With COVID-19 and social distancing practices still in place, it’s become SO important now more than ever to boost your immune system. As nonessential establishments start to reopen, it’s important that we all take the proper precautions. Regularly washing your hands, limiting cross-contamination and social distancing are key when it comes to fighting viruses – but making sure your immune system is in tiptop shape will give you a better edge in staying healthy. Here are 6 ways you can boost your immune system.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is a natural immune system booster. Deep sleep gives your body time to rejuvenate, so when you’re sleep-deprived your cortisol levels rise to keep you awake and alert. Which can suppress your immune system. I always try to aim for at least 7-9 hours of interrupted sleep every night!
Eat lots of fruits and veggies
The idea here is to “eat the rainbow,” meaning you’re eating a big variety of different colored fruits and veggies. This is how you get enough zinc, vitamin C and other important minerals, vitamins and antioxidants to boost your immune system. A good place to start is with citrus fruits, turmeric, spinach, green tea (or matcha!), red bell peppers, broccoli and almonds.
Daily movement of low to moderate intensity helps your body’s antibodies and white blood cells circulate faster, meaning they may be able to detect and zero in on any infections quickly. The key is to workout in moderation because overdoing it can stress out your body and have the opposite effect. I’ve incorporated low-impact workouts and walks into my daily routine to make sure I’m staying active!
Drink LOTS and LOTS of water! Staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate any toxins and bacterias that might get you sick. It also reduces the overall volume of blood and lymphatic fluids that are vital in a healthy immune system response. I like to keep a glass of water or a water bottle close by as a reminder to hydrate and for easy access!
Boost your gut health
The gut makes up more than 75% of the immune system. Since the balance of bacteria in our gut influences the balance of our immune system, an unbalanced flow can negatively affect our immune system. You’re probably always hearing about probiotics – but it really does promote a healthy digestive system by supporting the good bacteria in your gut! Besides taking probiotic supplements, eating foods with probiotics (like yogurt, ginger, onion, garlic and fermented foods) is another easy way to support your gut.
Stay on top of stress
There’s a strong link between your mental health and immune health. If you’re constantly feeling stressed or anxious, your body produces stress hormones that suppress your immune system (like when you don’t get enough sleep!). It’s almost next to impossible to avoid stress in your life – but adopting healthy strategies can make all the difference. Like exercising, journaling, meditating and limiting screen time!
How do you keep your immune system in check? I’d love to hear your tips!