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7 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

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You got your flu shot this year and you do your best to steer clear of anyone who’s obviously got the latest bug that’s going around, but is that enough? With so many viruses and bacteria floating around, avoiding all of them is an impossible task, but keeping your immune system in tip-top shape isn’t. Making sure your immune system is running at optimum levels isn’t as difficult as you might think, either. Keep reading to learn seven easy and natural ways you can boost your immune system!

7. Drink Plenty of Water

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Immune system cells need moisture to work optimally, and the cold, dry winter months can be especially bad for maintaining the moisture levels your body needs to stay healthy. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your immune system working properly, and people who are well-hydrated are significantly less likely to come down with a cold or flu. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day, and increase as needed to compensate for extra dry weather, intense workouts or other factors that may deplete your body of hydration.

6. Get Enough Sleep

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When you’re asleep, your body is hard at work repairing cells and any wear-and-tear you’ve suffered throughout the day, so you wake up healthy and ready to face another day. If you deprive yourself of much-needed sleep, your body can’t do its job and your immune system is one of the first things compromised. Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night means your body will be well-rested, repaired and equipped to fight off any infections that might come your way.

5. Exercise More Often

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All that exercise isn’t just good for your heart and your waistline – your immune system benefits, as well. Working out regularly has been shown to increase a certain type of white blood cell in the blood stream, and those white blood cells are what fight off viruses in the body. Aim for at least one hour of exercise per day, but don’t feel like you need to knock out that hour all in one workout. Get up and move around the office or go for a walk at lunch. As long as your daily exercise adds up to an hour or more, there’s no rule that says you have to spend a full hour on the treadmill every day.

4. Increase Zinc Intake

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While eating a consistently healthy diet is always a good idea, making sure you get the right nutrients during cold and flu season becomes even more important. Zinc has gained a lot of traction in recent years as a great way to ward off viruses, and with good reason. Zinc has been shown to interrupt a virus’s ability to access cells in the body, so fighting off the cold or flu is easier. There are zinc supplements available, but your best bet is to include zinc-rich foods in your already-healthy diet. Oysters, liver, lamb and peanuts are all great sources of zinc!

Kenneth spent several years as a chef before embarking on his writing career, and he hasn't looked back since. Find Kenneth on LinkedIn!

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