Gross. It’s flu season. Why is this nasty little virus out to ruin our lives? To make things worse, the sneaky little sucker keeps changing on us every year, finding new ways to get around our vaccines and medicines. That’s why is more important than ever to find natural ways to boost your immune system, so you have the best chance at avoiding the flu. Keep reading to learn more!
How Your Immune System Works
To really be at its strongest, your immune system needs to be balanced so that all the key players are working together in tandem to seek and destroy any nasty germ invaders. It’s made of a complex network of cells and organs to make and release white blood cells that identify, attack, and destroy disease. Some of the key players in the immune system include:
- Lymph Nodes
- Blood Vessels
- Bone Marrow
How to Support Your Immune System
There are several ways to naturally give your immune system a leg up in the flu fight. In turn, poor health choices (such as smoking and excessive drinking) will have the opposite effect. So what are the things you can do now, to protect yourself? Here are the four most important:
Focus on Your Food: What you eat everyday can have a major impact on your immune system and your health as a whole. Most of the immune supportive power comes from fresh fruits and vegetables you get from your diet, but some root spices and teas can be major MVPs. Supplements help too, so if you can’t enough of certain nutrients from your food, definitely make up for it with vitamins. Here is a list of the key immune fighting foods you need to take a special interest in:
- Citrus Fruits (Vitamin C)
- Broccoli and Spinach (Vitamins A, C and E)
- Turmeric and Garlic (Anti-Inflammatory)
- Green Tea (Antioxidant)
- Yogurt (Probiotics)
Sleep and Reduce Stress: The more run-down your body gets, the more likely germs will be able to break through your body’s defense system and achieve their sole goal of making you feel miserable. Medical professionals recommend that you get at 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night in order to give your body a chance to completely rest and refuel. High levels of the stress hormones can also cause problems for your immune system, so practice stress relieving tactics such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises to keep your levels under control.
Keep it Clean: Good hygiene can go a long way in the effort to support your immune system. Regularly washing your hands anytime you come into contact with the public is your first and best defense against catching lurking cold and flu viruses. While you’re at it, take the time to clean your stuff too. Wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters, clean around your desk at work, and don’t forget to wipe down any door knobs that you come into contact with. Keeping sanitary wipes in your purse or pocket can really come in handy this time of year.
Get Moving: Regular exercise does many different things to help boost your immune system. Increasing your heart rate through cardio exercise helps to get your blood circulating more efficiently, which allows cells generated by your immune system to move throughout the body easily. Exercise also helps lower blood pressure, which can keep your stress levels low, and helps with heart health and normal body weight – all contributors to good health and in turn a powerful immune system.
So, this flu season, don’t just lie there and take it. Get prepared and fight back with a powerful immune system!