7 Surprising Ways to Boost Your Immune Health
Pandemic or not, your immune system protects you from all kinds of invaders.
From everyday colds to more chronic conditions, boosting your immune health will help you live the happy life that you deserve— feeling your best.
Believe it or not, boosting your immune health is not out of your hands.
In fact, there are many things that you can do to ensure that your immune system reaches its peak performance.
Here are seven surprising things that you can do to boost your immune health and feel better naturally.
1. Catch some rays
Mental Floss says that there are many scientific benefits of spending time outdoors such as increased energy, pain mitigation, and enhanced immune health. Not only does breathing in phytoncides (airborne particles produced by plants) increase white blood cell levels, fresh outdoor air also gives you the Vitamin D that your body is craving. While Vitamin D is found in food items such as salmon and milk, the best source of vitamin D is the sun. According to the National Institutes of Health, “approximately 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back (without sunscreen) usually leads to sufficient vitamin D synthesis.”
2. Manage your stress
The American Psychological Association states that “stress weakens the immune system.” When it comes down to it, a fear response does not equate to an immune boost. In fact, experiencing stress and fear means that you’re operating in a “fight or flight” mode, with an activated nervous system. Instead of “fight or flight,” we should be working toward a calmer state of rest and digest by keeping our stressors in check. According to the National Center for Biotech Information, chronic stress can cause wear-and-tear on the immune system, increasing the risk of disease. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to reduce stress, no matter why you’re feeling stressed today.
3. Practice mindfulness and meditation
Meditation is an effective way to combat all types of stress in your life, in turn, enhancing your immune health. “Your immune system is not just a physical mechanism used to fight disease,” says Deepak Chopra. “It actually transmits your thoughts and moods to your cells, so make sure you send the right messages.” What kind of messages are you sending to your immune system when you’re experiencing chronic stress? Don’t know where to start? Check out the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza, who focuses on the powerful immune-boosting effects that meditation can have on your health.
4. Make time for sleep
If only there were more hours in the day, right?! We often underestimate the power of sleep and push it to the side to squeeze in a couple more productive hours. While it might be tempting to stay up late to read one more chapter or go to bed with your computer to get ahead of work, those zzzs are critical for improving your immune health! Without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, effectively creating an immune response, says the National Sleep Foundation. It’s essential to schedule in those 6-7 hours per day, or make up for lost sleep with 1-2 short daily naps. According to this article, people who sleep less than six hours a night are more prone to catching colds and other respiratory infections. So, get your sleep! Your immune system will thank you!
5. Manage your light diet
Having trouble sleeping? It could be the amount of screen time that you’re exposed to right before bedtime. That’s right, just another reason to put away that laptop at night! Harvard Medical School says that “blue light has a dark side,” and states that it may contribute to the development of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Exposure to light is known to suppress the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, throwing our natural cycles off balance. I know that we are used to our nights being illuminated, but try to minimize your screen time each night to help boost your immune health.
6. Supplement where necessary
Maybe this one isn’t that surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less important. At Lifted Naturals, we are huge proponents of probiotics for immune support. Yes, our probiotics are MOOD focused, but they are no less powerful for immune-boosting benefits, which means they are also great for gut health too. If you decide to add a supplement to enhance your health, do your research so that you know that your supplement contains high-quality ingredients, while providing you with exactly the nutritional elements that your body needs. Our products are made in a GMP Certified facility in the UNited States, and it is also now NSF certified. We take our supplements and give them to our own children. Trust is key with supplement brands!
7. Do something you love
Time Magazine supports the notion that happier people are healthier. Harvard Medical School states that positive emotions can help make life longer and happier. “There’s evidence that happiness can have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular and immune systems, influence hormones and inflammation levels, and speed wound healing,” according to the Times article. We tend to put others (or work) first and lose sight of the things that make our hearts sing. Carve out the time to do something that you love or pick up a hobby that you haven’t prioritized. At Lifted Naturals, we truly believe that happiness is a huge part of being healthy.
It has always been important to prioritize your health, but the recent pandemic has made us all look at our routines a little differently. You don’t have to dish out lots of dough or even leave your house to find a way to boost your immune system. The important part is that you commit to making a change to boost immune health and you start where you are— today!
What are you going to do today to give your immune system the boost it deserves?