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10 Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System

Health Tips
Last Updated Sep 29, 2020

When your immune system isn’t performing at its peak, infection, illness and other ailments can crop up and leave you feeling run down. That’s why strengthening your immune system is so important. Here we look at the best ways to boost your immunity for improved health and wellness.

1. Eat Your Greens

When you’re malnourished, your immune system takes a big hit. When you eat a balanced diet, your body builds healthy white blood cells. Foods such as mushrooms have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer and decrease allergens.

2. Stay Relaxed

Feeling stressed? You could be causing your adrenal glands to pump cortisol into your system, placing pressure on your immune system. Stress also leaves you prone to colds and flu. Massage, meditation and yoga are a few relaxing modalities to try.

3. Get Moving

Exercise is the elixir of life. The more you move, the fewer colds you get. So says a study confucted in 2006, which found that people who simply stretch and don’t take exercise are three times likely to develop colds, than people who exercise moderately.

4. Get to Bed, Sleepy Head

Sleep gives your body the rest it needs to reduce stress and improve immune function. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, increases inflammatory chemicals, which cause illness.

5. See Your Friends

Studies show that people who spend a lot of time alone have poorer health and wellness than those who socialise. A fascinating study involved people having a cold virus placed up their noses. Those who socialised were less likely to develop the cold – and if they did, their sympoms didn’t last as long as the loners.

6. Stop Smoking

We all know smoking is bad with a capital 'b'. Not only does it damage your skin and internal rgans, it also triggers inflammation and stops the cilia in your nose from removing mucus. And if you’re exposed to smoke, you’re likely to develop an ear infection, bronchitis or pneumonia.

7. See the Sun

Many of us are vitamin D deficient. Combat that by getting a little sunshine each day. Just ensure you slip, slop, slap at other times to prevent sun damage.

8. Eat Bacteria

It may sound strange, but consuming microorganisms reduces respiratory infections and other nasty ailments such as diarrhoea. Prevent this by taking a probiotic and eating yoghurt, kimchi and sauerkraut.

9. Get Immunised

Vaccinations can keep numerous illnesses and infections at bay. Ensure you’re up to date with immunisations.

10. Reach for the Herbs

Plenty of plants zap illness, including ginseng, astragalus, garlic and some mushrooms. Add these to your diet or consume them in supplement form.

After more advice on immune boosters? A health professional, nutritionist, naturopath or dietitian can give you some more tips.

Originally published on Aug 05, 2013

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Wellness inspiration of the week

People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills… There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind… So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself. — MARCUS AURELIUS