Fall is here — along with cold and flu season. Is your immune system ready?
Want to know how to boost your immune system the natural way? Leah Canale reviews the easiest ways to ramp up your immune system fast.
Adopt a healthy life style
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best line of defense you can take to naturally keep your immune system healthy and strong. Sounds pretty simple–because it can be. Try the following:
- Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables
- Limiting sugar, alcohol and processed food
- Exercising regularly
- Getting adequate and GOOD sleep
- Not smoking
- Drinking plenty of water
- Getting healthy levels of vitamin D
- Managing stress (this one is huge! Stress affects our health more than most of us realize)
When we take care of our bodies, essentially all we are doing is supporting, and allowing, our immune system to do its job correctly. The body is a fascinating, complex system that is capable of healing itself. The problem is that we tend to bombard our bodies with more unhealthy substances than it can handle, and that lowers our immunity so we become more susceptible to allergies, viruses, colds and bad bacteria.
The best way to maintain strong immunity is to continuously support where the immune system really resides, which is the gut. By strengthening gut health we are much less likely to get sick. How can we do this? By taking probiotics!
- Probiotics are live bacteria that support your digestive system. They are often referred to as “helpful” bacteria because they help keep the gut healthy and strong
6 Foods That Help Support Your Immunity System
- Elderberry, acai and blueberries: Loaded with antioxidants that help fight inflammation. The body is already in a weakened state when dealing with inflammation, causing itto be more susceptible to illness
- Mushrooms (especially Shataki): Contain anti-viral properties. Button mushrooms are also full of selenium and the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin which play a part in a healthy immune system
- Fermented foods: Yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, miso, kombucha act as probiotics
- Hot tea: Green, black, and white all contain disease-fighting polyphenols and flavonoids (antioxidants that seek out cell-damaging free radicals). Detox teas are also great for supporting the immune system
- Garlic: Raw garlic is known for its ability to fight bad bacteria and viruses. In order to get the benefits, you have to eat the real stuff though! No garlic powder.
- Ginger: Similar to garlic, raw ginger is the best (not powdered). It is full of antioxidants and can help relieve nausea and vomiting
Natural Flu and Cold Remedies
(Most natural remedies focus on anti-inflammatory foods and herbs)
- Echinacea is a plant that has been used as medicine for centuries. Supplements, teas, and liquid extracts are made from the leaves, stems, flower, and roots. Although studies vary, it is known to boost the immune system and is great to take when you feel a cold coming on!
- Zinc is good at fighting common colds. Some studies say it stops certain proteins from forming so that cold viruses cannot use them to reproduce. It may not prevent colds, but zinc can help shorten the length of your cold if taken within 24 hours
- Chicken noodle soup is not just a comfort food, it is actually contains anti-inflammatory ingredients and can help soothe sore throats
- Steam/humidifiers can help clear congestion
- Saltwater can help sore throats by decreasing swelling and rinsing out germs and bad bacteria
- Lemon, honey, ginger and turmeric with warm water – each of these foods are powerful on their own (anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and full of nutrients) so combined… it’slike a super drink!
- Apple cider vinegar and lemon in hot water is also great for making your system alkaline. Bad bacteria cannot thrive in an alkaline environment!
Check out Leah’s Pinterest for lots of delicious immune supporting recipes!
Stay well and Happy fall!
Leah Canale is Evolve Direct Primary Care full time Health & Wellness Consultant. Members are invited to use her services at no additional charge.
If you are interested in learning more about natural ways to keep your immune system healthy and strong or have any other questions, the folks at Evolve are happy to see you. Evolve Medical is located in Annapolis. You can schedule online or call/text 844-322-4222.