How to Naturally Boost Your Immune System
This is the cold and flu season, so I thought it was the perfect time to put together an article about how to naturally boost your immune system to protect yourself, loved ones and family from sickness… although these tips can work anytime of the year to keep you healthy.
1. Get lots of Vitamin D (stay away from pill form if you can)
You need to be careful about artificial forms of vitamin D in many vitamin pills, as artificial vitamin forms are almost always either ineffective or possibly even detrimental compared to natural forms.
For this reason, you need to get your vitamin D naturally. The sun is the best source, but it can also be found in dairy products such as low fat milk, yogurt and cheese. Vitamin D helps strengthen your immune system so your body can naturally produce Vitamin D from moderate sun exposure.
But what if you are not heading for a tropical vacation this winter, how can you still keep Vitamin D levels from falling dangerously low?
Well, the best food sources of natural Vitamin D are egg yolks, fatty fish, organ meats, and specific types of mushrooms. I also like to take a SMALL dose of cod liver oil daily in the deepest months of winter to make sure my vitamin D levels don’t fall too low. Make sure to take only small doses of cod liver oil, as large doses can give you an overdose of Vitamin A. I usually consume half of the recommended dose on the bottle.
2. Kombucha tea strengthens immune system
Kombucha tea is a fermented tea (naturally effervescent) that contains billions of friendly gut organisms (probiotics) that help to boost your immune system by exploding your levels and number of good bacteria in your stomach and intestinal tract.
Did you know that 70% of your immune system lies in your stomach and the good bacteria and friendly organisms are there to protect you against pathogens and sickness.
You can find bottles of Kombucha tea at most health food and organic stores.
At the first sign of sickness or fatigue, I start loading up on Kombucha tea, drinking it throughout the day. The strong taste can be be overpowering at first, so I sometimes mix it with iced tea at a ration of 1/3 Kombucha and 2/3 regular iced tea.
3. Lock and Load on antioxidants
Research has revealed that the secrets to leading a healthy, long life is to incorporate antioxidants into your daily diet to help boost and support your immune system.
As a result, you should really load up on antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits, berries, and veggies to help protect yourself against sickness.
4. Chamomile and Green Tea
Recently there has been strong evidence that green and chamomile tea can help aid in strengthening the immune system.
Even if the effect is small, you can’t go wrong because both are loaded with powerful antioxidants unique to each tea.
For this reason alone, I try to drink 2 cups of green tea with a small bit of raw honey early in the day, and then at night, I drink 1 cup of chamomile tea per day when sick.
This isn’t a bad idea even for a regular habit especially in the evening after dinner, but it’s even more important when I feel a sickness possibly coming on.
5. Light exercise
Despite what you may have heard, When you feel a sickness coming on, a super-high intensity workout is not a good idea, as hard training forces the body to do a lot of recovery, this at a time when your body needs all of it’s efforts on trying to fight off the oncoming sickness.
You often hear people say, “I’m going to sweat the cold/flu out with a good workout”. WRONG!
Rather, I like to get outside for some fresh air and go for a hike, bike ride or rollerblading. These are very fun acitvities that anyone can do and doesn’t cost alot of money. Simply getting out in the fresh air and getting the blood flowing will help stimulate your metabolism so you can fight off any sickness.
6. Cut out ALL processed foods and pop
If you’re fully committed and dead serious about your health, to get your dream body and staying lean, this should be an everyday rule for you anyway (except maybe for cheat meals)…
If you are trying to stave off an illness, flu or cold, filling your body with these types of foods(processed foods, inflammatory omega-6 oils (soybean oil, corn oil, etc), fried foods, high fructose corn syrup, refined sugars, and chemical additives) is a no-no.
These specific foods make your body and digestion system work extra hard to process all of this junk food and wreaks havoc on the internal workings of your stomach.
Rather, this is a time that you need to give your body only wholesome, all natural unprocessed foods that are made up of only 1 ingredient…fruits, berries, veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meats, etc.
They will go a LONG way protect you against sickness that is trying to bring you down.