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Ten ways to strengthen your immune system

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The best approach to good health is one that’s proactive.

That’s why it’s important we support the immune system, a complex structure dedicated to protecting us from harmful outside invaders and fighting off what we come down with. This intricate bodily system plays a significant role in overall health by protecting, supporting, and balancing our bodies every minute of the day.

In today’s world, it’s common to reach for an over-the-counter medicine every time a symptom strikes. While that’s not always necessarily a bad thing, there are plenty of options for supporting the immune system that will prevent us from having to reach for medications in the first place.

Need some ideas?

Here are ten ways to strengthen and support your immune system:

1. Hydrate

Drinking half your body weight in ounces of (ideally filtered) water daily is a good place to start when it comes to keeping your body flushed of invaders and toxins.

2. Rest

Good sleep at night is essential for immune system recovery and should be complemented with rest and downtime throughout the day as well.

3. Exercise/Movement

Exercise supports the movement of blood throughout the body, allowing elements of the immune system the ability to patrol the blood and surrounding tissues. This movement of blood, fluid, and these elements supports the flushing of impurities and infections from the body.

4. Healthy diet

Eliminating sugar in food and drinks should be high priority on the list of a healthy diet. Paired with plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, adequate protein, and healthy fats, the immune system can flourish with proper nutrients.

5. Reduce toxin exposure

Pesticides, lead, mold, and heavy metals can all be harmful to immunity. Eating organic produce and eliminating toxic hazards can help.

6. Support healthy bacteria

Our gut microbiome is essential to a healthy immune system. Including prebiotics and probiotics in your daily diet can make a big difference. Try fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut, as well as yogurt and kefir.

7. Manage stress

Although we can’t eliminate stress in our lives, we can learn to manage it in healthy ways. Self-expression (such as dancing, singing, painting, keeping a diary, etc.), adaptogenic herbs, and forest bathing can all work wonders in bringing about peace and calm so our immune systems can rest and restore.

8. Breath work

Did you know that your diaphragm is actually a pump for the lymphatic system, which pushes out waste? Deep breathing and breath work helps support the movement of immune cells to clean up messes where they are needed throughout the body. Aim for daily meditation or breathing exercises whenever possible.

9. Mood balance

A bad mood isn’t just upsetting for your spouse and children, but for your immune system, too.  Having strong connections with others, enjoying hobbies, processing emotions, and even taking medications (whether herbal or prescribed) when needed can all support a balanced mood.

10. Supplements

To complement the above recommendations, some supplements can be helpful in keeping immunity strong such as:

  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Elderberry
  • Lemon Balm
  • Garlic
  • Omega-3s
  • Multi-strain probiotics
  • Astragalus
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Mushrooms (such as reishi, chaga, turkey tail, etc.)

Speak with your doctor about which ones may work best for you, taking into consideration any chronic issues you have or medications you may be taking.

As you can see, there’s more to keeping sickness away than just taking a prescription.  A lifestyle full of healthy choices can prepare your immune system for any invaders and support it when it needs to act.

What can you do today to support the job it’s doing for you right now?