It’s cold and flu season. People at work will start dropping like flies but you can’t get sick. First of all, no one likes sneezing, coughing, headaches, and pain throughout their body. Secondly, if you’re going to take time off of work, it had better be for something fun–not to recover from illness! Let’s explore natural ways to support your immune system.
Factors that Contribute to a Weak Immune System
There are a lot of factors that can weaken your immunity. Let’s address these first:
- Sleep A lack of adequate rest strains ALL of your body’s systems. When we sleep, our bodies release hormones, proteins, and chemicals that fight off disease and infection. Sleep deprivation therefore decreases the availability of these substances, leaving us more susceptible to each new virus and bacteria we encounter. Sleep also promotes cellular repair. When our cells cannot repair properly, nothing else works. Period. Stop watching Netflix and go to sleep!
- Dehydration Hydration is essential to total body wellness. Dehydration causes dysfunction throughout the body.
- Medications Certain prescriptions are immunosuppressants. Speak with your doctor about viable replacements.
Address these three areas first! The foods below will further strengthen your immune system.
Foods that Support Your Immune System
Citrus fruits are the way to go when we feel icky. Citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin C, which increases the production of white blood cells to fight infections.
Red Bell Pepper brightens up any dish. This vibrant, mellow pepper is full of Vitamin C.
Broccoli is a super veggie for the immune system. It has Vitamins C, A, and E, as well as antioxidants. The latter keep cancer-causing free radicals in check while fending off microbes.
Raw Spinach is rich in numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting capability of our immune systems.
Garlic has heavy concentrations of sulfur-containing compounds which helps you fight off infections.
Ginger produces dermicidin in our sweat glands. Dermicidin protects us from foreign microorganisms, including bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (a common cause of skin infections), fungi, and yeasts.
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory. As an added bonus, it contains curcumin, which reduces exercise-induced muscle damage, too!
Need help creating delicious, healthy meals with immune-boosting ingredients? Get great tips during your one-on-one nutrition consultation with our nutritionist and dietician, Kasey Telfer.