As the cooler temperatures creep in, fire places start flaming up, coats are out of the closets and those unwanted sniffles and sneezes enter. Rather than wait for those bugs to get you, you can strengthen your immune system to prevent invaders from ever entering. Now is the time to prep your immune system for winter. A healthy body is dependent on a strong immune system and there are things that you can do daily to boost your immune system.
A strong immune system starts in the gut
Did you know that more than 80% of your immune cells hang out in your gut? So, the most important way to create a strong immune system is to focus on gut health. By making our gut health strong, we are less likely to develop allergies, auto-immune issues and sickness. The immune system functions to protect against invaders such as viruses, bacteria and other foreign bodies. When the immune system becomes deficient, the body loses the ability to fight off diseases and infections.
People are always asking me what my secret is to never getting sick. It is not one secret but a combination of different things I do daily to keep my immune system strong which in turn prevents me from coming down with the sniffles.
Here are 11 Ways to Boost the Immune System:
1. Health Supplements
There are many supplements that support immune health. There are a few that I recommend daily to keep the immune system strong while preventing any illness.
- Probiotics: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two of the most important families of bacteria that populate our gut, creating a strong immune system. Look for a supplement that needs to be refrigerated and that has at least 30 to 50 billion colonies and at least eight strains of bacteria. If you are taking antibiotics double the dose of probiotics. You can also include fermented foods in your diet. Foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, tempeh, miso, kombucha, etc.
- Master Tonic: The Master Tonic has many benefits. It is excellent at preventing a cold or flu. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal. This is the supplement that I have been taking for over 10 years and I NEVER get sick. If I feel a sore throat coming on, one shot of Master Tonic and it is gone.
- Immune Support Tonic: The Immune Support is my children’s daily immune boosting supplement. The taste is delicious with a combination of immune boosting herbs such as elderberry, echinacea, rooibos, rosemary, and many more. The Immune Support works really well when the onset of a cold or flu has happened to relieve the symptoms and lessen the duration of the illness.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is necessary to protect the immune system from colds and flus. A lack of vitamin C in the body has been connected to immune system issues, colds and flus. Take about 1,500 mg/day.
- Zinc: Take about 20 mg/day to help boost the immune system with its high antioxidant levels.
2. Include Bone Broth
The benefits of drinking bone broth regularly are very beneficial to the immune system. There is a good reason our grandmothers told us to drink homemade chicken soup when dealing with a cold or the flu. The natural collagen, gelatin and amino acids help to improve gut health, as well as to help support the health of individual immune cells such as lymphocytes. To make your own bone broth click HERE.
3. Limit Antibiotics and Other Medications
Antibiotics and other medications wreak havoc on the gut. It takes about 6 months for our gut to improve from 1 week of antibiotics. If you have a virus, it will not get better with antibiotics so its better to not take them as they destroy the healthy bacteria in your gut. Also painkillers such as ibuprofen damage the gut and weaken the immune system. Make sure you are eating animal products from animals that are not injected with antibiotics.
4. Sweat in a Sauna
There are many studies that show that sauna use and sweating in the high heat make it hard for viruses and bacteria to survive. Sitting in a sauna regularly improves the health of white blood cells and therefore boosts the immune system. Also, sweating helps expel toxins that could cause disease or inflammation.
5. Sun Power
The immune system is affected by Vitamin D. When the body is deficient in Vitamin D there is a link to disease in the body. If you do not spend a lot of time outdoors I recommend taking 2000 IU daily of vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for a strong immune system and is important for the treatment and prevention of autoimmune issues.
7. Food is thy Medicine
What you put in your body is going to increase inflammation or not. Inflammation in the gut leads to a weaker immune response. Consuming foods that are not processed, artificial, without antibiotics, and organic, non-GMO and preferably sugar free are going to help boost your immune system. Try and include superfoods in your diet for added vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that improve your immune strength. Some superfoods include, raw Garlic, Manuka honey, Mushrooms, Turmeric, Ginger, Oregano Oil.
There are many benefits to regular exercise. Not only is it good for your heart, mood and weight, but regular exercise can help boost our immune system and response to infections.
Lack of sleep has been connected to a decrease in the activity of immune cells. It is important to make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you need help sleeping try taking 2-3 mg of melatonin.
10. Stress Management
Studies have shown that including even a few minutes of meditation a day can help improve immune function. Regular stress can release cortisol which interferes with the ability of white blood cells to communicate with the body thus suppressing our immune response.
11. Regular Detoxing
Everyday the body is exposed to toxins. They are in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the things we touch. The immune system has to work to defend all of these toxins off. By detoxing the body, you can help the body remove toxins so the immune system can be restored. Cleansing is a great way to detox. I do a 21 Day Cleanse every Fall and Spring. I also include different detoxing tools in my life daily. Read here for 20 Ways to Detox the Body.
Boosting your immune system is your best prevention to acquiring a disease such as cancer, an autoimmune illness, cold or flu. By including theses tips in your life, you will strengthen your immune system and skip those days of feeling terrible and stuck in bed. Having a strong immune system is the way to longevity and it will also help you look better, feel better and age gracefully.
Be Well !
P.S. Here at Earthie Mama we make and sell a Natural Immune Support Supplement.