Increase Your Immune System: 5 Ideas That Really Work

Yes, it’s flu season again. That wonderful time of year when everyone is on their guard from lingering bacteria, ready to commit anyone in its path to days of bedridden sickness. You don’t know who it will strike next – the guy in the cubicle next to you, the woman in front of you on the subway… no one is safe.

In the spirit of the most mucus-ful time of the year, we’ve compiled a list of 5 secret immune boosters so you can avoid catching that dreaded bug!

1. ‘Secret’ Super Foods

We all know the old saying ‘an apple a day’… and I’m sure you can’t help but wonder if they were really on to something. Well – sort of. The good news is; you’re not limited to apples.

The immune booster in apples is a fiber found in many fruits called pectin. Look out for pears and citrus fruits as well to get your daily dose of pectin which helps increase interleukin-4, a compound that boosts production of infection fighting cells.

Up your daily intake of garlic to really pack a punch in the fight against the flu. Garlic is nature’s antibiotic, and often referred to as Russian Penicillin because of its antibacterial infection fighting properties.

Top off the immune boosters menu with mushrooms, a rare superfood that combines vitamin D (perfect for the winter), zinc, and more selenium than any other vegetable – a lethal potion for the flu! These minerals work together as both immune boosters and infection fighters. Mushrooms actually activate the immune system to prepare white blood cells to take on invaders… who knew what a little fungus could do for the body!

Related: Most Pesticide Filled Foods: The Dirty Dozen & The Clean 15

2. Get Moving

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones that can eat whatever you want and never pack on a pound but that won’t protect you from what’s lingering in the air. 30 minutes of cardio a day can strengthen your immune system and act as a natural detoxification process for your body.

Even if you were leaning into a cold, a good hard work out can help rid the germs by sweating them out. You will also feel more energized, have your blood pumping (circulating those white blood cells) and have your body performing at its peak so it’s less susceptible to whatever is going around. A healthy body is a happy body!

3. Give Yourself A Little R&R

As important as it is to stay on the move, it is equally as important to just chill out and relax. Allow your body to fully unwind both mentally and physically at the end of every day. Stress reduction is a key immune booster as stress triggers the hormone cortisol, which attacks the immune system.

Resting your mind should go hand in hand with resting your body. Getting an adequate amount of sleep every night is crucial to boosting your immune system. Sleep allows the body to recharge and the mind to relax.

4. Drink Water

Life cannot exist without water – and your body knows when it is not getting enough. Your daily intake should be a minimum of 8 glasses a day, more if you consume regular caffeine and alcohol. The body dehydrates very quickly, and your immune system is the first to take the hit. The easiest and most natural way to boost your immune system is by upping your intake of water so your body can do its thing.

Related: The Miracle That Is Water [INFOGRAPHIC]

5. Take A Daily Supplement

Sometimes life gets the better of us and we need an extra helper in the fight against the cold and the flu. There are a variety of natural supplements on the market that are concentrated solutions to your vitamin and mineral needs. They can help you target your immune boosters and help your body to naturally protect against airborne diseases.

In future articles we’ll look into daily supplements that helps improve your body’s natural defenses.

Do you have any tips or know of any secret immune boosters? Let us know in the comments below.

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