Help yourself stay healthy with these six immune-boosting strategies!
Choose Immune-Boosting Herbs
A variety of herbs can help your immune system fight off illness. Try using these as tea, as a tasty addition to your meals, or in tincture or supplement form.
- Garlic doubles as an antibacterial and immune booster.
- Ginger promotes healthy lung function and may help reduce cholesterol.
- Turmeric helps protect the liver and adrenal glands from toxins and inflammation.
- Sage helps cleanse mucus from the respiratory tract and alleviates nasty coughs.
- Panax ginseng* contains powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Echinacea tea* helps fight off upper respiratory tract infections, including cold and flu viruses.
*always check with your physician first if you are undergoing treatment with immuno-modulating prescriptions or infusions.
Do Your Best to Reduce Stress
Stress weakens your body’s ability to fight off infections. Psychological stress in particular has been shown to compromise immune function.
You can reduce your stress levels through exercises such as walking, jogging, yoga and pilates.
Incorporate meditation and deep-breathing exercises into your day to flush out stress. Music can also be a powerful stress-relieving tool. Learn to let the little things go, and treat yourself to a nice meal or relaxing bath to help unwind.
Aim for 7-8 Hours of Sleep
Sleep allows the body to repair itself, heal wounds, regulate hormones and refresh the mind. Inadequate or poor-quality sleep weakens the immune system and invites colds, flu and infections.
To promote healthy sleep, avoid eating or exercising too close to bedtime. Keep your bedroom well-ventilated, and go to bed around the same time every day.
Other pre-sleep rituals that may help include reading a book, misting a calming essential oil on your pillow, such as this French Lavender Room & Linen Spray or try playing ambient noise – especially if you live in a noisy area.
Detox through Diet
Detoxification is the process of cleansing the body of environmental and food-related toxins. To help detox through diet, consider some of these foods:
- Oregano has been shown to eradicate bad bacteria (even e. coli!) living inside the gut.
- Green and leafy vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and spinach boost immune function by eliminating toxins from the liver.
- Healthy fats and amino acids found in foods such as avocado, beans, and almonds support a healthy adrenal function, a key component of overall immune health.
In general, try to choose foods high in soluble fiber and antioxidants, which work together to flush out bad cholesterol and free radicals. Smart choices include steel cut oatmeal, flax, carrots, blackberries, blueberries and citrus fruits.
Take Supplements if Necessary
While a healthy diet usually provides all the necessary immune-boosting vitamins and minerals, certain health conditions can hinder the body’s ability to fully absorb these nutrients.
Talk to your doctor to determine if dietary supplements can help you stave off viral infections and achieve greater health.
Spending time in an infrared sauna can also help boost the immune system by raise core body temperature, helping to keep the immune system strong and in good working order. Some users even report that spending time in a sauna helps them to sleep better at night.
What are your tried-and-true methods for keeping illness away?