We’ve all heard it before… the best way to stay healthy is to boost your immune system! It seems there has never been a better time than now to give your immune system a little love. But what exactly does that mean? For some it means taking their multivitamin each and every morning and for others it means letting their children eat food off the floor or lick rocks! (Not my recommended way of building a healthy immune system ☺ )
There are actually several quick and easy ways to boost your immune system that you can incorporate into your daily routine. Some are more well known than others, but whether you try one of these suggestions or really go for it by diving right in to all of them, one thing is for sure, doing a little something is better than nothing.
Here we go!
1. Fruits and Veggies
While this may seem like common sense, it’s surprising how may of us do not get 5-7 servings per day. Fruits and vegetables provide many of the vitamins, nutrients, fiber and antioxidants that our bodies need to keep us fueled with energy, and more readily able to fight off harmful organisms. They’re also surprisingly easy to use in smoothies, sides, snacks and even for a sweet treat to banish sugar cravings! Vitamin C is particularly important to the immune system, and some of the best options may surprise you! No need to overdo it on oranges, you can also load up on broccoli, kiwi, papaya, sweet potatoes, strawberries, pineapple and red/yellow/green bell peppers.
Believe it or not, your gut health is directly linked to your immune system. Up to 70 percent of your immune system lies in your gut! Shocking right?! The good bacteria in your gut are referred to as probiotics and their main job is to support digestion, combat harmful organisms and keep your immune system healthy. While you can get in the habit of taking a daily probiotic supplement, you can also eat more fermented foods before each meal to balance your good bacteria. Some great foods to try are sauerkraut, kefir or my personal favorite, kombucha.
In order to have a strong immune system your body needs good clean nutrition. There is no better way to restore your heath then by juicing raw, organic produce! When we consume raw, cold-pressed juice (not the heat- pasteurized, grocery store version that is packed with added sugar) we bypass much of the digestion process and supercharge our cells with the most concentrated, bioavailable nutrients available. Some of the most healing foods to juice include green leafy vegetables like spinach, chard and kale. Other great choices are apples, cucumber, lemon, turmeric, ginger, celery, carrots, beets, grapes, oranges, and almost anything you can get into your juicer. Pro tip: No bananas! This will not end well for you or the juicer…
The importance of sleep cannot be stated enough! Sleep has been proven more effective than vitamin C for recovering from a cold. Yes, it’s that important. It’s not only important in improving your immune system but it resets your entire system! The more rundown you get the easier it is for viruses and microorganisms to invade your body. It provides stress relief and keeps everything in balance from your hormones to mental health. The average person does best on 7 – 9 hours per night.
5. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
I will warn you, this is an acquired taste! It’s also my favorite “secret weapon” against any illness I feel coming on. ACV is loaded with enzymes and beneficial bacteria which aides in digestion and continues to support overall health. It is also known as an antiviral and perfect to sip when you suspect a sore throat or cold is lurking right around the corner.. I highly recommend putting 1 – 2 tablespoons in 8 ounces of filtered water to start. It’s a great way to start your morning and get your body in a nice alkaline state, also very important for warding off illness and disease. It’s magic can be enjoyed late into the evening with a Tbs. in cold filtered water being beneficial at bed time. Some people even attribute it to losing a couple of pounds! Bonus!
If you’re feeling especially bold, here is a recipe for the hard -core health nut:
- 1 cup green tea
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 TBS of ACV
- 1 dash or shake of cayenne pepper powder
- 1 TBS Dark maple syrup
6. Vitamin D3
Otherwise know as the “sunshine vitamin”, this is an often forgotten vitamin that is essential in a healthy immune system. Due to the use of sunscreen and long days in the office, it is easy to miss out on this critical support. While getting out doors and soaking it in naturally is the best way to get your daily allowance, a vitamin D supplement may be necessary to fill the gaps and keep your levels up. To increase overall absorption you can look for D3 that is combined with Vitamin K.
Be well and remember, a little boost can go a long way!