to prevent or overcome the symptoms of colds and flu.
Garlic: A high-quality garlic supplement can help reduce the common cold. As an immune system booster, garlic is most commonly used to ward off cold and flu infections. Also, garlic supplements help with allergies, bacterial and fungal infections, fever, cough, stomach problems, sinus issues, and many other conditions.
Vitamin C: Taking 1,000–2,000 mg of vitamin C per day can reduce the common cold duration.
Vitamin D: A deficiency in Vitamin D may increase your chances of getting sick, so supplementing may counteract this effect.
Zinc: Plays a crucial role in your body’s immunity to bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Just be careful. It’s possible to get too much of some vitamins and supplements, affecting certain medications’ efficacy or causing harmful reactions. Make sure you speak to your physician about any herbs or supplements you’re taking.
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HDC Tip #6: Don’t Smoke or Don’t Start at All.
We all know smoking isn’t good for you for numerous reasons, Including lowering your immune system.
Smoking can lead to disease, disability and can harm nearly every organ of the body. So if you smoke, try to quit. Of course, we know it’s incredibly addictive, and cessation can often be difficult. Seek professional guidance from your health care provider, who may suggest medication or other remedies help you stop.
The good news is when you do quit, your immune system will no longer be exposed to nicotine and tar — and it will become stronger.
Remember…You can make several lifestyle and dietary changes today to strengthen your immune system.
These include reducing your sugar intake, staying hydrated, working out regularly, getting adequate sleep, and managing your stress levels.
Although none of these suggestions can prevent COVID-19, they may reinforce your body’s defenses against harmful pathogens.
Now it’s your turn – Which of these tips will you try…1,2,3 or all of them!?
We would love to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
You can also contact me via e-mail if you’d like to ask a question, need friendly advice, or chat.
Live, Laugh & Love Always, Tiffany
Be Bold. Be Confident. Be Uniquely YOU.
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Note: The information above has not been reviewed or approved by the FDA and was provided as an educational resource, not medical advice. Please consult your medical care practitioner with any questions.
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