This is the time of the year that is also known as the cold/flu season. However, just because it is cold and flu season, does not mean that you have to get sick. Hand-washing and a strong immune system are the two key things that will keep you from getting sick. There are several things that you can do to naturally boost your immune system. Below are some tips for boosting your immune system naturally:
Do Not Stress
The fall/winter is a very stressful time for many of us. School, work and the holidays are just a few of the many things that can cause us to experience stress. However, you want to make sure that keep your stress level in check. When you are stressed, your body secretes more cortisol and adrenaline, which are known as the stress hormones. Over time, these hormones can take a toll on your immune system. Deep breathing and exercising are two ways that you can de-stress.
Watch What You Eat
Your diet can make or break your immune system. Following the typical American diet, which is high in processed foods and sugars, will suppress your immune system. On the other hand, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and nuts will boost your immune system. These types of foods are rich in nutrients that support your immune system. If you are a mother to an infant, then you should consider breastfeeding if you can. The breast milk will give your little one the antibodies that he or she needs to stay healthy.
Most of us have a tendency to exercise less during the fall/winter months. We also spend more time indoors because of the weather. However, you should try to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Studies have shown that people who exercise are less likely to develop the cold and/or flu.
Even though most of us sleep more during the colder months, many still are not getting enough sleep. Sleep is a natural healer, and if you do not get enough of it, then you will be more vulnerable to illness. You need to get between seven and nine hours of sleep at night.
Get More Vitamin D
Have you ever wondered why the common cold and flu are less common during the summer months? One of the reasons that those illnesses are less common during the summer months is because we spend more time outdoors. The sun helps the body produce vitamin D, which is one of the key nutrients that boosts immune system health.
You need to make sure that you eat plenty of vitamin D-rich foods, such as salmon, fortified cereal and milk. You may also want to consider taking a supplement, but it is a good idea to check with your doctor first.