11 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Immune System
Having a healthy immune system is a key factor in living a healthy life.
We all know that and I don’t think we take a healthy immune system for granted (especially after the past few years).
But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we can do to help make our immune system better equipped to handle the presence of dangerous pathogens that could lead to sickness and disease.
Ever since the scourge of COVID hit us, we’ve been battling to keep people as healthy as possible.
A healthy immune system, as well as a reduction in the number of comorbidities a person has, were key factors in surviving COVID.
I believe that the lessons we learned from the pandemic are ones we can apply now to help ensure that more and more Americans maintain great health, regardless of what comes down the pike.
This is why I’m going to give you simple and practical tips to help support a healthy immune system this season.
Without further ado:
11 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Immune System
In some cases, building a bulletproof immune system means giving your immune system additional tools it can use to help ward off infections.
In other instances, what you don’t put in your body can also give your immune system a better chance of keeping bad bugs at bay.
In this article, I’ll be covering a sampling of both techniques.
Starting with tip #1
1 - Reduce Alcohol Intake:
Alcohol is widely enjoyed by most Americans, and enjoyed with some regularity.
I think it’s safe to say that if people drank less, they’d be sick less too.
The reason why is that alcohol can have a negative effect on your immune system.
One thing alcohol does is impair gut function, and the gut is the incubator for many of your body’s immune cells. Alcohol can also add stress to your body and the additional stress can impair your body’s ability to fight off bacterial or viral infections.
2 - Stop Being Sedentary:
One of the key factors in being able to resist invasive pathogens is having a body that is well-equipped to fight infections.
The more fit you are, the more efficiently your body can mount appropriate immune responses to infection.
In 2018 the journal, Aging Cell, showed that people who were ages 55-79 had better immune function when they worked out than when they didn’t. The older your get, the better it is for you to work out was their conclusion.
But, no matter what age you are, exercise helps keep you strong and healthy.
3 - Use Essential Oils:
There are all kinds of essential oils, and many of them have amazing properties.
When it comes to immune health, 2 oils have an amazing reputation for knocking out colds and keeping your immune system nice and healthy.
Oregano oil and myrrh have been shown in quite a few studies to exhibit antiviral and antibacterial properties. When used topically, or in extremely diluted solutions, these can be great at helping to keep illness away.
4 - Stress Less:
I’m an advocate of figuring out ways to better manage stress. Yes, stress is natural (and even beneficial) but if you stress too much it can be debilitating to the immune system.
Plenty of studies show if you are chronically stressed it will lead to the suppression of protective immune responses and may even exacerbate pathological immune responses.
See my article on reducing stress to see how you can combat over-stressing
5 - Boost Vitamin D3 Intake:
I’ve written more about vitamin D3 than just about anything, and for a good reason, it’s one of the most significant nutrients for immune health.
I could write a paper 400 pages long on how good it is for you, suffice it to say most people don’t get enough of it in their diet or through sun exposure, which is why taking 5,000 i.u.s or more (along with vitamin k2) is a recipe for a healthy immune system.
Check out this article if you want to see more in-depth research on how D-3 affects immune health
6 - Boost vitamin K2 Intake, Too
The trend of taking vitamins for immune health will be established in this article, but my goal isn’t to list them all. Instead I’ll name the ones you may not be getting in adequate supply.
While vitamin K2 + vitamin D3 are great for bone health, and heart health, they also work together to benefit your immune system.
7 - Drink Green Tea:
Believe it or not, tea may unlock a healthy immune system.
There are studies that show the antioxidants in green tea may have positive immunomodulatory properties. Why?
Well, apparently it works as both an antifungal and an antiviral and this could help people who have compromised immune systems resist sickness, longer.
One caveat here is to drink high-quality and organic green tea to get maximum benefit.
8 - Drink Bone Broth:
Your gut is the locus of control when it comes to immune health, and bone broth is like a gut-building superfood.
Dr. Axe writes:|
“Bone broth supports immune function by promoting the health of your gut and reducing inflammation caused by leaky gut syndrome. The collagen and amino acids (proline, glutamine and arginine) found in bone broth help seal openings in the gut lining and support its integrity.
We know that gut health plays a major role in immune function, so consuming bone broth works as an excellent immune system booster food.”
9 - Use Elderberry Extract
Elderberry is an underutilized immune supporter, though in recent years it has started to make headway as something we can rely on to help enhance how our bodies respond to pathogens
In a study from the Journal of International Medical Research, researchers were able to show that if a sick person used elderberry within 48 hours of first feeling sick they spent a lower amount of time being sick than when compared to those taking a placebo.
In fact, it reduced the duration of sickness by about 4 days.
The study also showed that taking elderberry minimized the need for “rescue medication” when compared to the placebo group.
10 - Adapt Astragalus
Another herb to use is astragalus.
Used for centuries in Chinese medicine, this plant can also be thought of as “medicine.”
Again, Dr. Axe writes:
”A recent review published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine found that astragalus-based treatments have demonstrated significant improvement of the toxicity induced by drugs, such as immunosuppressants and cancer chemotherapeutics. Researchers concluded that astragalus extract has a beneficial effect on the immune system, and it protects the body from gastrointestinal inflammation and cancers.”
11 - Eat Well
And the last thing you can do is fuel your body with high-quality, non-inflammatory foods.
As they say, “garbage in, garbage out”
This is why if you fill your body with low-quality food you should expect your immune system to suffer the consequences.
I’ve written extensively about what good food is, and why you should eat it, so consider that if you want to remain well and have a healthy immune system then prioritizing healthy foods is a must.