The world is gripped by a pandemic and we´re all doing our part to stay healthy and flatten the curve. Prevention is better than cure, so let´s talk about how we can boost our immune system naturally. Who´s with me?
Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System
I am not a healthcare professional (thank you to those that are), but as time is something we have more of recently, I´ve been researching and looking for ways we can boost our immune system naturally. What we eat, how we spend our time and our mindset, all play a part in strengthening ours body´s defenses.
Here are the tips I discovered along the way…
Food is our fuel and eating the right food can help to strengthen our immune systems. Here are the key foods experts recommend and why:
Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, which is said to increase the production of the infection-fighting white blood cells. Our bodies don´t store or produce vitamin C naturally, so we need to obtain in through our diets. Luckily for us, it´s quite easy to do, as there are a wide variety of citrus fruits that are high in vitamin C. These include grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, satsumas, lemons and limes. A hot lemon water in the morning, a fruit Buddha bowl for breakfast, or a zingy lime dressing on a salad; tasty and healthy!
Spinach is another great source of vitamin C and it´s packed full of antioxidants. These beauties help to fight infections and are great friends to our immune system. Like most green vegetables, spinach retains the most nutrients when it is cooked as little as possible. You can enjoy it raw in it a morning smoothie or green salad. If you prefer spinach cooked, try it with fish or a poached egg. Just wilt it lightly as this enhances the vitamin A levels and ensures you still receive maximum goodness.
This is one vegetable that is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Broccoli contains vitamins A, C and E as well as antioxidants and fiber. To keep all of it´s nutrients intact, cook it as little as possible, or better yet, enjoy it raw in a crunchy salad.
Garlic is said to have many benefits for good health. Its immune-boosting properties come from a high concentration of sulfur-rich compounds. They think it also lowers blood pressure and helps to maintain healthy arteries. Garlic is found in cuisines around the world and can be worked into most meals, so it´s easy to reap the benefits.
Ginger has long been used for medicinal purposes. Its benefits include reduced inflammation, lower cholesterol and reduced feelings of nausea. It packs a punch, but it is also very versatile. Add it to a morning smoothie, sip a ginger tea or create a simple stir fry.
Almonds are packed full of vitamin E and although this normally takes a back seat to vitamin C, it is still crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system. Nuts are also packed full of healthy fats and make a great snack. A half-cup serving of almonds, provides almost all of your daily recommended amount of vitamin E.
Green team is packed with antioxidants and specifically EGCG, which has been shown to enhance immune function. Enjoy regularly to help you stay in tip top shape.
Rest to be at Your Best
Our body needs time to rest, repair and recuperate and it does that while we sleep. Advice recommends we have at least seven hours each night to give our body time to do it´s thing. If you find yourself struggling to sleep, regular exercise, a healthy diet and reducing stress can help you to have a more peaceful night.
Find Positive Ways to Pass the Time
Have you already enjoyed a Netflix binge watching session? Yes, me too! Netflix has been a great way to relax and pass the time, but sitting on the couch all day isn´t necessarily great for our soul or state of mind. We don´t have to stop the series binges, but incorporating other activities into the day can have some great benefits to our mental health and our immune system.
Here are some suggestions I came across that I found useful:
Zoom with Family
Staying connected with loved ones, when we can´t actually meet, hug or touch each other, is so important. Zoom allows you to get the whole gang together. Enjoy a casual call with friends, or take it to the next level with a pre-arranged quiz or games night.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
I was pleasantly surprised by this one, as it turns out laughter really is the best medicine. It boosts your mood and can also increase the levels of antibodies in the mucus of your nose and mouth. It sounds icky, but as this is an entry point for many germs, laughter is a great form of defense.
Exercise Little and Often
With movement restrictions in place all around the world, we have to get a little creative when it comes to exercise. Little and often works well. Try for 30 minutes, 5 days a week and you´ll reap the benefits. Exercise not only helps to maintain a healthy body weight, it also boosts your immune system and mental health.
Avoid Stress and Additional Anxiety
Stress and anxiety have a negative impact on our immune systems, so if you find yourself feeling anxious after watching the news or scrolling through social media then make an effort to switch off. Take a few days away from the media and instead use the time connect with friends. They´ll pick you up in no time and may be feeling the same way too.