8 Tips To Boost Your Immunity
Written by: Lilla Bessenyei
The fall is here and flu season is right around the corner. As summer leaves us, the holiday comes to an end, school starts and colds become more common. Stress from all of this can shut down your immune system up to 48 hours. Nevertheless, stress is not the only cause of the weakened immune system.
Here are my top tips for preventing the flu and boosting your immunity:
Working overtime and lacking sleep are often related. Take your time to rest enough. In my opinion, this is the number one cause of getting sick. I’ve experienced it copious times; after a week of sleep deprivation, sleeping only 5-6 hours a night, the flu has a higher chance of kicking in shortly after.
I’ve noticed there’s a day before I get sick when I feel super tired and weak. If I go to bed right at that time and get a good long rest, nothing usually happens, but if I don’t listen to the warning signs, I can get very ill.
If you don’t believe me, just read some studies. A research study declares that sleep deprivation can decrease the number of white blood cells in your body. Scientists discovered that lack of good rest can not only decrease your immunity, but it can also trigger an immune response, which causes inflammation and tissue damage in your body.
Aim to go to bed about 10 o’clock and sleep 7-9 hours every night.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is actually a hormone, which plays a role in many processes in your body. There is a clear connection between sufficient amounts of vitamin D and healthy immune responses.
As the amount of sun exposure decreases as we get closer to winter, try to spend more time in the sun, at least 30 minutes daily, or take a vitamin D supplement.
This mineral has great importance in DNA replication, cell division and activation, nonspecific immune response and many others. Without zinc, your immune system can’t function properly.
Foods high in zinc are spinach, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, chocolate and beans. You can take a zinc supplement as well.
4. Vitamin C
One of my friends said that if she drank rose hip tea every day, she didn’t get sick through the flu season even though she taught school and her pupils were ill all the time. Vitamin C is essential for improving your defense system against viruses and bacterias.
Raw fruits and vegetables are generally abundant sources of this nutrient. Rose hip tea, citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables are also great options.
Having a healthy gut flora will not only improve your mood, absorption and metabolism, but it can also protect you against colds and harmful bacteria. It is important for the nonimmunologic gut defense barrier and the intestine’s immunologic barrier.
Eat more fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, yogurt (preferably non-dairy) and kombucha. Probiotic supplements can be beneficial as well.
Glutamine is an amino acid, which supports the lymphocyte and macrophage function.
Meat and eggs contain high amounts of it. Cabbage, nuts and seeds and green leafy vegetables are also great vegan sources of glutamine.
Physical activity will not only boost your confidence, mood, endurance, weight loss, circulation and mental performance, but it can also support a healthy immune system.
As long as the weather is good outside, try to utilize this opportunity and move your body in the fresh air. Fortunately, you don’t have to skip your workout during the winter for there are many options available for a fun way to train. Do whatever you want, just do it for 30 minutes daily.
Laughing can increase your lymphatic system’s flow 10-15 times more than the normal flow. Keeping your lymphatic system pumping can boost your immunity and detoxification.
Be positive and laugh more with your friends and when alone. Watch some funny videos, spend time with a crazy friend. I think this is the easiest way to help you prevent the flu and cold, not to mention the funnest.
The people around you may still get sick, but you don’t have to. Use these tips to upgrade your immune system. Do you have any other tips for keeping healthy this flu season? Share with us in the comments below!
Lilla Bessenyei is a pharmacist and writer. It has been through her own experience that she realized that health and happiness start with what you put in your body and mind - including your thoughts. She is an avid researchers and has learned a lot about health and medicine. In her studies, she found that cultivating healthy emotions were just as important (if not more so) as a healthy diet. She is a fitness junkie, enjoys the numerous benefits of a vegan diet and enjoys helping people discover true health and happiness.
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