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Feb 05

7 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Blog_2_4Rather than waiting until cold and flu season to start boosting your immune system, Smart Life Healthy Body recommends that you work on building your immune system throughout the year. You never know when a virus or bacteria that doesn’t pay heed to the current season will find its way into your system. Utilize these natural methods to help boost your immune system and give yourself a fighting chance all year long.

Count Plenty of Sheep

Getting plenty of sleep and dealing with stress is good for your body and your mind. A lack of sleep and a buildup of stress increase your cortisol level, which has been shown to chip away at the health of your immune system. Make lifestyle changes to wind down earlier in the night and properly manage your stress to keep your body and mind healthy.

Eat Healthy

Make sure you’re getting plenty vegetables, seeds, nuts and fruits in your daily diet. Not only do these foods taste great, they’re vital to a strong immune system. It’s best that older adults make sure they get plenty of fruits and vegetables to help with their antibody response. Do your waistline and your health a favor and opt for healthier snacks and better balanced meals.

Get Plenty of Sun

Try to spend at least ten to 15 minutes outside when the sun is shining high and bright in the sky. Sunlight helps you to produce more vitamin D, which is essential for a healthy immune system. In fact, not getting enough vitamin D can potentially lead to an increased risk of respiratory infection. If you live in an area where the sunlight isn’t strong enough to stimulate the creation of vitamin D in your body, consider taking a supplement or consuming foods that contain vitamin D.

Take Probiotics

Probiotics are most often found in fermented foods, such as yogurt, and certain dairy products. By taking probiotics you can lower your risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Additional benefits of probiotics are they can help treat diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. There are some negative side effects associated with taking too many probiotics, so be sure to talk with your doctor before taking them and pay attention to your overall health while consuming them.

Eat Your Mushrooms

If you’re a lover of mushrooms, make sure that you get plenty of the medicinal variety, such as maitake and shiitake. There’s also a concentrated extract of shiitake that you can consume if you don’t feel like adding a few mushroom slices to your pizza or salad. Specifically, a concentrated extract of shiitake has been used to treat women with breast cancer by boosting their immune system.

Besides mushrooms, garlic is also another good way to boost your immune system the natural way. The ingredient is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that should be added to your foods right before you eat them since heating garlic up breaks down the active ingredient.

Drink Less Alcohol and Smoke Less

While there’s nothing quite like having a few beers or a nice glass of wine after a long, hard day, make sure you don’t overindulge since too much alcohol can start to wear away at your immune system. Not only that, but you can also make yourself more vulnerable to lung infections if you get too happy at happy hour.

Smoking is another activity that can damage your immune system. Tobacco smoke has also been known to raise a person’s risk of contracting pneumonia and bronchitis. Whenever small children are exposed to tobacco smoke, they become vulnerable to middle ear infections.

Herb Up Your Life

There are certain herbs that are also great for supporting your immune system. The next time you go grocery shopping, be sure to check out Asian ginseng, eleuthero, astragalus and American ginseng. These immune-supportive herbs can be especially useful for individuals who suffer from frequent infections. In addition to these herbs, you can also take an echinacea tincture whenever you think you might be suffering from a respiratory virus or if you want to stave off such a virus.

Take at least one step a day to boost your immune system and improve your overall level of health. For additional tips and information on maintaining a healthy immune system, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Smart Life Healthy Body.