With the winter months coming fast, you are probably already working hard to avoid the seasonal spread of sniffles, coughs and stomach illnesses. Short of staying indoors all winter and avoiding people altogether, what can you do to avoid the bacteria and viruses all around you? You may have already stocked up on hand sanitizer and antibacterial sprays. But, there are several ways to improve your immune system naturally, and protect yourself from getting sick.
Easy Ways to Improve Your Immune System Naturally
Get Enough Rest
While you sleep, your body repairs and recharges itself. Think of it as taking a big breath before going underwater. If you don’t get enough air, your time under the water will be shortened. If you are not getting enough sleep, your body’s systems, including your immune response, are weakened and will be less effective, leaving you far more vulnerable to contagious viruses.
To improve your immune system naturally make it your priority to get a full night’s sleep and let your body renew itself. Avoid consuming caffeine and take up restful practices such as meditation or listening to soft music before bed.
Lower Your Stress Level
Your body responds to psychological stress by releasing the hormone cortisol. The effects of cortisol aid your brain and help it function well, but at the expense of other systems. Cortisol draws resources away from your immune system, raises your blood pressure and often results in weight gain.
The good news is that it is simple to lower your stress level. In addition to getting enough rest, moderate exercise helps your body to relax and get rid of excess cortisol. Laughter is a proven way to decrease your stress response, and massages and eating healthy are beneficial as well.
Eat to Improve Immune System
Choosing the right foods can be an effective way to improve your immune system naturally. Eating vegetables, potatoes, and carrots will give your body essential vitamins and minerals, helping to strengthen and regulate your immune system. Foods high in vitamin C, especially citrus fruits and broccoli, enable your body to fend off illness. Consuming lean protein will also maintain the levels of nutrients your body uses to combat viruses.
One powerful antioxidant food is garlic. In addition to lowering cholesterol and being a natural antibiotic, garlic aids your immune system by encouraging it to make more disease-fighting white blood cells.
Good Scents and Essential Oils
Another way to improve your immune system naturally is through aromatherapy and essential oils. Aromatherapy is about more than perfuming the air. When you inhale the scent of essential oils, you are bringing those molecules and their helpful properties directly to your respiratory system.
Many essential oils, such as tea tree, have multiple benefits to your health. Tea tree is antifungal and antibacterial, boosts the function of the immune system, relieves the symptoms of an existing cold and even speeds healing. Eucalyptus can also be used to prevent colds and clear nasal passages.
Essential oils are extremely powerful, and only a very small amount is needed to impact your immunity, fight illness and prevent infections from worsening. Use only pure essential oils and enjoy the benefits of better health.
What do you do to improve your immune system naturally – feel free to share your tips in the comments below.
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About the Author: Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health and beauty. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book.