Looking for ways to naturally boost your immune system and hopefully avoid colds, flu and stomach bugs? You’re in the right place.
I’ve always been a bit of a germaphobe and now that I’m a mom, I’ve been finding myself regularly on the lookout for simple ways to naturally boost my immune system. I don’t want to be passing on any nasty respiratory illnesses to my little man!
We all know the obvious tips like regularly washing our hands and sneezing into our arm, but here are some other simple ways to naturally boost your immune system and help to avoid getting sick.
10 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Immune System
1) Take Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup is my secret weapon for helping to prevent and combat colds and flu. I swear by this stuff, and unlike many other natural remedies, the efficacy and safety of elderberry syrup at treating influenza A & B has been studied in clinical trials.
Some people make elderberry syrup at home, but I only use the Sambucol brand.
Why do I only use Sambucol elderberry syrup? Two reasons.
#1. Sambucol was the brand used in the clinical trials I mentioned above
#2 Raw elderberries are poisonous so it’s important to purchase elderberry syrup that has been prepared properly.
2) Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables
We all know that fruits and vegetables are essential for maintaining our health, but they also help to boost our immune system. Fruits and vegetables that are brightly colored usually contain the highest amounts of immunity-building antioxidants – think berries, sweet potatoes, kiwi fruit, kale, grapefruit and carrots.
3) Eat more garlic
My Great-Nanna lived to be almost 100 years old, and she swore that part of the reason for her health and longevity was that she ate a clove of raw garlic every day. Regardless of whether or not the garlic really was the reason for her long, healthy life, garlic does have properties that will boost your immune system and help you fight off colds and flu.
4) Get plenty of sleep
Research has shown that sleep deprivation increases the risk of things like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, but it also has detrimental effects on your immune system which makes you more susceptible to illness. Make sure you get in between 7.5 – 9 hours of good-quality sleep every night. I like the UP2 for tracking the hours and quality of your sleep.
5) Lower your stress levels
High stress levels can have catastrophic effects on your health and can lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to respiratory illnesses. Try taking a brisk walk outdoors, exercising, or taking a few minutes to meditate to help lower your stress levels.
6) Use oregano oil
Oregano oil has antibacterial, antioxidant and antiviral properties, which are just the things you need to help fight off colds and flu. I find the best way to use oregano oil is to add a few drops to a bowl of hot water, drape a towel over your head, then put your face over the bowl and inhale the steam. You can buy oregano oil here.
7) Make a honey and lemon drink
As a kid, I remember my Mum making me drink “the honey and lemon drink” whenever I complained of a sore throat. (Confession – sometimes I pretended to have a sore throat just so she would make me the drink – haha!)
Besides tasting delicious, the honey and lemon drink can ease the symptoms of a cold. You can also add some ginger and turmeric in there for extra antioxidant properties. To make the honey and a lemon drink, just stir some fresh lemon juice and a few tablespoons of honey into hot water.
8) Drink tea
Herbal tea can help to ease the symptoms of colds and flu, and they have the added bonus of helping you relax and destress. Peppermint, Ginger, and Cinnamon tea all have cold and flu-fighting properties.
9) Spend time in the sun
Studies have shown that vitamin D reduces the risk of colds and flu, and has natural antibiotic properties. However, many adults are lacking in this essential vitamin. The best way to get a dose of vitamin D? Sunshine! Spend some time outdoors in the sun and soak up the vitamin D goodness.
10) Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for building a healthy immune system – studies have shown that overweight people are often more susceptible to illness.
Don’t worry, I get how difficult it can be to find the time to squeeze in a workout. I love going for walks outdoors, but in the winter that’s not always possible.
My favorite workout DVD is Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. In just 30 minutes you’ll get an awesome workout and drop some pounds in the process. You can buy a copy of 30 Day Shred here for just a few dollars.
So there you have it – 10 easy ways to naturally boost your immune system. While it’s probably impossible to avoid ever getting a cold or flu, these tips will help keep you healthy this winter.
Do you have any other natural ways to boost your immune system?