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If you want to learn how to strengthen your immune system, but if you are like me, you probably are searching for answers after you caught something! Well, it’s not too late, some of these tips will still help you to get better faster and if you keep them up maybe you can help avoid getting anything else!
Last year I got a wicked cold, panicked and called my naturopathic doctor. He told me to take extra vitamin C. I think everyone knows about the benefits of taking this, but did you know about these steps you can easily do to boost your immune system? Maybe there are a few in my list that you didn’t know or forget to do!
How to Strengthen Your Immune System- 8 Ways:
1. Cold Water Showers – Shower with warm than turn the faucet to cold water. I wouldn’t try this if I was sick, but it has been found in a study that people who took cold showers had an increase in white blood cells that fight viruses compared to those that took hot showers. This is an unusual, yet very effective way to strengthen your immune system.
Researchers also found in another study that when you put your entire body in cold water for even short time periods, this encourages “hardening” , a result of being exposed to a natural stimulus, and this in turn helps increase your resilience to disease or stress.
How to do it – Take a warm shower as you usually do then just before getting out, turn the water cool for one or two minutes.
*Be careful you don’t get in too cold water because it may shock your body
2. Meditation – Positive thought helps strengthen your immune system and stress hormones compromise it. When you meditate the area of the brain that controls positive emotion and awareness is stimulated and this is the central region for the immune system.
If you can reduce psychological stress it will help your immune system. Researchers at Ohio State University have reported that stress negatively affects the immune system by interrupting the communication between the endocrine or hormonal system, the nervous system and the immune system.
I just recently started meditating myself after researching more about how to strengthen your immune system. An added benefit is that it has also helped reduce my anxiety.
3. Bone Broth – This is a fantastic healing food, packed with minerals, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. It not only helps boost your immunities, but it is especially good for leaky gut and autoimmune disorders. The broth also contains beneficial amino acids, for digestion and it helps improve kidney function. Another benefit is it increases collagen, resulting in smooth skin and aiding in wrinkle reduction. To make bone broth see here.
4. Fermented Foods – Eating these foods are the best way to get your good bacteria! Many store bought yogurts are not recommended for the reasons that they have added sugar, dyes, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup and are pasteurized. One of my favorite fermented foods is sauerkraut. I also like to make my own fermented garlic and veggies at home too. To learn more about how to make them at home, check out this book for a great guide.
Keeping your immune system in top shape means helping your gut stay happy and healthy and consuming probiotics in these foods are the best way to do that!
5. Garlic – If you eat garlic you can improve your ability to fight viruses such as colds and flu. According to a study this is because you improve your virus fighting T-cell function when supplementing with aged garlic extract. Eating raw garlic is also very beneficial, as raw garlic contains the most potent anti-viral properties.
Get the Best Possible Sleep
Getting enough good sleep sounds like a simple solution for how to strengthen your immune system but sometimes this is hard to do or you may think you are getting enough optimal sleep, but actually aren’t. Well, there are three ways you can help this along that can make a real difference in the quality of your sleep:
6. Earthing – Have you ever noticed that you feel better when you go to the beach and walk barefoot on the sand? When you walk barefoot on the ground you get negative electrons from the surface of the Earth and this antioxidant effect reduces inflammation and provides health benefits helping you sleep. Doing this offsets the negative impact from electricity sources we get from our environment, such as computers, TV’s, and fluorescent lights.
Evidence shows earthing improves heart rate, blood viscosity, cortisol balance, stress reduction and autonomic nervous system balance (ANS).
7. Nix the Blue lights or night lights – Everyone needs optimal melatonin to help fall asleep.
Being exposed to bright lights before bed, such as a computer screen or even having night lights on while sleeping, reduces the body’s ability to produce melatonin. Your bedroom should be as dark as possible not only for sleep, but for your overall health. The National Sleep Foundation reported that a study from Ohio State University recently found that unnatural light cycles negatively affect your health and may even cause depression. Another study found that sleeping with darkness as compared to some light, reduced tumor size and growth for rats with breast cancer .
8. Magnesium Tub before bed – A great way to improve your sleep is to take a bath with added Magnesium Flakes or Epsom Salts. Magnesium is an important element as it helps regulate more than 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Many people are deficient in magnesium and stress depletes magnesium. If you don’t get enough magnesium you can be caught in a vicious cycle. Your stress will deplete your magnesium and deficient magnesium will result in higher stress or anxiety.
Bonus – Not only does magnesium help relax you, it is good for heart and blood vessel health and is a natural bood thinner. Researchers have found that magnesium intake is beneficial for preventing heart attacks and strokes, diabetes and even recently it has been found to help prevent pancreatic cancer.
So taking magnesium baths at night is a great way to improve overall health and strengthen your immune system!