We are smack in the middle of flu season and people are getting sick right and left!

 

However, there are a variety of things you can do to boost your immunity.   Here are five natural ways to boost your immune system!

  1. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds that provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs. Do you remember your mom telling you, “Be sure to drink plenty of orange juice”?  Almost all citrus foods contain a high amount of vitamin C including grapefruit, nectarines, oranges, lemons, limes and clementines.  But did you know there is a vegetable that has a higher amount of vitamin C than citrus fruits?  Yes!  It’s the red bell pepper!  So, slice up some of those red bell peppers for a snack, add to a salad or a veggie omelet!

2.  Try turmeric. This spice is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties and it’s also high in antioxidants.  Combining turmeric with black pepper increases its absorption making this spice a powerhouse!  Sprinkle it over a salad, add to smoothies, soups or stews.

3.  Move more.   Regular exercise contributes to our overall health which can contribute to a healthier immune system. Moderate exercise such as walking 20-30 minutes a day may cut down on the colds you get each year.

4.  Reduce stress.  “Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress,” says psychologist Robbie Maller Hartman, PhD.  Chronic stress can lead to a variety of negative effects on physical and emotional well-being, including a reduced immune response. There are a variety of stress-reducing practices like prayer, meditation, massage, and even music that can help us relax and improve our immune function.

5.  Get plenty of Z’s.   When we sleep, our immune cells produce antibodies to fight infections.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, children (6-13 years) need 9-11 hours; teenagers (14-17 years) need 8-10 hours; adults need 7-9 hours.  However, when we get sick, the amount of sleep we need increases since our bodies are trying to fight off infections.

 

Eat right, exercise, sleep, stress less and spice up your life this winter season to keep your family happy and healthy!