Boosting your immune system is a serious task for everyone in the world right now. The spread of novel coronavirus has people rightfully concerned about maintaining their health and wellness during this frightening time. You may feel scared and anxious, and using lots of hand sanitizer and soap, and that’s okay. Still, not everyone is aware of the easy ways we can be strengthening our body’s ability to fight infections and stay healthy. And I truly think that people need to know. So, I wanted to provide a list of 5 easy ways to help keep your immune system stay healthy and happy!
1. Sleep A LOT
This one may sound overstated or mundane, but it’s so important I had to mention it first. Sleep is essential for your immune function and not getting enough of it can lead to a higher risk of developing an illness if you are somehow exposed to one. Not getting enough sleep also can lengthen the time you are sick if you become so, especially as you won’t have the same amount of energy you would have if you had gotten adequate sleep. Sleep even impacts our mental health and digestion, as well as our hearts ability to heal and strengthen. Therefore, if you’re stuck inside self-quaratining, consider taking a nice nap to pass the time and better your health.
It’s also crucial to get good sleep, not just sleep. Good sleep means not staring at your phone screen right before you go to bed and not consuming a cup of coffee late in the day. You want your body to be ready and in the “mood” to rest. So, grab a cozy blanket and put on your softest pajamas, turn off those string lights, because your body wants you to sleep just as much as you do.
2. Exercise Moderately
Exercising when you can is another way to help boost your immunity. Exercising helps to lessen stress by balancing out cortisol levels. Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone, and when its levels go up too much, the body gets stressed and becomes less able to fight off infections. Exercise thus also improves your mental health, which shows how much physical and mental health overlap. It’s also important to note that you should still be getting enough sleep to have the energy to exercise! Because lets face it, no one likes working out after a bad nights sleep.
Special Tip: A lot of communties are doing online Instagram Live exercise and yoga classes right now in order to encourage people to work out at home instead of going to the gym. All you really need is a mat, maybe some weights, and yourself! So you can continue to practice social distancing while staying in shape and boosting that immune system all at the same time.
3. Incorporate More Garlic Into Your Diet
Garlic may not provide the best breath but it certainly boosts your immune system. Garlic contains anti-bacterial properties that are said to fight off infections and increase your body’s ability to get over viruses if you get one. I remember as a kid my grandmother always trying to feed me whole cloves of garlic, swearing if I ate one I would stay healthy. While as a child I never wanted to do this, I now see her point.
Eating garlic, or taking garlic capsules that can be found in any vitamin section of a grocery store or pharmacy, helps your heart function and also lowers your stress levels in the same way exercising does. I’m not encouraging you to sit at home eating cloves of garlic instead of working out, but the two do clearly provide similar benefits.
4. Drink Celery Juice
My favorite way to consume celery is dipped in peanut butter, but drinking celery juice is the way to go if you’re looking to boost your immune health. Celery juice is best consumed on an empty stomach to have it’s full effect. It is filled with vitamin C, vitaminb6, folate, and potassium. All of these help your immune system by filling your body with antioxidents while at the same time, decreasing inflammation.
Celery alone truthfully does not have the most appealing flavor in juice form. But by adding other healthy fruits like apple and lemon, you can give the juice more flavor and benefits. Starting your day with celery juice instead of coffee is the perfect way to naturally boost your energy and make your immune system happy and ready to fight off sickness.
5. Eat Lots of Berries
Berries are an immune boosting staple for so many reasons. They are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin K, Vitamin C, and iron that are essential for your health. Berries can even help to lower cholesterol levels while providing your body with the fiber and nutrients it needs to function well.
Berries also have a variety of ways they can be consumed so you’re never bored. You can eat them by the handful, in a smoothie bowl, on top of oatmeal, yogurt, or drink them in a juice (maybe with celery? Or would that not taste good?). The main point I’m trying to make is that while other fruits are also loaded with vitamins, berries are the true winner here as they contain far less sugar than other fruits, like grapes or watermelon, while still providing an abundance of benefits. They also taste amazing.
There are endless ways to boost your immune system and I’m sure there are many great other ones which I did not list here. But in this uncertain time, it’s still nice to learn new ways to protect yourself. Obviously none of these options promise to work magically for everyone, but they are definitely worth a try and may just be the difference between getting sick or how long you stay sick. So make some celery juice, get some exercise, and as always, wash your hands!