It’s flu season, and even if you don’t fall ill like Piers Morgan after publicly receiving a flu shot from Dr. Oz, you still run the risk of getting sick. Particularly in the colder months, when we are sitting inside more often, our houses are closed up, and we stay in close quarters—it’s the perfect time for illness to thrive. But, when you take precautions to keep your immune system running on high, you can skip the tissues and even natural cold remedies, and coast through winter without a second thought. Here are 5 ways to supercharge and strengthen your immune system.
1. Strengthen Your Immune System - Eliminate Sugar
There are many ways to boost your immune system, but eliminating sugar is one of the first steps. Sugar puts a serious damper on your immune system, in addition to increasing your risk of disease. When the recommended daily sugar intake is 25 grams and a single bottle of Coke contains as much as 60 grams, we know the modern diet is way too immersed in the sweet stuff.
If you want to seriously boost your health and reduce your risk of numerous health issues like obesity and diabetes, seriously consider reducing sugar intake. Opt for a bit of honey or a natural sweetener like Stevia instead.
2. Herbal Teas
Many people get out herbal tea when they are already feeling ill. But many herbs can do wonders for boosting immune function before you’re hit with sickness. Try Echinacea, elderberry, peppermint tea, green tea, and even ginger throughout the day and before going to bed.
3. Green Smoothies and Juicing
Have a produce-packed smoothie once daily to up your overall intake of plant foods and provide a healthy dose of nutrients for your immune system. Include at least one leafy green vegetable (spinach, kale) and one good source of vitamin C (a little orange juice, pineapple, or lime). These aren’t only good for you, they are fun to make.
4. Expose Yourself
When your body is exposed to germs, it learns how to better fight them of and protect itself, ultimately boosting immunity. This is part of the problem with the overabundance of antibacterial soaps, gels, and lotions. Use plain soap and forgo antibacterial gels unless absolutely necessary. Breathe the same air as other people and don’t be afraid to touch a doorknob once in a while. Or, play in the dirt!
Related Read: How to Prevent a Cold
5. Eat Garlic
Garlic is an amazingly wonderful immune-boosting food that no one should ignore. The food has anti-cancer properties, fights inflammation, is great for detoxing, and possesses anti-infection, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Don’t just cook with garlic though—eat it raw if you can. Coating it in raw honey can help make the pungent root more palatable.
Do you know about all of these solutions to strengthen your immune system, but never actually partake in them?! In order to stay healthy, you have healthy habits. Tis the season for colds and flu, but you don’t have to be a statistic this year. Eat right, get active, and keep your immune system functioning as it should. If you do get sick, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and consume some immune-boosting foods. Lastly, here are 5 foods NOT to eat while sick or battling a cold.