How to Strengthen Your Immune System

How to Strengthen Your Immune System

Use these tips to boost your immune system’s power to defend against sickness.


There are more than 200 different viruses that cause colds, so you’re bound to get hit with something eventually. While you can’t necessarily avoid every bout of sickness, you can make sure that whatever affliction gets to you is quickly taken care of so you can get back to your normal life. Of course, these aren’t meant to replace a doctor’s consultation, so if you’re feeling particularly sick, always see your physician.

Exercise
You’ve done everything right, but you’ve fallen ill anyway. If you’re a regular exerciser, it will be tempting to stick to your workout routine. But that might not be a good idea.

When you’re ill, you need to rest — particularly if you have a fever. Taking three rest days won’t hamper your fitness too much. While some health experts believe it’s probably OK to do moderate exercise if you have the sniffles, you know your body best. Listen to it and do what it tells you.

Diet
Although eating may be the last thing on your mind, a low-fat, high-fiber diet will help speed your recovery. Base your diet on fruit, vegetables and brown rice with a little fish, chicken or beans and grains. Drink plenty of hot liquids, such as chicken soup, to nourish you. Hot herbal tea is also a good choice. Or squeeze lemon juice into a mug of hot water and stir in a dollop of honey. Focus on light meals to prevent overloading your digestive system.

Minerals
In addition to antioxidants, be sure that you get an adequate supply of zinc, which produces and activates T-cells involved in battling infections. Red meat, poultry, beans, nuts and whole grains are all rich in zinc and can help.

Herbal Remedies to Try

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  • Drink elderberry tea to ease cold symptoms.
  • Gargle with cooled sage tea to soothe a sore throat.
  • Drink ginger in fresh, tea or capsule form to ease aches and a tight chest.
  • Add a few drops of essential oils (eucalyptus, pine and/or tea tree oils) to a bowl of hot, but not boiling, water. Position your face over the bowl to capture the rising vapors. Inhale through your nose to clear congestion.

Reduce a Fever
Sponge your body with lukewarm water that has a few drops of relaxing scents like lavender, chamomile or eucalyptus essential oil in it. Treat small areas of your skin at a time, covering up the parts of the body that are not being sponged, to avoid becoming cold.

Immune System-Boosting Foods

  • Yogurt contains probiotics, which are good bacteria that line our intestines and defend our body against germs. Opt for plain yogurt to get less added sugar than you do from fruit-flavored versions.
  • Red peppers have about twice as much immune-enhancing vitamin C as an orange; a daily intake of vitamin C may help decrease the duration of a cold.
  • Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, a pro-vitamin that gives sweet potatoes their orange pigment. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body and research suggests vitamin A may be particularly helpful in the treatment of respiratory infections.
  • Garlic contains sulfur compounds that have been shown to help kill viruses. Fresh garlic has more immune-boosting potential than cooked, so add a clove of fresh minced garlic at the end of cooking.
  • Ginger contains gingerol, which improves circulation and enhances immune and digestive function. Make a tea by finely chopping a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger. Steep it in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes, add a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped spring onions, then strain and sip.

What natural remedies have you used? Let us know in the comments section!

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thank you for posting these helpful hints. Some of them we know and remember, others I never heard of. We need to be reminded of these more often especially with the coming cold/flu season.

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Vononna

Vononna

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This article is very helpful! :)

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SylviaMD

SylviaMD

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I like this .....very informative!

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