9 Simple Ways You Can Achieve A Healthier Immune System

Little effort, big benefits

Oct 31, 2017
Young woman eating a healthy salad

(Shutterstock)

With the gorgeous changing leaves and the cooler weather comes cold and flu season. While you can’t always prevent using a sick day, there are plenty of things you can do on a regular basis to achieve a healthier immune system. Some of them you may already do as part of several healthy habits! Check out these 9 easy methods for a healthier season.

1. EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Fruits and vegetables are a staple in any healthy person’s diet, especially ones that are packed full of vitamin C, E, and E. Go for foods like leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and carrots for a serving of vitamin C, which keeps your immune system up and running. Citrus fruits that have vitamin C allows your body to better digest iron, and vitamin E (nuts, turnip greens) can prevent respiratory infections.

2. LAUGH

Sharing a joke with a friend is as good for your emotional health as it is your physical health. Laughter stimulates white blood cells in your body (which helps to fight off infections and diseases) and also reduces your stress levels. Spend some quality time with a good friend, or watch a comedy to help keep your body strong.

3. EAT GARLIC

Garlic has antimicrobial agents, is a natural immune booster, and can help keep cholesterol levels down. Cook up some garlic to activate it’s nutrients and add it to dish right before serving. Garlic can also prevent colds, so if you’re feeling under the weather, begin adding a serving of garlic to your meals.

4. KEEP YOUR STRESS LEVELS DOWN

Managing your stress isn’t just better for your mental health. It also keeps your immune system working properly. When you’re stressed out, you’re more susceptible to illness. Read a good book. Workout. See your friends. Find ways to carve out some relaxing downtime to destress. Your body will thank you.

5. GET YOUR FLUIDS IN

Drink body-healthy fluids such as water or tea. Green tea has antioxidants that help combat diseases and make you more immune to colds. Hot teas can soothe sore throats and the steam can help with congestion.

6. GET YOUR FILL OF PROTEIN

Getting your protein in for each meal will help your body fight off bacteria, germs, and viruses. Foods such as lean beef, soy, beans, and seafood have immune-boosting nutrients and help the body create more white blood cells. Following a vegan diet? You can also get those same benefits from almonds or cashews.

7. GO OUTSIDE IN THE SUNSHINE

Sunlight is great for warming up your skin. It also increases the body’s ability to produce vitamin D. Even spending 10-15 minutes outside in the sunshine has shown to fight off respiratory infections. Just be sure to increase the amount of exposure in the winter when the sun isn’t as strong.

8. WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN

Washing your hands with soap and water is a great way to prevent yourself from getting sick. Make sure you’re washing up regularly and using plenty of soap. While it may seem like common sense, we come into contact with millions of germs a day, so the more you wash up, the less you’re susceptible to catching something.

9. GIVE PROBIOTICS A TRY

Probiotics’ active cultures and healthy bacterias help your gut fight off infections and inflammation. You can either take a daily probiotic supplement, or eat fermented foods like kombucha and kimchi for a boost in overall health.

REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.

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