With flu season in full swing, finding ways to stay healthy can seem like a full time job. To help, we’ve compiled a list of simple, natural ways to boost your immunity throughout the year.
Natural Immune Boosters
Tired of watching the latest flu or cold make the rounds in your household? Follow the advice below to boost you and your family’s immune systems and help ward off those nasty bugs.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is important no matter what season we are in, but it’s especially important when colds and flu are making their way around. Sleep loss and the stress associated with it can increase the level of cortisol in our bodies, which suppresses our immune systems, making us much more susceptible to germs and viruses.
Garlic is the natural immune booster your system needs this season. As an antimicrobial agent, garlic helps our immune systems ward off harmful germs. Be sure to use it correctly though to get the best benefit. Overheating garlic can deactivate the germ-killing properties, so add it at the very end when cooking.
Eat Plenty of Oranges
…and apples and berries! Fruits are full of antioxidants, providing your body with the nutrients we need to stay healthy. And, along with an increase in germs, winter brings more cloudy days, meaning less vitamin D. Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can help make up for this lack of sunlight.
Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco
Alcohol and tobacco impair the immune system, making it more susceptible to those nasty viruses like pneumonia and bronchitis. Avoid heavy consumption of both tobacco and alcohol to keep your immune system in top shape.
White blood cells, also known as T cells, help protect against infection and are mobilized when our bodies engage in moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking. Including thirty minutes of moderate exercise each day has been known to reduce the risk of colds and fight off infections.
Spice Up Dinner With Ginger
Along with being rich in antioxidants, ginger has natural immune boosting qualities. Acting as an antimicrobial agent, ginger aids in digestion and helps soothe upset stomachs, making it the perfect addition to your favorite winter dish.
Chronic stress suppresses our immune systems, making it easier for germs and viruses to invade our bodies. If you’ve noticed the stress piling on lately, find ways to combat it. Practicing yoga and meditation can help relieve stress in the mind and body.
Stay healthy this season—and all year long—with the above tips! Need workout or recipe inspiration? Visit Metro Health’s Live Healthy website for healthy recipes and other tips.