11 Natural Ways to Increase Your Immunity
Edited By Stephanie Dawson
Getting sick is something most of us don’t want or have time for, its something we can’t plan, and is often uncomfortable. Even with a healthy diet a cold or a flu virus can strike without warning. We are exposed to millions of viruses and bacteria everyday that may not affect us because of our immune system. The immune system fights these pathogens and identifies them to defend against them in the future. A healthy immune system is capable of dealing with the constant bacterial and viral load, it’s our armor that protects us from disease.
Some of the basic functions of the immune system are to create a barrier against pathogens and microorganisms, prevent dangerous bacteria and viruses to multiply, and trigger the destruction of damaged cells.
There are a number of factors that can weaken the immune system and seriously threaten our health. Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, arthritis, fibromyalgia, RA, MS, and others have sudden and unexplained onset with chronic symptoms that limit quality of life. Other more common factors that weaken our immune system are stressors, lack of physical activity, fast food or junk food, exposure to toxins, and pollution.
Because a healthy immune system is crucial for good health, like a knight with armor that protects us from external and internal diseases, scientists researched the foods, supplements, and behaviors that increase the presence of T-cells or white cells, the cells responsible for fighting disease.
Garlic– It reduces cold and flu and can even prevent it. It does this by increasing the number of immune cells NK and gamma-Delta T. You can swallow a whole garlic first thing in the morning when you are sick or you can use it to season almost any dish.
Astragalus root and herb– A powerful antiviral and immune booster, it’s rich in flavonoids and amino acids, increases activity of T-cells, and can help prevent colds and respiratory infections. It’s recommended to be taken as tea or extract.
Iron– An essential mineral for immunity, it fights inflammatory processes. Any iron deficiencies impair the immune system and increase the susceptibility to viral and bacterial infection. It’s recommended to extract iron from vegetables, fruits, nuts, or seafood. Some examples are spinach, beets, beans, nuts, almonds, and oysters. Too much iron is not good either, use caution.
Olive leaf– Has antioxidants and is a bacteria-buster. Use it for cooking and in salads, it promotes healthy bacteria that destroys harmful bacteria. In several studies the extract of olive leaf was enough for treating common microbes such as Helicobacter pylori and staphylococcus aureus.
Oregano- Has antioxidant powers, can kill salmonella and staphylococcus, it will boost your immune system. Try to use the fresh herb as tea or oil.
Probiotics and yogurt– Will improve the immune system of your stomach and promote healthy bacteria, they are a natural killer of bad breath and digestive tract problems. Kefir and yogurt are great sources.
Carrots– An excellent source of beta carotene, will increase the number of NK cells and other T helper cells.
Fish oil and fish– Have Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and protein to clear out the body.
Vitamin C– Will prevent and cure colds, flu, and other inflammatory processes. Kale, lemons, tomatoes, strawberries, berries, and pineapple contain vitamin C that stimulates growth of tissues and cells.
Ginger tea– It’s loaded with virus-fighting substances, antibacterial and antiviral, it’s one of the most effective natural treatments, even small doses in extract or tea shown its effectiveness. It will suppress cold and will help you avoid stomachaches due to anti-inflammatory properties.
Yoga– Exercise positively stimulates our immune systems, in clinical trials it has been shown to increase immune cells and decrease number of infections and colds suffered each year.
Cold showers- Effectively boosts testosterone, an immunity booster and protector, and white T-cells according to recent studies.