8 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Immune System
Nobody likes being rundown and stuck with the sniffles. We all have a lot on our plate these days, crazy work schedules, dinners to cook, lunches to make, laundry, washing, cleaning, places to be -things to do, family/friends to catch up with it, the list goes on! Life is busy, so who has time to get sick? Ensuring you keep your immune system in check is key if you want to continue performing at your best! There are lots of great ways to do this, but today I wanted to share with you a few simple ways that you can boost your immune system naturally.
1. Increase your zinc intake
Zinc is one of the most important nutrients when it comes to keeping your immune system in check. Our bodies churn through zinc when we are sick. Zinc gives your body a really good boost to fight infections and is amazing for wound healing too. Foods high in zinc include oysters, red meat, nuts and seeds in particular pumpkin seed.
2. Up your Vitamin C
Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Vitamin C rich foods include peppers, citrus fruits, berries, and green veggies like spinach, broccoli and brussels sprouts, so make sure you include a wide variety of these foods in your diet daily.
3. Spice up your life with more ginger
Ginger is a powerful antiviral herb that helps the body get rid of toxins, stimulate circulation and boost your immune system. It’s also a strong antioxidant, anti-microbial, a natural anti-biotic and is anti-inflammatory. It helps ease the pain of a sore throat, decreases congestion, gets rid of chills and fever, promotes circulation, cleanses the blood, relieves indigestion and nausea. Grate fresh ginger root into teas, oatmeal, smoothies, stir-fries or add it into homemade sauces.
4. Find ways to enjoy turmeric
Turmeric is a potent spice which is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It helps reduce inflammation in the body and is wonderful for treating congestion associated with respiratory infections. Add ½ a teaspoon to stir-fries, on top of roasted veggies or into smoothies, or try out a turmeric latte with almond milk, honey, cinnamon and black pepper.
5. Eat more warming foods
There is a reason our bodies crave more warming comfort food this time of year, they keep us warm and are easier to digest. So nourish your body with soups, casseroles, slow cooker meals, bone broths, roasted veggies or try out a healthy lasagne.
6. Look after your gut bacteria
Over 70% of our immune system is located in our gut, so ensure you’re keeping your gut bugs happy but consuming probiotic-rich foods such as miso soups, adding sauerkraut or kimchi to meals or sip on kombucha.
7. Rest and de-stress!!
Never underestimate the power of rest! Be kinder to your body during these cooler months and don’t force yourself to ‘do it all’. If you push your body to the limits (overwork, over exercise, over commit to friends, family) you can burn out. This will add additional stress to your body, and when you’re under stress your immune system will take a hit, which will mean you’re more susceptible to colds and flu’s. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night and put away your phone/tablets 1 hour before bed to prepare your body for a good night’s sleep.
8. Don’t over exercise
Be kind to your body during these cooler months. Regular movement is still important for our health and immune system, but there is no need to punish your body at the gym at 6am in the freezing cold when it’s the last thing you want to do, and you’ve been busy and stressed with work, long hours or had a broken sleep. Instead opt for more body loving movements such as yoga or pilates, which you can do at the comfort of your own home, just YouTube a class, your body and mind will thank you for it! And allow your body to have a couple of rest days during winer, guilt free!!
Also…. don’t forget to schedule in some YOU time to unwind, even just 5 minutes a day to allow some space for yourself to breathe and be present. This is one of the most important things we can do for our body and mind which helps to support our immune system by lowering our stress response.
If you feel you need extra support and have been struggling with your immune system for a long time please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me today. Id love to work with you and help you get your health and immune system back on track!
Hi I’m Natalie, a Registered Clinical Nutritionist, health influencer, blog writer & recipe creator. My own health complications prompted me to make positive diet & lifestyle changes, revitalize my health leading to a career change from the corporate world to nutritional medicine. I believe in a wholefoods approach to good health, focusing on simple strategies for modern, busy people.