Though winter is almost behind us, germs are spreading year-round. Even if you spend your days locked in a school with children, you can avoid a springtime cold or a resurgence of the flu by preparing in advance. Shoring up your immune system is something you can do daily, through proper diet, plenty of sunshine, and a few valuable herbs and vitamins. I will provide 4 immune boosters below.
There is no doubt that when your body is healthy, it can fight off illness and infection. This is why people who take care of themselves are rarely out with the common cold. If symptoms do start to show, the issue can be handled quickly with natural remedies. For the most part, however, a healthy lifestyle will make for an automatic win against viruses and bacteria.
From regularly exercise, to eating organic food, there are many methods on how to strengthen your immune system. Here are 4 ways to supercharge immunity you can add to the list.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a known immune-booster, but people frequently head straight for the supplements rather than heading to the source: fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits are an obvious choice for vitamin C. But dark leafy greens and berries are also rich in this crucial vitamin. Kiwi is another excellent choice. Load up with a spinach salad topped with orange slices and dried cranberries.
If you do feel a cold or sickness coming on, this is where the higher doses (1,000 mg twice daily, for example) will be highly beneficial.
This herb is a go-to for many herbalists as it has numerous health benefits. It’s easy to grow, but you can also find it in teas and supplements in health food stores. Taking Echinacea at the first sign of illness can shorten the duration and lessen the symptoms of the common cold. Some research found it to lessen the duration of colds by 26%.
3. Vitamin D
While getting enough sunshine is the best way to get attain vitamin D, that isn’t always easy in the colder winter months. Supplementing with D3 can help fill in the gaps. This vitamin plays an important role in immune health. Shown to slash flu risk by nearly half even at low doses, vitamin D is currently one of the most recommended supplements for boosting overall wellness.
Preliminary research on Astragalus membranaceus, a flowering plant and one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, demonstrates that the root may improve immune system function and boost the effect of conventional immune therapy for some cancers.
Astragalus root has long been used by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners as a general tonic, to strengthen and energize the body, to help resolve colds and upper respiratory infections and to strengthen and regulate the immune system. The herb has just recently garnered the interest of western science for its potential to boost immunity and lessen side effects of chemotherapy.
Finally, ditch the antibacterial gels and wipes that you may have grown to depend on. These products have actually been shown to reduce your immune function. Without being exposed to some germs, your body doesn’t have a clue what to do when they are hit with a real illness. Soap and water is plenty to keep your hands clean and the “bugs” at bay.
US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health