I want to share with you the 10 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Immunity I have learned over the recent years. School has already started for most of us. You know what that means….kids spreading germs!! There is no better time than now to start thinking about how to boost your immunity to help prevent sickness.
I actually have a confession to make. I used to be very good at doing all of these things I am going to list for you below. For the last 5 years (No Hype) our family was one who could say we go to the doctor maybe once a year. My husband is the best of us all. He rarely gets ill. BUT..this year was different. We got very busy. We took on some other activities that weren’t usual. I let my guard down because it was summer and who gets sick in the summer? Currently, our family is having one of the worst Julys I can remember. EVERY single one of us has gotten sick one right after another. It’s been 24 days and someone in my family has been sick!!! Ugghhh….I am definitely starting these things and NOT STOPPING!! I am going to be focused on how to Boost Your Immunity.
So here you go,10 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Immunity and stay well.
1. Eliminate Toxins – A great way to do this is to start your day with lemon water. If you really want to help yourself in the morning add a little apple cider vinegar and honey to the mix. Just simply heat up some purified water, add 2T Apple Cider Vinegar, 1T honey, and half a lemon. This is also a great morning drink to have if you already have cold or sickness to help your body heal. Here are some of the benefits of these ingredients:
Lemon – Contains vitamin C which is great for boosting your immunity. It also helps your body rid itself of toxins and aids in digestion.
Apple Cider Vinegar – You will want the kind that says “with mother”. This is the good stuff in ACV that contains the bacteria that you want. It actually contains probiotics and an acid that helps your body produce probiotics. Apple Cider Vinegar also helps detoxify the body, helps relieve constipation, helps balance blood sugar, regulates PH, and is loaded with immune boosting vitamins to help you fight colds and keep you healthy. Need any more reasons to use ACV?
Honey – Local honey is the best, if possible. Local honey will actually contain that allergens that live in your area to help you fight allergy symptoms. Here in Oklahoma, that is a big deal! I think this state is the worst allergy state that there is!! Honey that has been processed no longer contains the healthy ingredients we need. Raw honey contains that pollen that we need to fight the allergies. It also contains powerful antioxidants! Raw honey help alleviate cough if you already have one. Lastly, it tastes good!! Who doesn’t like a spoonful on honey!!
2. Eat Healthy!! – Just think color! The more colorful your plate is, the healthier it is. The picture above is actually my lunch today! I know that everyone struggles to get all of the vegetables we need in, especially our kids, but the secret to that i have found is to prepare and cut my veggies ahead of time. I take one day to food prep items and cutting vegetables makes it much easier to consume on a regular basis. If your plate is white, that’s bad news. As a general rule, try to stay away from processed foods. Here’s an easy way to know if something is highly processed: 1. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients. 2. If the list of ingredients is long.
3. Reduce Sugars – We have all heard how bad sugar is for our bodies. Alcohol, gluten, and dairy are all trigger foods that quickly turn into sugars in our body. Our recommended daily amount of sugar intake for adults by the World Health Organization is roughly 25 grams, depending on your daily caloric intake, yet Americans consume an average of 82 grams per day or 66 pounds in a year!!!! That amount is worse in children and adolescents. They consume about 16% of their daily caloric intake from sugars alone. It’s no wonder we have an obesity of diabetes epidemic going on with our kids today.
4. Reduce Stress – I’m talking to myself on this one, but it is important to know that when you are worried and stress that it affects your body’s immune system. Ongoing stress makes us susceptible to illness and disease because the brain sends defense signals to the endocrine system, which then releases an array of hormones that not only gets us ready for emergency situations but severely depresses our immunity at the same time. Some experts claim that stress is responsible for as much as 90% of all illnesses and diseases, including cancer and heart disease. The way it does this is by triggering chemical reactions and flooding the body with cortisol that, among other things, decreases inflammation, decreases white blood cells and NK cells (special cells that kill cancer), increases tumor development and growth, and increases the rate of infection and tissue damage. (Psychology Today). Wow. That is huge. We can’t alway change our stressors so what we have to do is learn how to handle what comes our way. There are many different ways you can try to reduce your stress. Relaxation techniques- whether you do yoga, breathing exercises, or simply get a little quiet time to clear your mind. You can also use some essential oils like lavender for a calming effect. We like to diffuse them in our house. Exercise also helps manage the hormones that are directly affected by stress. Go for a walk, get some fresh air. You get the idea. Stress is bad for our health and probably one of the trickier things to manage.
5. Sleep!! – One of the reasons a lot of people do not get enough sleep is due to reason number 4 above, too much stress! Adults need 7 to 8 good hours of sleep per night. Teens and children need more than that. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep (mayoclinic). So, lack of sleep affects your immune system negatively. One way to ensure you get good rest at night is to turn off the TV and electronics at least one hour before bedtime. The effects of watching or responding to texts, calls, games, etc. is that your body and brain is charged to work, causing your body to produce cortisol. Even if you are not actively watching or responding the simple glow from the TV or an electronic device passes through the retina to the brain, causing your body to delay the production of melatonin, which of course helps you sleep.
6. Add Some Greens – We love to make smoothies and protein shakes around here. You can read about our familiy’s favorite smoothies here. One way to give our immune system a boost is to add some greens. The easiest way is to buy something like this: TERRA GREENS. This one is our favorite. dōTERRA TerraGreens is a proprietary blend of whole food fruits and vegetables combined with superfruits and dōTERRA CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® Essential Oils. We have found that this one has the best taste out of some we have had before. It passes the kid test.
7. Take Probiotics – Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy (webmd). There are different ways to take probiotics. I think the easiest way for me is probably a pill. My doctor just recently recommended that you have 40,000 to 100,000 CFU’s to really get your gut healthy. There are also ways to get probiotics in your body through the foods you eat. Fermented foods are foods that contain good bacteria necessary for your gut health. These include but are not limited to yogurt (although I caution you to look at the labels. Most yogurts now have so much sugar in them that the effects of any of the probiotics found are limited. Really the best kind is plain, greek yogurt and then you can add fresh fruit or a little honey to sweeten), sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, and pickles.
8. Drink Less Coffee and More Green Tea – OK, now this one is hard for us coffee lovers!! However, I have to admit, after the initial switching over to hot tea, I have found my afternoon tea to be quite relaxing. I limit myself to two cups of coffee in the morning at the most, usually just one. Green tea is full of antioxidants. According to Dr. Axe, here are seven benefits of drinking green tea: reduces atherosclerosis and risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation in arthritis, improve bone density, improve memory, and prevent cancer. What else do you need to know about this amazing drink? Move over coffee…give me some green tea!!
9. Essential Oils – Diffusing and using pure essential oils can boost your immune system. The most common uses of essential oils are massaging into the skin or inhalation of vapors via a diffuser. Both methods allow the oil’s plant chemical compounds to cross into the bloodstream. Diffusing things such as lemon and on guard can actually purify and cleanse the air of germs. Onguard is a blend that contains wild orange, eucalyptus, rosemary, clove, cinnamon leaf and cinnamon bark. For kids I like to dilute in a roller bottle and rub on the bottoms of their feet daily. Onguard is also an effective cleaner in your home that gets rid of germs and disinfects surfaces.
10. Laugh! – when you laugh, the diaphragm becomes a powerful pump for your lymphatic circulation, much like your heart serves as the central pump that propels blood through your blood vessels. This assists the lymphatic vessels in carrying this fluid through your body and helps your lymph nodes to clean and filter this fluid, removing waste products, dead cells, and even unwanted microorganisms. Maintaining clean body fluids is important because these are necessary for you to be at your best. Increased lymphatic flow = an elevated, improved immune system just by the simple nature of more lymph flowing through the nodes, thus producing more lymphocytes, antibodies, etc. (Laughter Online). So the moral of this story is when you’ve had a bad day and you want to start over, just call a friend and laugh about it!! This is the cheapest and most fun way to boost your immune system!
This is not a comprehensive list of EVERYTHING you can do to increase your immunity, however it is a very good start. I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful as we all get ready to enter the sick season this year.