With scary viruses like Coronavirus going around it is so important, now more than ever, that you are keeping your immune system in tip top shape! Keeping your immune system strong isn’t just for cold & flu season anymore but rather something you need to daily. What is your immune system? This is your body’s defense against invaders trying to keep out harmful microorganisms and protect you from diseases. Do you catch every little bug that comes around? If so, then it is time to make your immune system stronger. Maybe you never get sick? If that is the case you still want to keep your immune system strong, stimulated, and ready to fight off invaders since it is not being activated.
We all know to wash our hands, wipe the cart, disinfect, etc. As a mom of 3 kids, I am constantly reminding them to wash hands and cough into their elbow. But those are just the first line of defense for harmful germs. Did you know that 70 – 80% of the cells for your entire immune system are located in your gut? Yes! This is just one more reason why it is important to eat healthy and to feed your gut flora food that keeps it strong! So what can you do to boost your immune system and keep it strong?
My Top 9 Immune Boosters
Drink plenty of water
Most people do not drink enough water and are dehydrated. Coffee, tea, and juice do not count. Drinking adequate amounts of water ensures your body is continually flushing out toxins. Every cell and mechanism in your body needs water to fully function so drink up!
There are tons of benefits of exercising but for today we are focusing on boosting your immunity. Exercising boosts your immune system by strengthening your white blood cells, which are your cells for fighting diseases. It keeps your body stimulated and ready to fight off foreign invaders. How so? After you exercise, your inflammation levels temporarily go up to repair muscles and that stimulation keeps your immune system strong. Now if you go and over-exercise that will do more harm than good. Let’s not forget that exercising makes you sweat which helps flush out bacteria.
Eat well balanced meals
Eating plenty of veggies, healthy fats, clean protein, and fiber is key to great health. You will hear me say this over and over. For your white blood cells (immune system) to thrive and be strong you want to make sure you are getting all of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and healthy fats that come from eating well balanced meals. You weaken your immune system and raise your inflammation levels in your body when eating tons of sugars, bad fats, processed foods, dyes, and carb-laden foods. When your inflammation levels get high your immune system can turn on you and attack itself! I think I would rather keep my immune system strong so that it can attack foreign invaders and not its own tissues! What about you?
Cultured foods & probiotics
Back to your gut again. How do you keep your gut flora (aka good microbes) happy and strong? Maintain a stronger and more diverse gut microbiome by taking a high quality probiotic and eating cultured foods. There are so many benefits to this but as you will find a happy belly equals a happier stronger you! My favorite go to’s are unsweetened plain sheep/goat yogurt topped with berries, fresh cultured sauerkraut, cultured pickles, and The Coconut Cults cultured yogurt. Cultured foods have live cultures and therefore will be sold in the cold section of your grocery/health food store. If you haven’t acquired your taste yet to the tang of cultured foods then make sure you are taking a high quality probiotic. You want to look for one that has many different strains and you want to take around 30 billion.
Warm lemon water in AM
I drink 12oz of warm lemon water with 2T of ACV (apple cider vinegar) every morning right after I drink 12 oz of plain water. This stimulates your gut to help clean you out, keeps your gut flora in check, the ACV is antiviral/antimicrobial and kills harmful yeast, the lemon helps keep you alkaline and gives you an extra shot of Vit C which boost your immune system. I call this my morning elixir because it helps with so much! This is an acquired taste so start with 2 teaspoons of ACV and work your way up.
Oregano oil is not only an immune booster but it helps ward off bacteria, viruses, funguses, and harmful microbes. Oregano oil is also great for gut health. I take this one here when I am feeling blah before I go to bed and 2 (1 am/1 pm) if I am sick. If you do get sick then oregano oil definitely shortens the duration.
This vitamin really doesn’t get all the hype it should. Vit C. not only stimulates your immune system to keep it strong but it is a powerful antioxidant. Our bodies do not produce it so you must obtain it from the diet (another reason to eat clean & healthy!) and/or supplement with it. I take this one here. Vit C. has the potential to prevent and treat common colds and the flu. Your body uses it within 2 hours and it is out of your body within 4 hours so it is important to take it in intervals, especially when you are sick, to get maximum benefits. I take around 3000mg daily but if I am sick then I take an extra 2 – 3000mg. Foods that contain Vit. C besides your citrus fruits are red/green peppers, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, parsley, Brussels sprouts, dark leafy greens, and cabbage.
More and more people are becoming aware of this micromineral. Zinc deficiency is pretty common and many of you are not getting enough of this powerful micromineral. Zinc is needed in more than 100 enzymes and is involved in more body functions than any other mineral. Zinc boosts your immune system by helping to regulate the function of the white blood cells. Zinc also helps with collagen formation and improves wound healing. This powerful micromineral is also known for reducing the incidence and severity of colds and other infections. As with other minerals our bodies do not produce them so you must get them from food and/or supplementation. Most animal foods contain high amounts of zinc especially oysters, red meats, liver, and egg yolks. You can also supplement zinc by taking 15 – 30mg daily.
You have heard it before but I cannot stress enough the importance of a good night’s sleep. You need an average of 7-8 hours of restful sleep. Getting adequate sleep keeps your immune system strong. When you are sleeping your body is able to heal and repair itself which also helps to keep your inflammation levels low.
You now have my top 9 tips on how to boost your immunity and keep it strong! I personally do all of these things daily and when I travel to help keep me well. If you do not have oregano oil and Vit. C on hand then those are definitely supplements you want in your arsenal! I do not travel without those!