Our immune system has one very important goal: to protect our body from potential threats. Unfortunately for our immune system cells, there's a lot of stranger danger out there!
Some of the foods we eat, stagnant air in our house, and the germs of others can all wear down our immune system.
Without a healthy immune system, you can become prone to the cold, flu, or the symptoms of COVID-19. Here are 10 immune-boosting life hacks to help keep you healthy all year long!
1. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is the most inexpensive way to boost your immune system naturally. All you need is your body.
Yet, according to the World Health Organization, 1.4 billion don't partake in exercise. That breaks down to one in four people worldwide!
During exercise, your heart beats faster. Increasing your heart rate naturally promotes blood circulation. Your immune system cells ride these waves through the veins. Along the way, they wipe out potential pathogens that can cause disease.
Exercise is more important than ever now that we are in the middle of a pandemic. COVID-19 attacks the respiratory tract. Therefore, Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests performing exercises that promote deep diaphragmatic breathing. These types of exercise will improve lung capacity, making the symptoms of COVID-19 more tolerable.
Cardiovascular exercise is excellent for improving your breathing and endurance. Plus, it gets your heart rate up, which helps distribute immune cells.
You should compliment your high-intensity routine with yoga. Hold each pose for five to second breaths. Try to make each breath longer than the last. These practices will promote healing, plus they encourage diaphragmatic breathing.
2. Get Adequate Sleep
As long as we're awake, our immune system remains on high alert. Many of our body's primary functions depend on hormones. Our body produces hormones depending on our sleep-wake cycle.
At night, our body produces melatonin. This hormone helps lower our heart rate and guides us through our sleep cycles.
As we wake up, our body produces less melatonin. Instead, it creates our daytime hormones, such as serotonin. Serotonin promotes focus and regulates our moods.
Another daytime hormone is cortisol. This hormone induces our fight-or-flight instinct. Thanks to cortisol, we stay on high alert all day. As stress mounts, our body produces more cortisol and less melatonin and serotonin.
If you encounter a lot of stress daily, then you might produce too much cortisol. Excess cortisol causes inflammation. Many studies link chronic inflammation to an unhealthy immune system. That's because inflammation destroys immune systems that protect the body.
When we sleep, our cortisol levels naturally decrease. We wake up well-rested and focused, with a body ready to fight off intruders.
Also, our bodies produce most of our immune system cells while we are asleep. So, sleep will lower cortisol that destroys immune cells and creates more of them!
Sleep is essential for the body. Meditation is optional. However, it would be best if you made it an essential part of your daily routine.
Stress is a powerful immune suppressor. Whenever our mental health is out of balance, the rest of the body follows suit. Try to meditate every day for at least 15-20 minutes to help clear some of the chatter in your mind.
Start with just five minutes. Pay attention to your inhales and exhales. Every time your mind drifts, just go back to thinking about your breaths. Work your way up slowly. Life is a marathon, not a sprint!
4. Diffuse Essential Oils
Essential oils are an easy way to boost your immune system (and have your house smelling nice). These are highly-concentrated plant extracts. Within these extracts are chemicals known as terpenes.
Terpenes are what give essential oils their familiar scents. However, they also contain a ton of health benefits.
These aromatic chemicals interact with receptors in our nostrils. Essential oils bypass many biological functions, getting direct access to the brain. Many essential oils can help soothe stressed thoughts that cause too much cortisol.
Additionally, you inhale these essential oils into the lungs. That's where many viral infections attack. Studies show that many essential oils have antiviral properties.
One study looked at essential oils and COVID-19 therapy, noting promising results with the following essential oils:
- Citrus bergamia (Bergamot)
- Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus)
- Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Cinnamon)
- Cymbopogon flexuosus (Lemongrass)
- Thymus vulgaris (Thyme)
Be careful while handling essential oils. They can be abrasive to the skin. However, you can add a couple of drops to about a 1/4 cup of coconut oil to make a great chest rub!
5. Eat Immune-Boosting Foods
"The Father of Medicine," Hippocrates once said, "Let thy food be thy medicine."
Many of us who follow a Western Diet consume far too many omega-6 fatty acids and refined sugars. One of the most common long-term effects of too many omega 6s is chronic inflammation. As we discussed earlier, chronic inflammation suppresses your immune system.
Offset the number of omega-6s by consuming foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as:
- Wild-Caught Fish
- Fruit-Based Oils (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil)
- Nutretics' K03 Krill Oil
Also, it's important to get a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Produce is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight off free radicals that destroy healthy immune system cells.
Don't just pick one fruit and stick with it. Get a wide variety of colors. Each color denotes a different group of antioxidants that has benefits the others are missing. A rainbow of foods is key for a robust immune system.
6. Up Your Probiotic Intake
Did you know about 80% of your immune system cells live within your GI tract? The gut is near our intestines. Our intestines house many toxins and pathogens that would love to suppress our immune system!
Inflammation doesn't just destroy immune cells. It also kills healthy gut bacteria. We rely on probiotic gut bacteria to keep harmful bacteria from growing out of control. That's because too much bad bacteria cause immune responses that result in...you guessed it! Inflammation.
Consuming more probiotic foods, beverages, and supplements can help add healthy bacteria to your gut. Probiotics will help curb the spread of unwanted bacteria. This will free up your immune system cells to fight off other potential immune suppressors.
7. Cut Down On Allergens
Our diet is really beating down our immune system. It's not just fats and sugars. Many processed foods also contain other common allergens, such as gluten and lactose.
Gluten is a carbohydrate that triggers our bodies to produce a protein called zonulin. Zonulin causes pores in our small intestines to widen, making it easier for toxins to enter our system. When we eat too much gluten, it opens the floodgates for contaminants to suppress our immune system.
Meanwhile, about 65% of adults develop lactose intolerance. Humans are the only mammals to drink milk past infancy. As we age, it gets harder for our body to break down this sugar, which can cause inflammation.
8. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is essential for all living things, including the development of immune systems cells. When we become dehydrated, many physiological functions can't be performed. That creates stress on the body. In turn, you experience stress and inflammation.
Also, water helps flush toxins out of the system. The more water you drink, the more you will go to the bathroom. Therefore, you will have fewer toxins to enter the system if you do have a bit too much gluten.
Lastly, many vitamins are water-soluble. They need water for your body to be absorbed. In particular, you need water to experience the benefits of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a crucial antioxidant that helps fight off the spread of viruses.
9. Get An Air Purifier
Toxins aren't just in our foods. They also live in our environment. Heavy metals in the air, bacteria in our dust, or synthetic ingredients from cosmetics all create indoor pollution.
We inhale these contaminants directly into our lungs. They can damage tissues, making our lungs more susceptible to the symptoms of viral attacks.
Get an air purifier with a HEPA and carbon filter. HEPA filters will remove mold, bacteria, and other allergens from the air. Meanwhile, carbon filters capture smoke, artificial chemicals, and other potential health hazards.
10. Nutretics' Greens & Reds
There's been a running theme on this list of immune-boosting hacks. What you put in your body makes a massive difference in your health.
That said you can only eat so many fruits and vegetables every day.
So, it's best to give your body a little extra support with all-natural supplements, like Nutretics Greens & Reds!
This daily immune-boosting drink mix contains a wide variety of veggies, fruits, vitamins, and minerals scientifically-proven to maintain your health.
Boost Your Immune System Naturally
Your immune system does a lot for you. It's time that you help it out! Make some changes to your daily routine this season to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
Tend to your mental health. Stress can cause inflammation that destroys healthy immune cells. Stick with exercise, sleep, and meditation.
Use essential oils to help with these practices. They also purify the air of environmental toxins, which will help compliment the use of carbon and HEPA air purifiers.
Also, make some dietary changes. Cut down on potential allergens that suppress your immune system. Incorporate a wide variety of colors on your plate, increase your probiotic intake, and drink plenty of water.
Lastly, use all-natural supplements like Nutretics Greens & Reds or other comparable options. Nutretics Greens & Reds helps to plug up any gaps in your wellness routine. That way, your immune system has a fighting chance against germs and toxins!