Finally, I am starting to feel better from being sick the past few days with flu like symptoms. But it’s not my fault, right? Viruses and bacteria are swarming the earth doing everything in their power to invade and replicate in my body. Then shouldn’t my body be prepared to handle these little guys? And guess what, we all have the power to increase our own immune system by the foods we eat and the way we live our lives.
Since the flu bug is going around I thought I’d share my secret tips to boosting your immune system so it becomes an impenetrable fortress. And the best part is that the whole thing will be done naturally and will also make you feel healthier and more energetic than ever before. If you do happen to get sick, having your body prepared will significantly speed up the recover process too.
1. Reduce Stress: Do everything you can to eliminate stresses in your life. Stresses cause cytokines to be released into the body not only making more susceptible to illness but also anxiety and depression. Try going to sleep early and get your full 8 hours. Next time someone cuts you off while driving, take 2 big deep breaths and then react to it…it won’t feel so bad.
2. Eat Organic Whole Foods: When we put processed foods into our bodies with all kinds of garbage in them, our bodies get real busy trying to digest them and sort out their mess. Doing this keeps our immune system busy and can deplete it before it has a chance to fight off foreign substances, viruses & bacteria.
- Mushrooms: Have beta-D-glucans, all mushrooms will be beneficial for you.
- Onions & Garlic: Help fight infections with naturally powerful antibacterials allicin, ajoene & thiosulfinate.
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts)
- Orange Vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins): contain beta carotene which in turn helps the skin. The skin is our first line of defense against foreign substances & is also the body’s largest organ.
4. Water: This is really the key to keeping your body healthy and ready to take on viruses. Even when our bodies’ get 2% dehydrated we already will suffer in performance. Water also helps the kidneys & liver get rid of waste and it helps keep the mucous membranes moist so they can battle the viruses.
5. Green Tea: Another thing you should be taking in daily. Green Tea contains alkylamines that will boost your immunity by increasing your immune system linebackers, the gamma delta T-cells. If you not a fan of drinking green tea, then I highly recommend taking in an extract.
6. Supplements: Let’s face it. We’re not getting all the necessary vitamins & minerals our bodies need by our daily nutrition. And even if we were, sometimes our bodies need a little more help with these guys.
- Iron & Zinc (oysters, lean red meat, and poultry): Found effective to promote cell synthesis and can be difficult to get your full requirements by diet, especially if you’re vegetarian. Don’t take with breads or grains as they will interfere with the absorption.
- Vitamin D: The sunshine vitamin does everything from increasing our moods and preserving muscle strength to regulating cell growth, immunity and energy metabolism. Most people’s daily intake don’t get near the recommended levels of Vitamin D, so take a supplement and get lots of sunshine. The benefits of vitamin D3 are enormous and everybody should be getting enough of this supplement.
7. Exercise: Last but not least, if you want to boost your immune system the natural way then I always recommend good old fashioned exercise. Exercise rids your lungs of bacteria and will increase the rate of White Blood Cells and antibodies traveling through your body. Try to break a sweat everyday and exercise for no less than 20 minutes.
There you go, the best ways to enhance your immunity to viruses and bacteria year round. Even if you’re not in the flu season, you’re still going to want a strong and healthy body. You never know when you’ll eat some bad chicken and end up with food poisoning. If you’re looking to boost your immune system naturally then start taking small steps towards the tips I gave you today, and eventually you’ll find yourself living a disease-free and energetic life.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.