With many of the Shelter-At-Home orders being lifted and people increasing their time outside the house and comingling with others, its so important that we are ALL proactively boosting our immunity right now. After 2-3 months of isolation, it is the body’s natural response to weaken the immune system because it hasn’t come in contact with any outside bacteria or viruses. Seniors and their Caregivers especially, need to be taking measures daily to strengthening their immunity so that they don’t become sick as they start getting back to some normalcy.
Here are 10 easy ways to boost your immune system naturally:
1. Vitamin D: It’s proven that Vitamin D is necessary for the proper functioning of our immune system and has a critical role in our body’s response to infection. Studies show, however, that over 42% of Americans are deficient and that can handcuff our immune system. To boost your Vitamin D levels, you can take a daily supplement or increase your intake of foods like fatty fish like salmon, egg yolks and mushrooms. Or, follow Tip #2!
2. Get More Sun: When your skin is exposed to sunlight it makes Vitamin D from cholesterol. Sitting in the sun for 15 minutes a day can make a big difference in improving your Vitamin D levels, plus its proven that being outside boosts your mood!
3. Zinc: This mineral is needed for immune cell development and plays important role in our body’s inflammatory response. There are many cases showing positive responses in reducing the duration of COVID, other respiratory tract infections and even the common cold.
4. Vitamin C: This is one of the most common immunity boosters, and for good reason! It’s important for many reasons, including the clearing out old/dead cells to make room for new/healthy ones. You can get Vitamin C by taking a daily supplement or consuming foods like bell peppers, oranges or broccoli often.
5. Laugh: Studies show that laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection fighting antibodies. Call an old friend or put on a funny movie and laugh it out!
6. Probiotics: Everyday we are learning that our immune system is directly affected by our gut health. Taking a daily probiotic promotes production of natural antibodies and positive gut bacteria. You can take a daily probiotic or have a daily serving of foods like yogurt or sauerkraut.
7. Antioxidants: Daily consumption of antioxidant rich foods is proven to boost immunity by destroying free radicals and protecting the integrity of cells and tissues in the body. The best way to get your daily intake of antioxidants is to eat the rainbow: berries, green leafy greens, beans, beets and even dark chocolate!
8. Play In The Dirt: As crazy as it sounds, studies show that the bacteria found in dirt and sand are stronger strains that can survive the digestive track and get to where they need to go to improve gut health and, in turn, improve immunity. Plant a garden, walk around your yard without shoes or take a stroll along the beach!
9. Essential Oils: These have been used for thousands of years to improve wellness, and we can speak from our own experience that they can have an incredible effect on boosting immunity if used proactively. Try diffusing Cinnamon, Lemon or Eucalyptus oil daily. Remember: quality matters!
10. Exercise: Just 15-30 minutes of light exercise such as walking is known to have great effects on our immune system. It causes an increase in antibodies and white blood cells which are critical to fighting disease.