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Boost Your Immune System: 10 Ways to Improve Your Natural Defense System

jogger apples stay fit
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay

To boost your immune system is to strengthen your body’s natural defense system against coughs, colds, and viruses. We’ll show you how to improve your immune system with 10 simple tips so you stay healthy during cold and flu season.

How to Boost Your Immune System

Our immune system protects us from viruses and bacteria. It is made up of a complex network of interworking cells, intercellular signals, and tissues. The immune system is busy fighting off pathogens in every inch of your body. If your immune system is weakened, the effectiveness of the body’s natural defense mechanism is reduced. This makes it easy for pathogens to find their way in – which then become the sniffles.

We’ll show you how to prevent colds and boost your immune system with 10 easy tips.

For information on how to keep the rest of the family healthy, check out these 5 Time-tested Natural Immunity Boosters for Kids.

1. Get Enough Sleep

While we sleep, our body is busy eliminating toxins, which stimulates our metabolism and releases growth hormones. Even one night without enough sleep can weaken our immune system. So if you want to improve your immune system, remember that the average adult should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. The best way for you to ensure you get a proper night’s sleep is to develop a normal sleep routine.

If you’re having trouble sleeping you should read on: Ways to Fall Asleep: Tips and Tricks

2. Outdoor Exercise to Improve Your Immune System

boost immune system - outdoor exercise
Getting exercise outside is a great way to improve your immune system, whether its a light jog, bike ride, or playing sports with friends (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Daniel Reche)

Physical activity activates our somatic cells and stimulates the immune system. This kills two birds with one stone – we’re relieving stress while burning a ton of energy at the same time. Exercising outdoors as opposed to in the gym has another added benefit: Our bodies soak up vitamin D from the sun, which is another helpful element in improving your immune system. Fresh air also boosts the blood circulation, which in turn boosts your immune system.

Consider making a morning workout part of your daily routine!

3. Fresh Lemon Juice

Boost your immune system with fresh lemon juice
Packed with calcium, potassium, vitamin C, pectin, iron and vitamin A, lemons help to boost your immune system. (Photo: CCO / pixabay - stevepb)

Making daily improvements to your health is as easy as drinking a glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice in the morning. Warm water aids digestion and restores your body with necessary fluids.

With the lemon, you start your day off with a vitamin boost for you and your immune system: Lemons are chock full of calcium, potassium, vitamins A and C, pectin, and iron. Not only are you improving your immune system, you’re also promoting proper liver function.

4. Eat Right to Boost Your Immune System 

Boost your immune system: eating right – cutting board, knife, cooking
Eating right is key to boosting your immune system, especially during the winter. (Photo: © Utopia/Binford)

An overwhelming 70 percent of the immune cells shielding us from pathogens and warding off illness is found in the intestines. A balanced diet is key to keeping these working as they should. That means: Plenty of fruits and vegetables – regionally produced, seasonal, and organic in quality. Looking for some inspiration? Feel free to check out our guide on how to write (and keep up with) a healthy grocery list.

Legumes, whole grain products, and nuts should all be a staple in your diet. Try at best to avoid sugars (and most sugar substitutes). These can be harmful to the intestinal flora and hinder your immune system’s ability to ward off pathogens.

5. Improve Your Immune System by Limiting Stress

boost immune system: relaxation
(Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Mojo Movie )

Whether on the job or at home – stress can reduce our immune system’s ability to ward off invaders in the long-term. What’s the trick? Slow things down and enjoy some peace and quiet at key moments throughout your day. If you are struggling with stress and anxiety, try drinking some calming tea.

Read on for more tips: How to Reduce Stress: 7 Ways to “Decelerate” Your Life

6. Stay Hydrated

Boost immune system; drink water, stay hydrated
The key to a healthy immune system is staying hydrated. (Photo: © Utopia / Binford)

Drinking enough water daily helps the body to rid itself of harmful toxins. Keep your water bottle handy – especially when you’re on the move. Recommended daily water intake is about two liters or eight eight ounce glasses (also known as the 8×8 rule). Drinking water doesn’t have to be boring! Try infusing your water with citrus, herbs, or ginger.

Like many other simple changes to our daily routine, this too is possible without the use of single-use plastic: drink tap water! Save time and money by avoiding overpriced bottled beverages on the go and use your own refillable water bottle made of stainless steel, glass, or BPA-free plastic.

7. Boost Your Immune System: Laugh More

laugh more laughing couple
Remember, laughter truly is the best medicine! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - pexels)

The mind also has an influence on our immune system. Stress and worry can take a toll. Remember to have a laugh here and there even when you’re not in the best of spirits. The act of laughing boosts our immune system’s defense cells, reduces stress, and releases the happiness hormone serotonin. In short: laughing a lot improves your immune system.

8. Antioxidants From Fruits and Vegetables

Improve your immune system: apples
It’s true: an apple a day keeps the doctor away! (Photo: © Utopia/Binford)

Antioxidants help protect our cells from harmful free radicals and put our immune system at ease. This antioxidant boost – that is, from vitamins, minerals, and secondary plant substances – comes from the food we eat. Foods especially rich in antioxidants are blueberries, tomatoes, apples, and potatoes. Antioxidants aren’t just good for our health, they also help to prevent your skin from aging.

Improve your immune system with some healthy and nutritious tasty treats: Try our homemade applesauce (sugar-free) or make your own granola bars quickly and sustainably.

9. Medicinal Herbs and Plants

medicinal herbs plants
Herbs are great natural sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. (Foto: CCO Public Domain/ Pixabay - congerdesign)

Medicinal herbs and plants also contain loads of important minerals with antibacterial properties that boost your immune system. Keep your body’s natural defenses intact with a tasty smoothie or tea – for example:

10. No Boost from Booze: Drink Less Alcohol

Intoxication essentially deactivates your immune system for around 24 hours, leaving you susceptible to illness and infection. Alcohol slows the production of molecules responsible for warning your body of a pending infection. To avoid such a consequence (among others), remember to drink responsibly (in moderation)!

If All Else Fails: Cold and Cough Remedies

Sometimes cold season catches up to us whether we like it or not. Preventative measures like those described above aren’t always enough to ward off the nastiest of winter-weather pests. We gathered a number of all-natural do-it-yourself cold and cough remedies to help you get over the sniffles in a jiffy. Check out our homemade cough syrup using honey and onion juice.

Not ready to tackle the onion mix just yet? No worries, our collection of Natural Home Remedies for Colds offers enough natural home remedies to get you back on your feet.

Read more:

This article was translated to English by Evan Binford. You can view the original here: Immunsystem stärken: 10 natürliche Tipps für bessere Abwehrkräfte.

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