18 Ways to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Ah winter, the season of frosty morns, cosy fires, comfort food - and endless bugs.  Just how can you keep the coughs, colds and 'flu at bay this season? Is it as simple as popping a multi-vitamin and remembering your scarf?

Many of the norms we have come to accept in modern life, such as stress, lack of sleep, processed foods, environmental poisons and exposure to chemicals are extremely detrimental to health and chip away endlessly at our immune systems.  Just how can we boost our suppressed immune systems to help our bodies function at peak capacity to keep the bugs at bay?

1. Turn Down the Thermostat

Most homes are over-heated breeding grounds for germs and compromise our immune systems.  Get the temperature down and put on a cardigan instead.

2. Fresh Air

Open the windows in the morning to get rid of stagnant air, and make sure you get some time outside every day, whatever the weather.

3. Be Kind

Negativity has a negative effect on the body, so get rid of old hurts by writing a letter, addressing your inner child, or seeing a counsellor.  It's time to move on, for your own good.

4. Give Up Regrets

You can't change the past but you can accept and positively affect the future, make it great!

5. Get a Pet

A dog or cat will give you unconditional love, someone to talk to, and studies show will help reduce blood pressure.  Plus their fur and skin cells etc help boost immunity, and a dog will definitely help you get out more!

6. Embrace Nature

Spend time in nature as much as possible, every day if you can.  Just a short walk or time spent sitting in peace surrounded by nature will boost mind. body and spirit.

Touch the plants, the tree bark, the grass, the earth, feel the sun on your skin.  Encourage children to get muddy and embrace bacteria, it will boost their immune system.

7. Be Positive

Choosing to see the glass as half full, even if it's not your natural mind-set, will give your mind and body a boost.  Read some books to help you make your life better or find a cognitive therapy course if this is a struggle.

8. Eat Natural

Eat lots of vegetables, especially immune-boosting and gut health building foods like Jerusalem artichokes, leeks and cruciferous veg like cabbage, cauliflower, kale and broccoli, and fruit, especially nutrient-dense berries.

If you can afford it, eat organic food as much as possible, if your budget is limited, do what you can.  Limit meat consumption, especially red and processed meats.  Cook from scratch as much as possible using real foods like grains, fruit and vegetables.  Think you can't afford to eat better?  Read how to eat healthily on a limited budget.

9. Live Authentically

Be your true self and make choices that support you and your needs and beliefs.  Make the changes you need to make to live as authentically as you possibly can.

10. Be Still

As well as finding time for the things you enjoy, find time for stillness.  Whether you choose prayer, meditation, or simply sitting in the garden, finding time to clear your mind is essential.  If you would prefer to be guided, find a yoga or tai chi class.

11. Boost Your Diet

As well as cooking from scratch with real ingredients, add fermented foods to your diet.  Choose raw milk or pasteurised milk from grass-fed cows.  Reduce sugar intake.  Cut out alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.

12. Drink More

Drink more water, around 2-3 litres per day is preferable.  If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated.  Remind children to drink as much as possible and ensure they have somewhere to top up water bottles at school.

A filter jug or cup is the first step to better quality water, but consider a house filtration system.

13. Supplement Well

A good multi-vitamin is useful, but keeping iron levels high enough is important especially for women, so consider additional supplements.  A vegan Omega 3 & 6 supplement with healthy EFAs would be beneficial too.

14. Choose Me Time

Find time every day to do something you want to do.  See our guide to how to fit relaxation and me time into your every day.

15. Sleep More

Aim for at least 8 hours a night as the links between sleep and stress, obesity, heart health and more continue to hit the headlines.  More sleep gives the body more time to recover and repair, boosts immunity and helps fight disease.

Related post: How to Have a Good Night's Sleep Every Night

16. Use Time Well

Use your time well, with people you genuinely care about, who love and support you.  Laugh, enjoy life and seize opportunities to be happy.  See our list of 55 simple ways to choose happiness for those vital daily doses of serotonin.

17. Reduce Electro-magnetic Stress

Mobile phones, Wi-fi, radon gas underground, electricity, metal bed frames, metal bed springs and underground streams can all help create a magnetic field which will suppress cell regeneration. Hospitals in Germany, Hungary and Poland advise patients to get rid of beds with metal springs, replacing them with wooden frames. It is also advisable to turn off Wi-Fi and phones while you sleep and to not have any electronic gadgets like TV, clock radio, mobile phone, baby monitor etc by your bed.

18. Avoid Medication

Let minor illnesses run their course, embrace fevers for what they are: the body's way to heal itself, avoid medication for anything minor like headaches, colds etc, seeking natural treatments and home remedies instead.  If you do need treatment, try homeopathy and chiropractic, natural remedies and boosting your immune system first.

A well-rested, well-nourished, looked after and protected body and mind will reward you with health and vitality.

More immune boosting tips:

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally
Winter Health: Busting the Myths About Colds and Flu
Boost Your Energy in 9 Easy Steps
How to Treat Norovirus Naturally

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