9 Natural ways to boost your immune system
Bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites: Countless harmful microorganisms cavort around us, some are particularly threatening for the elderly and the immunocompromised, such as the coronavirus. Find out 9 Natural ways to boost YOUR immune system!
Whether runny nose or other infections: why do some people get sick and others not? Many are much more susceptible to viral infections. A weak immune system is often to blame for this.
We have collected some tips for you on how you can strengthen a weak immune system with simple measures.
1. Proper nutrition for the immune system
The body needs many different vitamins and nutrients for a well-functioning immune system. These include in particular:
- Vitamin A
- Secondary plant substances
More and more scientists suspect a direct connection between intestinal health and the entire immune system – this is why a high-fiber diet is also a good tip for a weak immune system. Organic food from local cultivation is also said to have particular health benefits.
Most of these ingredients are adequately covered by a balanced diet. However, the following are considered to be particularly good for the immune system:
- Citrus fruits
- Dark berries and grapes
While vitamin C deficiency is extremely rare these days, you should ensure that you get enough other vitamins and nutrients. The effectiveness of dietary supplements is highly controversial among medical professionals. It is therefore best to try to meet your nutritional needs through food. Whether certain food supplements make sense can be clarified with your family doctor. Important: Vegans who completely avoid animal foods must supplement with vitamin B12.
Relying solely on so-called superfoods such as chia seeds, mangosteen and the like can be devastating due to their one-sidedness – no food, however hyped, contains all the nutrients you need. Superfoods should therefore only be seen as a supplement to a healthy mixed diet.
2. Off into the sun – even when it’s cold
Vitamin D is essential for an intact immune defense. We take in part of our needs through food – for example through fatty fish. But our body itself also makes a significant contribution: When sun rays hit the skin, it independently produces vitamin D.
Especially in the autumn and winter months, when the UV radiation is lower thanks to the cloud cover, you should spend as much time outdoors as possible in order to get your healthy dose.
In the case of a vitamin D deficiency, the use of vitamin D supplements can be discussed with a doctor in the low-light months. A visit to an infrared sauna can also be beneficial.
3. Move, move, move!
Running, swimming, cycling: the classics of endurance sports are still among the most effective endurance sports. They not only strengthen the heart and blood vessels, but also our immune system. With every moderate workout, the immune system is gently stimulated. The speed and the degree of exertion are decisive: if you overexert your body, you usually achieve the opposite effect.
4. Avoid excessive exertion
Have you ever heard of the open window phenomenon? During excessive physical exertion – such as running a marathon – the number of immune cells in the blood increases sharply. However, if the body relaxes again afterwards, the number of immune cells falls below the initial value before the exercise. Since pathogens can only be fought to a lesser extent at this point in time, infectious diseases occur more frequently. So if you don’t want to get sick, you shouldn’t overdo it with the exertion of sports.
5. Avoid stress, stay healthy
Thanks to intensive research, we now know that severe stress weakens the immune system and thus increases the susceptibility to infections. Chronic stress can also lead to states of exhaustion, which – just like physical overload – offer pathogens the ideal conditions to multiply. It is therefore important to avoid stressful situations as much as possible and use quieter hours for targeted relaxation.
6. Drink enough
Those who drink too little are not only tired and drained, but also more prone to infections. This is due, among other things, to the dried out mucous membranes. Due to the lack of moisture, attacking viruses and bacteria cannot be sufficiently transported away.
Drinking tea is also positive for the immune system. Green tea, for example, contains a lot of antioxidants that additionally support the immune system and have a preventive effect against cancer.
7. Make sure you sleep well
Those who start the day well-rested are not only more productive, but also less prone to colds and other infections. Several studies have shown that insomnia drastically reduces the number of immune cells and results in a weak immune system. Anyone who sleeps around seven to eight hours a day gives their body enough time to recover.
8. Quit smoking
In addition to their cancer-promoting effect, cigarettes also have a negative impact on the immune system.
- Tobacco smoke dries out the mucous membranes,
- Promotes inflammatory processes
- And affects the natural cleansing system of our airways.
So: Get rid of the glowing stick and enjoy a whole new attitude to life!
9. Wash your hands several times a day
Admittedly, thorough hand washing does not directly strengthen the immune system. But it prevents cold viruses, for example, from entering your body and being able to spread.