Written by Donna Maurer.
Many of us are making the switch to alternative techniques and natural remedies to take charge of our overall health. Taking a proactive approach to better health is always a good idea, and when it comes to keeping sickness at bay, strengthening your immune system is a great place to start. We’ve all heard that eating a healthy diet is important, but which nutrients should you focus on? And what else can you do to support your immune health? Let’s take a look at six techniques you can use to boost immunity for yourself and your family!
IV Nutrition and Hydration Therapy
Personalized IV therapy has become incredibly popular recently because people are beginning to realize how important vitamins and trace nutrients are for a healthy immune system. Vitamin IV drips provide an instant infusion of key vitamins and other nutrients that support your body’s ability to heal itself and fight off sickness. An IV drip that includes B-complex vitamins, amino acids, Vitamin C, zinc, lysine, and trace minerals is fantastic for boosting the immune system and for bouncing back after you’ve been sick.
Most patients also notice an immediate boost of energy and improved mental focus after just one session. IV therapy can be utilized to overcome sickness, or you can have the treatments regularly to keep your immune system strong and maintain overall health.
Acupuncture is widely recognized for its ability to regulate and stimulate the immune system. Studies show that receiving acupuncture regularly increases the number of T cells and white blood cells in your body. These are the cells that destroy invading viruses, infections, and bacteria.
When an acupuncture needle is inserted, the brain is tricked into thinking an invader has entered the body. This signals the release of additional T cells and white cells to fight off the invader, so the boost to your immune system is virtually instant. Not only that, but this response continues for several days after treatment, so receiving regular sessions could prevent you from ever getting sick in the first place.
Exercise stimulates the body’s immune response by raising your heart rate. When your heart rate goes up for an extended time, such as during a 30-minute workout, your body senses the stress and releases powerful white blood cells and T cells to support the body’s systems. These cells circulate at a high rate during exercise because your body is pumping blood faster. They detect and destroy pathogens as they move through the body.
This kickstart to the immune system lasts for about three hours after you exercise, so exercising regularly can help you ward off illness and possibly reduce the severity of your symptoms if you do get sick. Just be careful not to overdo it because too much strenuous exercise can take a toll on the body. Fitmo’s coaches can help you create a personalized fitness routine to match your goals and fitness level.
Many herbs have been used for centuries to boost the immune system. Depending on which herbs you take, they can reduce inflammation, lower your stress response, support the healthy bacteria in your gut, and much more. Here are five of the most popular herbs used for immune support.
- Astragalus: Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body manage daily stress, which is crucial for a healthy immune system. It also supports the liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands which all play key roles in detoxifying the body and fighting off sickness.
- Black Elderberry: Black elderberry not only supports the immune system but also provides crucial antioxidants to support cellular health.
- Echinacea: Echinacea is one of the most well-known herbs for supporting the immune system. You can take it daily to keep the immune system strong or take it during sickness to reduce the severity of the symptoms.
- Olive Leaf: Olive leaf supports a healthy immune system and provides antioxidants that are good cardiovascular health.
- Oregano: Oregano supports healthy bacteria in your gut, which is essential for immune health. It’s also a natural source of antioxidants, so be sure to include it in your cooking whenever you can.
The immune-boosting properties of yoga are often overlooked, but we can all benefit from adding a regular yoga practice to our wellness routines. Yoga is amazing for relieving stress, improving mobility and flexibility, and building strength. It supports overall wellness in the body and mind, but that’s not all!
According to the International Journal of Yoga, it also helps to keep your cells healthy when you’re stressed. It also reduces inflammation throughout the body, which supports the body’s ability to defend itself against illness. Specific poses are especially helpful for the immune system, whether you’re recovering from illness or focusing on prevention.
Optimize Your Diet
Eating a healthy diet is crucial for a strong immune system, but certain foods are even more beneficial than others. Here are the foods you should prioritize to keep your immune system functioning at its best.
- Protein: Protein is essential for healthy T cells, so ensure that you’re getting plenty of high-quality, lean protein every single day. Protein-rich foods also contain zinc, which is a crucial mineral for producing white blood cells, which fight infections. The best sources of protein in a healthy diet are legumes, nuts, eggs, lean meat, and poultry.
- Prebiotic foods: Prebiotics feed the healthy bacteria in your gut, which are crucial for a healthy immune system. They’re found in foods like asparagus, bananas, onions, and garlic.
- Probiotic foods: When you eat probiotic foods, you’re actually introducing essential healthy bacteria to your gut. Probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. Try to include them in your diet every single day to optimize immune function.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that are crucial for immune function. For best results, eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and leafy greens every single day.
If you’re ready to take a proactive role in your overall health, you can’t go wrong with these healthy lifestyle techniques. By incorporating them into your wellness routine, you’ll keep your immune system functioning at its best and feel healthier and stronger overall. And, if you do get sick, you’ll be able to fight it off more quickly and get back to living your life, which is something we can all appreciate!