January is a busy month for us. I know, the holidays have ended and it’s supposed to be calm and quiet. But we’ve got birthdays to celebrate, a mini-getaway planned, and family coming to visit. AND, it’s the midst of cold and flu season.
So basically, we’ve been hibernating since New Year’s Day, trying to avoid falling ill at all costs. Because honestly, if one gets it, we all get it. And there goes all the fun.
But we’re tired of being cooped up. So, instead of avoiding the issue we’ve decided to take a more proactive approach. We’re going to give our immune systems a boost to keep the winter colds at bay, naturally.
How to naturally boost your immune system
Plenty of rest.
This is honestly the simplest yet most effective thing you can do to keep your health in check. But many of us still don’t get the sleep we need. Sleep deprivation can increase cortisol levels, and if they stay elevated long enough, it will decrease your immune function.
Get your vitamins (C, D and N).
I know a lot of people that start taking vitamin C when they feel a cold coming on. But you should actually keep up your vitamin C intake all the time. The immune system is strongly influenced by our intake of nutrients. Research has found that several cells of the immune system can accumulate this vitamin and need it in order to perform their task.
Now, if you do have a cold and start taking vitamin C, it won’t reduce your symptoms but can help reduce the duration of the cold.
Vitamin D deficiency is much more common in the winter months – particularly November through February. And this deficiency is associated with an increased susceptibility to infection. In addition to getting outside and soaking up some rays (yes, in winter) it’s a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement as well. This will keep your immune system in good shape.
By Vitamin N we’re talking about getting out in nature. Research has found that fresh air and natural landscapes can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and strengthen the immune system.
Instead of going for those high calorie, low substance dishes, find delicious comfort from some of the amazing vegetarian and vegan dishes that many recipe curators are coming up with. They will deliver all those cozy feelings while giving your body the ingredients it really needs to keep you strong and healthy.
We’re talking about water and green tea here! Drinking plenty of water not only keeps you hydrated, it also carries oxygen to your body’s cells. This results in properly functioning systems. It will also help flush out toxins in your body that could negatively impact your immune system. As for green tea, it is chock full of antioxidants which strengthen the immune system and protect against free radicals.
We all know that exercise is good for us, but I didn’t realize how important it was in simply preventing the common cold! You don’t have to go all out either, moderate levels of physical activity is all you need. And doing so will help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, as well as cause changes in antibodies and white blood cells. This is important because white blood cells fight disease, and when you exercise they circulate more rapidly and can detect illnesses earlier than they might have otherwise.
For more tips on living naturally, check out our blog!