There are always people around you who don’t adhere to basic hygiene, or even when sick insist on working full time or holding meetings. These people spread illnesses around. The only way to reduce the possibility of developing a cold or an infection from such people is strengthening your immune system.
Here are some ways that help you strengthen your immune system, and help you fight cold, flu and infection.
- Reduce Sugar Intake – People today believe in living the fast life. This includes a lot of takeouts, processed foods, sugary snacks and social drinking on weekends. This can have a terrible impact on your immune system. A study has shown that the sugar in a single can of soda can reduce the functioning of your immune system by 30% for about three hours. That’s not all. It also affects the cells’ ability to destroy bacteria. So instead of sweets, start eating foods high in fiber as this helps tackle viruses and bacteria.
- Exercise Daily – Set aside 30 minutes in your day to exercise – be it simple yoga, running, swimming or strength training, as this helps boost the movement of immune cells through the bloodstream.
- Get Enough Rest – Most people do not realize how important getting a good sleep is. While relaxing in front of a television or spending time with family sounds like a better alternative, it isn’t as effective as a good night’s sleep of 8 hours when it comes to warding off cold and infections.Sleep helps restore your body, allowing the immune system to function better. Your immune system also gets affected by chronic stress; so finding time to relax or meditate will certainly help you fight off the flu and other infections.
- Include Turmeric in Your Diet – This is not widely known, but people who consume turmeric daily are found to suffer less from colds, coughs and even congestion. This is because turmeric is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and hence, relieves the body of toxins, easily boosting your immunity.A study published in 2009 on influenza states that curcumin present in turmeric can reduce the replication of the flu virus by 90 percent in lab settings. Curcumin also has the ability to protect other cells from getting infected.
- Increase Antioxidant Intake – As you age, your immune system weakens. By eating fruits and vegetables that have anti-oxidant properties, you can provide a good boost to your immune system. Consuming green tea provides a high dose of anti-oxidants. Dark leafy greens like Kale, and broccoli are also good for strengthening the immune system.
- Add Garlic to Your Diet – Though the thought of eating garlic may not appeal to you, it is known to contain allicin, which is packed with anti-microbial and antioxidant properties. Thus, increasing your intake of garlic will keep your gut in good shape, making sure your body is always free of toxins and bacteria.The University of Maryland Medical Center has cited a study where participants were put either on placebo or garlic supplements for 12 weeks between November and February, the peak cold season. The study found that those who consumed garlic had fewer incidences of cold compared to those on placebo.
- Stop Eating White Foods – Most white foods tend to reduce immune function and slow down the body’s ability to heal itself. This is why you should avoid milk and dairy products, refined flour, sugar, salt and grains when sick. Instead, eat foods that will strengthen your immune system, like hot chicken soup, as during an illness the body expends more energy on healing itself than on digestion.
- Soak the Sunlight – Vitamin D that your body produces in the sunlight helps you fend off colds and flu. Hence, soak in lots of sunlight, or consume tuna, sardines or egg yolk which are good sources of Vitamin D.So if you would like to give your immune system that extra boost, these natural remedies will help you get the required nutrition so that your body is able to defend itself from all illnesses.