Ways to Raise your Immunity
Adopt healthy-living strategies
Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy.
Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:
- No smoking
- Diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat
- Regular exercise
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Controlling your blood pressure
- Drink alcohol only in moderation
- Get adequate sleep
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
- Eat raw garlic or take Kyolic aged garlic extract.
- Get enough Vitamin C, as it is an extremely important nutrient for boosting immunity. Include plenty of foods high in vitamin C in the diet, including fresh fruits and vegies, especially citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, strawberries, broccoli, cabbage and parsley. A vitamin C supplement is also recommended to ward off colds and flu, take around 2-3 g a day.
- Zinc is another important mineral needed for healthy immune function. Zinc is found in foods such as red meat, chicken, fish, dairy foods, eggs, legumes and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Taking a zinc supplement is also beneficial, around 45mg a day.
- Spirulina is a type of sea algae that is considered a superfood due to its extraordinary health-promoting elements. Spirulina can stimulate immune function; it’s anti-cancerous and rich in nutrients such as iron and selenium which act as powerful antioxidants in the body. Spirulina can be taken in capsule or tablet form (around 5g day, or add a teaspoon of powder to smoothies or juice).
- More great immune-boosting foods that should be included in your diet include miso, ginger, garlic, onion, yoghurt, green tea and seaweed.
- There are some key herbs that naturopaths and herbalists commonly use to strengthen the immune system and offer protection against colds and flu, including astragalus, andrographis, Echinacea and olive leaf.
- Having a well-balanced diet will supply you with all the essential nutrients your body needs for a healthy immune system such as zinc, vitamin A and C, selenium and iron.
- Minimise your use of antibiotics and medications, where possible. Always consult a doctor before doing so.
- Minimise environmental issues—Air pollution, water pollution, and heavy metal exposure all work to compromise the effectiveness of your immune system. You need to filter your water, clean up the air in your house, and remove heavy metals form your body on a regular basis to keep your immune system optimized.
- Avoid Sugar—research shows that white blood cells have a decreased ability to engulf bacteria when exposed to high levels of sugar, thus suppressing your immune system and your ability to fight infection. Do not use any artificial sweeteners.
- Reduce alcohol—alcohol abuse is associated with immune deficiencies and an increased incidence of infectious diseases.
- Eat healthy fats— Omega 3’s & 6’s help the immune system recognize what is self/non-self—key for controlling cancer, and they are needed by the immune system to manufacture prostaglandins, which kill germs and invaders. And be sure to keep your consumption of Omega 3’s and 6’s in balance.
- Eliminate toxic food from your diet—as much as possible, avoid unnatural substances frequently found in commercial food that impact your health such as pesticides, insecticides, genetically modified foods, irradiated foods, food additives, artificial colours and flavours, preservatives, etc. There are over 3000 different chemicals added to our food, and nobody knows the effects of the various additives when used together in the thousands of combinations inside our bodies over time.
- Raise you pH—as much as possible; eat foods (primarily vegetables and some fruit) that raise your body’s pH. Beneficial supplements include the minerals calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Avoid excesses of meat, dairy, sugars, and cooked grain—all of which make your body more acidic.
Natural remedies for a healthy body and immune system
How to cleanse your gut
Oregano oil can help you improve your gut health and boost your immune system. It acts kind of like a weed killer by helping to eliminate some of bad bacteria that may be dominating your digestive system.
When using oregano oil to cleanse your gut, spread out your doses and take 200 mg 3 times a day.
Relieve Your Liver
Your liver needs support to make sure it’s able to detoxify as much as it can and provide a good environment for immune cells that live there.
Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, lettuce and cabbage support your liver and immune function by boosting the liver’s ability to flush out toxins.
Attend to Your Adrenals
Adding avocados to your diet is an easy way to support adrenal function and health and keep your immune system happy. Avocados contain essential amino acids, antioxidants and some healthy fats to help balance hormone production.
To attend to your adrenals, try having 1 serving (1/2 cup) per day!
Clear your lungs
Ginger warms the body and helps to break down the accumulation of toxins in the organs, particularly in the lungs and sinuses. Ayurveda also believes that ginger helps to cleanse the lymphatic system, which is our body’s sewage system. By helping keep your airways and lymphatics open, ginger may help prevent the accumulation of the toxins that may increase your risk of infection.
Improve Your Vision
A fantastic supplement for promoting healthy vision, black currants contain compound anthocyanosides, which may be helpful for promoting night vision. They are also rich in vitamin C – they contain 5 times the amount in an orange – making them a powerful immunity booster!
Ease a Cough
Sage extract works as an expectorant, which helps your body move mucus out of your respiratory tract and helps to calm your cough. As a good alternative to an over-the-counter expectorant, try a drop of sage extract in tea or hot water.
As a natural immunity booster, graviola has been traditionally used to kill parasites, improve liver problems, reduce fevers, and help treat colds and the flu. Scientists have studied graviola since the 1940s and most research has been centred on annonaceous acetogenins, a group of natural compounds that appear to have some anti-tumour properties – meaning they may help fight various types of cancer cells and thus help boost immune function.