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6 Very Simple Ways to Boost Your Immunity

Joanna Ruminska
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Our immune system does a phenomenal job of defending us against infection-causing microorganisms. Yet sometimes, our immune defenses fail and let invaders into our body. As a result, we get ill.
 
Autumn is officially here. Even though the days are still nice and sunny, we cannot deny it. As days get shorter, temperatures drop and it rains often, we tend to stay indoors more. As a result, it’s easier to catch a cold and our immune systems take a beating throughout the colder and harsher fall and winter seasons.
 
Fortunately for us, there are some easy ways to help your immune system stay strong and resilient this cold and flu season. To keep sickness at bay, it’s crucial to keep your immune system running strong. If you look after your immunity, you will stay in good health even during “the bug season.”
 
Here are 6 super simple ways to fortify + support your immune system to keep your immunity high and your sick time at a bare minimum:
 

1. Sunshine!

Take advantage of the last sun beams of summer as it fades into fall. Sunshine is the best way to provide our bodies with Vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for your immune system to work properly. Charlotte Stirling-Reed, a registered nutritionist, says: “Around 90% of our Vitamin D requirement comes from sunlight, which means it’s not possible for us to get it from diet alone.”
 
People are meant to spend time outside, so when it’s sunny, try to get outside as much as possible. Have your lunch outside, or spend your break time walking outdoors. Just 15 minutes of sun exposure will cover our daily Vitamin D requirement. Roll up your sleeves and pants and make the most of your time in the sun!
 
Suggested Read: 6 Convenient Health and Wellness Supplements
 
 

2. Allicin

What do vampires and flus have in common? Both get scared off by garlic! Garlic has been used in natural medicine for centuries and is listed among the world’s healthiest foods. Studies show that consuming garlic while sick will significantly reduce the time of sickness.
 
Allicin is the most powerful, active medical compound obtained from garlic. It is produced when garlic is finely chopped or crushed. It’s important to note that you should consume garlic in relative moderation, as too much of this powerful vegetable may have a negative effect.
 
Also note that high temperature reduces the effectiveness of allicin, while microwaving seems to destroy it completely. Adding garlic right at the end of cooking or crushing and spreading on bread with butter will give you the best effects.
 
 

3. Exercise

Research has found a link between regular, moderate physical activity and a strong immune system. According to Harvard Medical School, “Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight and protects against a variety of diseases.”
 

 
The passage goes on to explain that exercise contributes to healthy immune function. Exercise increases your circulation, which in turn helps your immune system function optimally. Yoga, cycling, running, or even fast walking are all easy and effective ways to exercise and in turn, boost your immunity.
 
 
 

4. Eat Your Vitamin C

Vitamin C is believed to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infection. It is very important to get enough Vitamin C daily, since our bodies are unable to store or produce Vitamin C.
 
Many fruits and veggies contain this important vitamin. Citrus fruits are a great source of Vitamin C. The only thing that we need to be mindful of when consuming citrus fruit in colder months is the fact that citrus tends to cool the body. According to Chinese medicine, citrus fruits generate cold energy in the human body. To make sure we keep the warm energy, I recommend getting your Vitamin C from fresh vegetables.
 
Veggies that are high in Vitamin C are: onion, spring onion, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, dark leafy greens, and tomatoes. Another delicious way to enrich your diet with Vitamin C is experimenting with juices and smoothies.
 
Suggested Read: 5 Benefits of Purchasing Produce In-Season
 
 
 

5. Probiotic Food

A healthy gut is critical to your overall wellbeing. Nearly 80% of immune system cells are located in your digestive system. We need to look after our microbiome, which consists of about 100 trillion tiny microorganisms that populate our body (mainly in the intestines, but also other parts of our digestive system).
 
Fermented foods are the best way to feed your gut flora. Regular consumption of traditionally fermented or cultured foods is the easiest way to ensure optimal gut flora. Healthy fermented options include: fermented vegetables (e.g. cabbage, carrot, kale), and fermented raw milk like kefir or yogurt (but not a commercial version).
 
I wouldn’t recommend buying any of the advertised probiotic drinks or live yogurts. They are all packed with sugar, artificial flavors, preservatives and dyes – these are least beneficial to our flora. You can check out my Instagram account (in my bio below) for a yummy DIY sauerkraut recipe.
 
 

6. No Refined Sugar

Try to avoid refined sugar at all costs. During factory processing, raw sugar – the starting product – is dissolved and then the color components are separated. White sugar (or pure sucrose) – the final product – is the most processed type of sugar. In order to be perfectly white, the product is very often bleached during the process. Yuck!
 

Sugar impairs white blood cells and stops them from doing their job. When you consume sugar, your white blood cells are 40% less effective in killing germs.

 
There are so many alternatives for sugar or sugary snacks. Start snacking on dried fruits, and use honey or agave nectar to add to your tea or coffee. It might be difficult to overcome sugar craving (it’s scientifically proven that sugar is highly addictive) but it is possible. It usually takes a month to overcome the cravings if you keep sweet things to a minimum or even better, avoid sugar entirely . . .
 
Suggested Read: Get Healthy and Ditch the Sugar

 
Staying healthy and avoiding unnecessary time being sick is rooted in maintaining a strong immune system. Immune system function is key to optimal health, and while it may seem daunting, there are easy steps you can take today to stay healthy throughout the fall and winter seasons.
 
Follow these simple steps to stay healthy today, tomorrow, and throughout the year. Cheers to your health and wellness!
 

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Joanna Ruminska

Joanna is a nutritionist in Devon, UK and believes that food is our medicine. She has an NFCE diploma in nutrition and is currently working towards her Nutritional Therapist Level 5 Professional Diploma. Joanna is a mum of two beautiful girls and also runs her own catering business, Ayaka - Bio providing healthier option for party food for children.

ayakabio.wordpress.com

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