Having a strong immune system can go a long way to defending you from disease and illness. However, to function well your immune system sometimes requires a little TLC. Luckily, there are many simple things you can do to stay healthy. With this in mind, here are just a few ways you can support your immune system.
Eat more garlic
Not just great for giving your immune system a helping hand, garlic has a huge range of benefits, from improving mental health to reducing your risk of heart disease. This is because garlic contains allicin and antioxidants, both properties that boost the immune system. Garlic also supports T-cells, which fight flu-causing viruses. A study of 120 people conducted at the University of Florida found that aged garlic reduced the severity and duration of the symptoms of cold and flu by boosting immune cell function. As most therapeutic properties are lost when garlic is cooked, it is best to consume it raw (don’t forget to keep that breath freshener handy).
Drink honey, ginger and lemon
Not just delicious, honey, ginger and lemon concoctions are also great for building up immunity. Honey is a natural antioxidant and immunity booster. Ginger has antiviral properties, and can be used to alleviate nausea and motion sickness. Adding a squeeze of lemon to your elixir ensures a vital dose of vitamin C, the most important vitamin in the fight against the common cold. For an extra kick, add a little turmeric. Although an acquired taste for some, turmeric contains curcumin, which has been credited with regulating the immune system.
Relax with a cup of tea
Enjoying some ‘me time’ with a cup of tea has its health benefits—one being a stronger immune system. This is because tea contains alkylamines, a chemical that helps the body fight off infection. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the immune system of tea drinkers responded to germs five times faster than that of coffee drinkers. Plus, tea tastes great and has numerous other benefits. For example, green, oolong and black tea are packed with antioxidants, while peppermint tea is great for indigestion, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome.
Get your beauty sleep
Getting your nightly dose of sleep (for most adults this is between seven and eight hours) lets your body regenerate. Sleep is also the time when your body produces T-cells (white blood cells that balance the immune system), cytokines (protein that fights or promotes inflammation as required) and interleukin 12 (a pro-inflammatory cytokine). There are numerous things you can do if you are having trouble sleeping, including exercise and meditation. According to an expert from Nordic Oil, CBD is also a great natural remedy for insomnia. “CBD alleviates stress and anxiety, which can make falling and staying asleep easier. A study published in the Permanente Journal found that out of 72 participants who were experiencing anxiety and poor sleep, over 66 percent reported better sleep after taking 25 milligrams of CBD daily for a month.”
Get your daily dose of vitamins
Last but definitely not least, eating nourishing foods can boost your immunity, especially foods with plenty of vitamins A, B6, C, D and E. Vitamin C is the biggest game changer here, so make sure you are getting enough of the stuff. Stock up on vitamin-C-rich foods such as oranges, strawberries, grapefruit and spinach. To ensure an adequate intake of other immune system-boosting vitamins, eat plenty of fish, chicken, vegetables and legumes such as chickpeas. If you feel like your diet is lacking, you can always try multivitamins, however, keep in mind that vitamin supplements are never as good as the real thing.