It’s that time of year once again…Winter is fast approaching, and summer is a long distance in the future for now. Now is the time to look after yourself to boost your body’s natural defences and help prevent all those unwanted winter illnesses.
The immune system plays a vital role in your body as it protects from harmful substances, germs, bacteria, viruses, and toxins that can make you sick. If your immune system is in tip-top shape, the chances of you catching a cold or flu are very slim, or you might only experience mild symptoms if you do. However, sometimes no matter how healthy you are, you might still get sick.
So, how can you boost your immune system naturally for a healthier you from the inside out? Here are eight tips to get you going:
Add More Whole Plant Foods to Your Diet
Whole plant foods such as vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts, and legumes contain high nutrients and antioxidants. The antioxidants in this type of food can help combat free radicals formed in the body, and when at high levels, it can cause inflammation.
The fibre you get from eating these foods will also greatly benefit your gut health. If you have a healthy gut microbiome, you can improve your immunity. Other benefits of fruits and vegetables are that this type of food is usually high in nutrients such as vitamin C, which is believed to reduce the duration of the common cold.
We all know how important sleep is for the body. It helps the body to recover and grow. Having a good night's sleep is also linked to your immune system. Do you remember how many times you felt sick and all you wanted to do was sleep? Sleep helps the body to recover as well as strengthen natural immunity.
Adults should aim for seven or more hours of sleep each night, while children and teens require more hours of sleep. Poor quality sleep has been linked to higher chances of getting sick.
Take Probiotics or Eat More Fermented Foods
Probiotics and fermented foods are very beneficial for gut health as it provides the gut with good bacteria. High fermented foods such as kefir, yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi are known for their benefits to gut bacteria. Probiotics are another option, especially if you don’t like fermented foods.
There’s a link between fermented foods and probiotics to gut health and immunity, as these two systems are both interconnected. Research has shown that the thriving network of gut bacteria can help the immune system to distinguish between normal healthy cells and damaging invader organisms.
The Top 3 Recommended Probiotics
Limit Sugar Intake
I’m sure you know that too much sugar is not good for your health, as it can lead to obesity and your risk of getting sick. Reducing the amount of sugar can help decrease inflammation, and it can also help with weight loss.
Added sugar can also lead to other health issues affecting the immune system, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. When you lower your sugar intake, it may help to decrease inflammation in the body and other health risks.
3 Recommended Products to Help Sugar Metabolism:
Exercise and Stay Hydrated
Moderate exercise and hydration can’t protect you from germs and viruses. They are essential to overall health and wellbeing. Moderate exercise may help to reduce inflammation in the body as it boosts immune cells to regenerate regularly. While staying hydrated makes you less susceptible to illness. Drinking water is free of calories, sugar, and additives as well. You can check Verve's blog on how to Move More this month.
Eat More Healthy Fats
When you eat healthy fats, you can boost your body’s immune response to illness as it decreases inflammation. Healthy fats are those found in olive oil, salmon, and chia seeds as they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are highly anti-inflammatory.
The anti-inflammatory properties found in healthy fats will help the body fight off harmful viruses and bacteria. Chronic inflammation in the body can suppress the immune system.
Manage Stress Levels
We all know that stress can promote inflammation in the body and imbalances in the function of the immune cells. Relieving stress is the key to a healthy immune system functioning correctly. Activities such as yoga, exercise, meditation, and sports can help keep stress levels checked.
Many supplements are out on the market to support a stronger immune system. Some popular ones that many people know about include Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc and Echinacea.
They are known for their health benefits and for their ability to boost the immune system to prevent or minimise the effects of illness. They can also help you to recover quicker than usual.