How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Dec 11, 2020

More and more patients are asking us what they can do to support their immune system. If you were also wondering how to strengthen your immune system, read on to learn more about immunity boosters.

  • What can cause a weakened immune system?
  • How to naturally boost your immune system
  • Superfoods and vitamins for your immune system

What Causes a Weakened Immune System?

Below are the most common causes of a weakened immune system:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Not enough exercise
  • Poor diet
  • Water quality and quantity
  • Stress
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Pregnancy
  • Autoimmune disease

Signs of a Weak Immune System

You may need to boost your immune system if you experience any of the following:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Recurrent colds/infections that are longer in duration
  • Wounds that are slow to heal
  • Excessive allergies
  • Dry, itchy skin/eczema
  • Chronic dry nose/eyes
  • Digestive problems, including diarrhea, constipation, and cramping.

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

1. Hydrate

In addition to water, you can receive hydration from other sources, including:

  • Herbal tea
  • Bone broth
  • Fruits and vegetables (and juicing them)
  • Fruit or herb-infused water

2. Eat/drink ginger

Ginger supports the immune system and is high is in antioxidants.

Adding it to tea

  • Grating it into soup
  • Juicing it and blending with other fruits/vegetables
  • Grating it onto fish
  • Adding it to baked goods

3. Get enough vitamin D

Insufficient vitamin D intake has been linked to poor immune system function, so if you are interested in how to boost your immune system, it’s important to make sure you get enough of this vitamin each day. Most people do not know what level their vitamin D is, which is so important. Ask us today how to check your levels.

Foods rich in vitamin D include:

  • Egg yolks
  • Salmon
  • Mushrooms
  • Sardines

If you’re deficient in vitamin D, you’ll never correct the deficiency with food alone. You must supplement with a high-quality liquid vitamin D. Ask us which one we recommend to our patients!

4. Take probiotics

Did you know 70% of your immune system resides in your gut? When we understand this, it makes sense to support healthy gut function to get your immune system working optimally.

Take high-quality probiotics or eat probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. Most probiotics are even safe to give to infants, toddlers, and children.

5. Eat turmeric

Turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, but it can also help support healthy immune function.

6. Eat garlic

Garlic is another well-known immune booster, so use it in cooking as much as possible.

7. Take vitamin C

Vitamin C is a popular immune booster, and taking it when cold symptoms appear has been shown to shorten the duration and severity of the cold. It’s an important vitamin for your immune system.

Not sure how to boost your immune system with vitamin C?

  • Try to get your vitamin C from plants and avoid the artificially flavored vitamin C packaged packets.
  • Eat vitamin C-rich foods, like oranges, strawberries, kiwis, and spinach.
  • Camu-Camu powder is the highest food-based form of vitamin C, with 50 times the vitamin C of oranges.

8. Get plenty of zinc

While zinc is likely to be included in most multivitamins and prenatal vitamins, you can still boost your immune system by choosing zinc-rich foods. Oysters are the number one source of zinc, but you can also eat beef. Oatmeal and cashews are a great source too.

You can also take zine in a supplement form, ask us which brand we frequently recommend to our patients.

9. Eat (or drink) mushrooms

Have you noticed all the mushroom products on the market lately? There is even mushroom coffee! (Which is delicious, by the way, I LOVE FourSigmatic). There is a good reason mushrooms are being used to support immune health. They contain a compound called beta-glucans that has been shown to improve your immune system by activating killer cell function. Which basically means mushrooms help activate your natural killer cells to fight off foreign invaders.

Look for reishi and shiitake mushrooms while you’re doing your grocery shopping.

10. Get your beta-glucans

If you don’t like mushrooms, you can still reap the benefits of them finding foods that contain beta-glucans:

  • Seaweed
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Barley
  • Oats

11. Get exercise

Exercise is another wonderful way to support your immune system.

A 2017 study revealed that the body needs only 20 minutes of exercise before the immune system starts to recap the rewards.

And the great news is there are so many ways to incorporate exercise into your life!

  • Going on a family walk after dinner
  • Walking your dog an extra block or two
  • Parking further away when running errands
  • Incorporate gentle stretches into your home routine (instead of sitting in the chair or couch, try stretching while reading, scrolling through social media, or watching tv)

12. Get plenty of rest

Because lack of sleep can compromise your immune system, it is important to prioritize your sleep. Sometimes pregnancy, raising a family, getting enough sleep is not easy.

  • Fighting the urge to binge-watch shows late at night
  • Putting down your cell phone after dark to decrease the exposure of blue light
  • Setting the blue light blocker screen on your phone
  • Buying a pair of blue light blocking glasses to wear at any time of day but especially in the evening to cut down on exposure
  • Creating your own relaxing bedtime routine with candles, herbal tea, or a lavender-essence bedtime bath

But how much sleep do you really need? According to the American Sleep Foundation, adults need at least seven to nine hours each night.

Supercharge Your Immune System

Everything we have talked about so far can become daily habits to keep your immune system strong.

The following remedies are not intended to be for daily use because they stimulate the immune system or encourage the immune system to react. So, when taking immune stimulants—like elderberry or astragalus root—they can actually overstimulate your immune system.

They are very effective, but best to save the following remedies for when you feel like your immune system needs an immediate boost.

1. Try elderberry

Elderberry helps to support the immune system during times when extra support is needed, like when one member of your family is already sick.

While you can make your own syrup, you can also find elderberry in pre-made formulas, which is perfect if you don’t have a lot of extra time.

**Many elderberry recipes contain honey, so avoid giving those to babies under one year.**

2. Take astragalus root

Native to China, this root has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. Astragalus root has been shown to enhance the body’s immune response, may even help prevent viral infections.

3. Take echinacea

Studies show that Echinacea purpurea was effective in helping the body fight against the flu virus.

4. Try homeopathic remedies

If you’re starting to feel the onset of a cold or trying to prevent yourself from catching whatever everyone else in the family already has, there are some homeopathic remedies that can help stimulate your immune system. Though the following may help, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about what’s best for you—specific remedies depend on your symptoms.

  • Oscillococcinum- Though studies are limited, there is evidence that this homeopathic remedy reduces the duration of influenza, as well as symptoms like fatigue, headache, body aches, chills, and fever.
  • Cold Calm-This homeopathic remedy is said to relieve symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and minor sore throat.
  • Other homeopathic remedies include Aconite (influenza/cold and congestion), Arsenicum (digestive issues), Baptisia (influenza, common cold, and sore throat), Belladonna (cough, cold, and fever), Bryonia (stomach and intestinal discomfort), Eupatorium-perfoliatum (influenza, fever, cough, diarrhea), Gelsemium (influenza, colds, fever, diarrhea), Nux-vomica (digestive issues, headache), Rhus-Toxicodendron (influenza, digestive issues, fever).

How about you? Have you tried any of these remedies for boosting your immune system? Which ones work for you and your family? Contact us to learn more about chiropractic and immune system function.

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