5 Natural Ways To Boost Your Immunity
Supporting Your Immune System
Over the past 18 months, many of us have found ourselves moving between anxiety and optimism in response to COVID-19. As numbers increase, then decrease (then increase again), caring for our immune systems is as important as ever. And this is especially necessary as the world reopens and people return to their offices and schools.
But even before this virus (and also after), caring for our immune systems is one way we can naturally support our health at large—and care for our communities. By remaining mindful and vigilant, we respect the concerns of those most vulnerable and susceptible to illness.
So, as a way to support our health, ease anxieties, and care for others, here are the wellness and immunity tips we’re mindfully practicing during the pandemic and beyond.
As a reminder, these tips are recommendations to support your natural immunity, but they are not a replacement for medicine—and they should not be taken as medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about any health-related questions or concerns.
1. Sip on hydrating beverages
Hydration is always essential, but it’s even more necessary to be drinking water when viruses are going around.
“Our immune system is highly dependent on the nutrients in our blood stream, and our blood stream is made mostly of water,” writes Maggie Quinn, a Naturopathic Practitioner at UCI Health. “If we don’t have enough water, we cannot properly transport nutrients to each organ system.”
According to Dr. Quinn, staying hydrated is important for detoxification pathways, increasing lymphatic draining, and ridding our bodies of invaders and waste materials.
To keep hydrated, try drinking 16 ounces of water first thing after waking up and have a large glass of water with each meal. Sipping on a mug of hot lemon water first thing in the morning is another easy way to jump-start hydration as soon as you’re out of bed.
2. Nourish your body with gut-healthy foods
Food plays a factor in ensuring our organs are healthy and functioning correctly. Consuming colorful and organic foods, when accessible, supports our immune system. Nutritionists also recommend eating an anti-inflammatory diet to promote gut health, as that’s where most of our immune cells live.
A few gut-healthy foods include leafy greens, chickpeas, turmeric, and chia seeds. Our team also loves beets, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other foods rich in fiber and pre- and probiotics. Dried or canned legumes, bulk seeds, root vegetables, and fermented veggies are great to keep on hand whenever you need respite—and many of these foods are affordable and have a long shelf life.
If you’d prefer a beverage, try the gut-healthy elixirs from Living Tonics—each blend is made with raw, unfiltered, living apple cider vinegar along with premium ingredients.
3. Prioritize rest, hygiene, & time in nature
There are practices we can incorporate into our routine to support immune health as well. Yoga, for example, minimizes stress—studies show it can lower levels of cortisol. Hiking, forest bathing, and time spent in nature likewise promote balance, reduce anxiety, and can support your overall wellbeing.
Further, if you find yourself stuck at home or having to cancel upcoming trips, use the planned vacation time to slow down and rest. Start a new craft, watch a documentary, or curl up with a novel. Embrace the slow pace and listen to your body’s needs.
For hygiene, keeping our homes and workspaces tidy are precautionary measures that can significantly affect immunity. Consider adding an air purifier to your space and using these natural products for cleaning.
4. Find support in supplements & vitamins
Supplements and vitamins are another simple way to support immunity. Elderberries, for example, are rich in antioxidants and have been used for centuries as a natural remedy. Whenever you feel sick, or even proactively, consider loading up on elderberry syrup and multivitamins containing Vitamin C, D, E, or B6. Likewise, Echinacea (available at most drugstores) is an herbal supplement that may help relieve cold and flu symptoms.
To learn more about herbs and spices for immune support, we love these books on natural remedies. As always, please consult your doctor or primary care provider before introducing supplements or vitamins into your diet.
5. Live mindfully & manage anxiety as best as you can
Lastly, we can support our bodies by practicing present and mindful living. Anxiety and stress can compromise our immune systems, so while it’s essential to stay informed about contagious viruses and take proactive measures, it’s also necessary to breathe, meditate, and manage our health anxieties as best as we can.
We love these meditation and breathing apps for additional support, and this step-by-step guide can help you start a walking meditation practice. A virtual therapist can also help if you find yourself struggling to manage anxieties.
The best thing we can do to support our immune system is to listen to our body (and the medical experts), take precautionary health measures, and lean into the peace that exists around us. 💛
How do you naturally support your immune system during sickness but also in your everyday routine? Share your tips and suggestions below!
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