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Ten Ways to Naturally Boost Your Body’s Immunity

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We’re hot! That’s right, we are built with an amazing body, especially on the inside. Our immune system does one smokin’-hot job of defending us against disease. But sometimes our body takes on more than it can handle and we get sick. 

Can we improve our immunity on our own? Dietary and lifestyle changes will help strengthen our body’s natural defenses. Here are ten of the best ways to boost our body!

Make a Plan
Our first priority is living a healthy lifestyle. During a physical or regular office visit, a doctor may find out a patient is lacking in certain vitamins or minerals. While most women can get the daily recommended intake they need through a healthy diet, some will need vitamin supplements to fill in the gaps. 

Exercise
You don’t have to run marathons or do high-intensity fitness classes. Research published by the Exercise Immunology Review says regular, daily exercise such as walking plays an important role in helping to maintain a healthy immune system. And just because we may be in isolation or social distancing, does not mean we should stop getting hot and sweaty. Now it is more important than ever to exercise.

Drink Up
Water is very essential to our everyday lives, but depriving ourselves of this important liquid is detrimental, even if we don’t know it. Dehydration can mess with everything, including our physical performance, heart and kidney function, digestion and more, which can all lead to an increased chance for illness. The tried-and-true test of hydration is pretty simple, really. Make sure urine is pale yellow. Good old water is free of calories, sugar and additives, not to mention it is easy on the pocketbook.

Feast on Fermented Foods
A healthy diet is definitely essential to a heightened immune system, but some foods have more benefits than others. They may not sound appetizing to some, but foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir are rich in beneficial probiotic bacteria that make our digestive tract healthier and stronger. Studies show having an ample amount of good gut bacteria can help our immune cells differentiate between normal, healthy cells and those harmful invader organisms. If fermented foods aren’t for you, try probiotic supplements to keep your gut on track. 

Mind-Body Therapy
Stress promotes inflammation, and long-term anxiety can lead to imbalances in our immune cell function. Mind-body therapies including meditation, yoga, tai chi, creative visualization and hypnosis can keep our immune system at the top of its game. Some of us could also benefit from seeing a licensed counselor or therapist, whether virtually or in person. Talking to someone else can ease the anxiety on our mind as well as our body. 

Get Some Zs
Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to diabetes, obesity, depression and high blood pressure. To top that off, when we don’t sleep well, we are hungrier the next day and we crave sugary drinks; this cycle may lead to long-term weight gain, which is also a major contributor to disease. In a study of 164 healthy adults, those who slept fewer than six hours each night were more likely to catch a cold than those who slept six hours or more each night.

Ahem…Wash Your Hands
It’s fundamental to lather up after bathroom breaks and before making food, but washing hands and exposed forearms after coughing, nose blowing and caring for a sick person are vitally important. We should do the same after feeding or petting our pets. 

Use Antibiotics Properly
Take them as prescribed, for the entire dose, and take only on the advice of your doctor. Wait for test results to determine what bacterium you have and what medication is best for treating it. Do not take anyone else’s prescription. 

Buy USDA-Certified Organic Food
If possible, eat animal-based foods that are certified organic. When we are sick, we often need antibiotics, but antibiotic resistance is often found to be driven by the agricultural use of antibiotics as growth enhancers. Organic foods are grown in fields without chemicals or fertilizers. Studies show that this way of farming food has also been proven to be especially beneficial for pregnant women and the elderly.

Get Your Recommended Vaccines
Although there is still debate, research shows that avoiding vaccinations contributes to illness. Getting your vaccines is a lifelong, life-protecting job for you and those around you. Working with a healthcare provider is the best way to stay on top of it.  

Some lifestyle and dietary changes can strengthen our hard-working (and hot!) bodies to reinforce our natural defenses. It is also important to remember that no supplement or diet or healthy habit can fully protect us from developing disease and other sicknesses. But it sure doesn’t hurt to get a head start.

Sources: sciencedaily.com, health.harvard.edu and healthline.com.