5 ways to boost your immunity
5 ways to boost your immunity
We could all agree that being sick sucks, right? Even something like the common cold can spoil the mood, leaving us housebound. What sparked this blog post was that October is here, the weather is changing & everyone if getting sick! knock on wood.
Well, here’s the good news.
Just incorporate some good habits (and ditch the bad ones) and they will probably help you ward off the majority of common health issues. Although it's hard when you are parent or a student.. These are 5 ways you can help boost your immunity or at least push you in the right direction.
Please note I am not a medical professional, this is 100% research based over the years & factual.
1. Lead a Healthy Lifestyle—The Cornerstone of a Strong Immunity
Before going into details, take a holistic approach and make sure you build the strong foundation by developing these good habits:
Sleep well: probably the most important health and wellness feature that many ignore. It means you should go to bed on time (before midnight) and get 7-8 hours of sleep; add a power nap during the day if you feel tired. This is so so important. Especially for parents. Make a nap your priority. Just nap for 15-30 mins! Any longer you will wake up feeling groggy.
Move: you already know all the amazing benefits of exercise, right? So, make sure you don’t skip on it. Here’s the additional benefit: physical activity moves your lymphatic system, draining all the ‘bad stuff’ from your body. Even fast paced walking if you're not a runner just get that heart pumping.
Avoid prolonged stress: stress hormone called cortisol can suppress your immune system and increase your risk of infections. No one likes stress. My husband always says "What does stressing help?" He's right!
Get rid of addictions like smoking and drinking: enough said.
Wash your hands: well and regularly, such as before eating and after the bathroom. It’s probably the one of the easiest habits to cultivate that will decrease your chances of contracting certain “bugs.”
Stay hydrated: for optimal results, drink about 8 glasses (64oz) of clean water every day. If you drink tap water, make sure to use a high-quality water filter. You can also eat a lot of water, if you include certain veggies and fruits like cucumber and watermelon. I personally love to hang my water in a tumbler. It for some reason keeps me drinking water & hitting my daily goal.
2. Strengthen Your Immunity with a Healthy Diet
You may consider nutrition a part of lifestyle habits, but it definitely deserves a separate spot on this list. The food you eat impacts your immunity and affects your health and wellbeing.
Great news: plenty of immunity-boosting foods are vegan-friendly. Replace junk food with whole-plant foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Fresh fruits and vegetables should help shield you from infections and diseases.
3. Consume Probiotics for Optimal Gut Health
Did you know that bacterial cells outnumber human cells in your body? I DID NOT.
The beneficial bacteria in our gut (also called the gut microbiota) work 24/7 as conductors, keeping our immune system on guard. I personally take probiotic supplement daily because it has helped with multiple health concerns I had in 2014.
Vegan food sources of probiotics include:
Water (or coconut) kefir
Sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented vegetables
Soy and coconut yogurt
If you don’t consume probiotic foods and drinks on a daily basis, consider taking a good-quality probiotic supplement to support your gut health.
4. Get Enough Vitamin D
Adequate levels of vitamin D in your body can prevent everything from flu to cancer. Who would want to lack a nutrient so vital for the immune system (and much more)
Sunlight and Vitamin D
Our main source of vitamin D is sun exposure. Depending on your skin type and location, 15-30 mins in the summer sun will provide you with a daily dose of ‘sunshine vitamin’. Plant foods don’t contain vitamin D, but you can supplement it during the longer periods without sun exposure.
Vegan-friendly vitamin D supplements include vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) in different forms and UV-treated mushrooms.
5. Consume immunity-boosting herbs and spices
Herbs can be a great ally in building a rock-solid health. One of the best way to enjoy many herbs AND stay hydrated is to consume herbal teas.
The list of herbs with medicinal properties is endless; I handpicked the following ones with well-documented positive effects on the immune system:
Freshly Cracked Pepper.
Hopefully, this post will help (and motivate) you to incorporate some simple wellness habits into day-to-day living. I absolutely love dousing my avo toast in freshly cracked pepper and we cook so so much garlic in our breakfasts & dinners. I like to consume turmeric either in my tofu scramble or lattes. I love love love golden milk lattes!
Just like everything else worthwhile, wellness requires some effort and devotion. Good habits can assist your body’s defence mechanisms and elevate your wellbeing. I need to work on getting more sleep!
What are your thoughts on this? Would you like to share some of your favorite tips for stronger immunity?