As fall and winter begin, your chances of getting sick greatly increase as you spend more time indoors and everyone starts getting sick. As illnesses spread, you might be wondering, what is the best way to keep yourself healthy and boost your immune system naturally?
Doctors recommend getting a flu shot every year to reduce your risk but in addition, here are some ways to boost your immune system naturally:
- Get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep at night. Getting too little sleep can affect the way your immune system functions.1 If you are having trouble sleeping, try turning off your electronics an hour before bed and charging them in another room. You can also try taking a bath before bed or drinking some tea.
- Manage stress. When you are stressed, your immune system may not work as well as it does when you feel relaxed and in control.1 To prevent and reduce stress, make sure to schedule time for yourself to relax and recharge. Schedule fun hobbies in the midst of your busy work and family schedule.
- Avoid smoking and being around tobacco smoke. It can raise your risk of bronchitis and pneumonia and just reduces your immune defenses in general.1
- Keep alcohol intake to a minimum, or don’t drink at all. Like tobacco smoke, alcohol also impairs your immune system.1
- Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Eating a healthy diet will allow your immune system to work better and provide nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.1 Garlic and mushrooms have been known to boost your immune system especially well, so add these to your favorite dishes.1
- Try probiotics for a healthy gut. Probiotics may help give your gut the good bacteria it needs to fight off infections. People who take probiotics often have less respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.1 You can also get more probiotics in your diet by eating yogurt, kimchi, kefir, kombucha or sauerkraut. Just watch for added sugar in some of these products and go for the ones with the least amount of added sugars.
- Get some sun. Sunlight can help your body make vitamin D, which can improve your immune system. Aim to get some sunlight (while always wearing sunscreen) and if getting natural sunlight isn’t an option, try taking vitamin D supplements.1
- Make sure to make time to exercise. Exercise has been known to improve your immune system and help keep you healthy. Try going for a walk a day to give your immune system a little boost.1
Do you get sick often in the winter months? What do you do to boost your immune system naturally? Do you swear by any methods or products? Share with us below!
1 – Facts from Everyday Health