Having a healthy immune response is key to prevent diseases. It’s especially important nowadays with the novel coronavirus, which now has infected more than 30 million people worldwide. People with a weakened immune system are more likely to get sick. And though taking up such precautions as wearing a mask has its benefits, it has its limitations.
Fortunately, there are natural ways to boost your immunity. Read on to know more about them:
1. Taking herbal tinctures
Herbal tinctures are extracts made by soaking herbs in alcohol or vinegar.
To strengthen your immune system, choose herbs that are the best for boosting immunity. For instance, recent research found that astragalus root, a popular herb in Chinese medicine, can increase resistance to infection. One study also found that taking the herb to avoid infection with the coronavirus is common in China.
2. Drinking tea
Herbal teas contain potent plant compounds that are beneficial for immune health. For example, elderberry tea is rich in flavonoids and anthocyanins, bioactive antioxidants that may support the immune system and promote a healthy inflammatory response. They may also increase the absorption of vitamin C, an essential micronutrient that’s popularly used to boost immunity.
3. Getting quality sleep
Getting enough sleep is important to fight infectious diseases. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation. But sleep deprivation may decrease the production of protective cytokines.
Therefore, a good night’s rest is important to keep your immune health in top shape. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep every night, while children below 18 years may need eight or more hours of sleep.
4. Taking probiotics
Probiotics, live microorganisms that are beneficial for health, may boost the immune system and protect the body against infections. When consumed, probiotics can restore the natural balance of gut bacteria, inhibiting the growth of harmful microbes and boosting the population of friendly bacteria.
Recent research also found that some probiotics may promote the production of antibodies and reduce the risk and duration of respiratory infections.
5. Maintaining a healthy diet
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps strengthen your immune system. You can try eating more superfoods such as leafy greens, berries and citrus fruits as these are packed with essential nutrients in a single serving. In turn, these nutrients boost immunity and help the body ward off infections. (Related: Anti-inflammatory superfoods for energy and immunity.)
6. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise, one of the pillars of good health, can contribute to a healthy immune system. In fact, getting your body moving through exercise can promote good circulation, allowing cells and other components of the immune system to travel through the body freely and perform their job efficiently.
7. Getting more sun
Your body produces vitamin D when exposed sufficiently to sunlight. In turn, vitamin D has anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties, making it crucial for activating immune system defenses. Low levels of the vitamin are linked to a higher risk of infection and immune-related disorders. Recent research also suggests that vitamin D deficiency may increase a person’s risk of severe COVID-19 complications.
Recent research found that fasting for three days can reset your immune system. It prompts your body to recycle and eliminate immune cells, especially those that may be damaged. Once you start eating again, your body produces new and more efficient cells better equipped to fight infections.
9. Taking spirulina
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that can boost the production of antibodies and immune cells. It’s also rich in proteins, carotenoids and antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. (Related: Health benefits of taking spirulina daily.)
10. Consuming apple cider vinegar
The use of apple cider vinegar for treating disease dates back to ancient Greece. But even today, apple cider vinegar remains a steady fixture in traditional medicine. One of its common uses nowadays is for treating cold. That’s because its acidic and antibacterial properties make it a powerful immune booster.
As COVID-19 cases keep rising, boosting your immunity is one of the better ways to get through the current health crisis. Try one or more of these immune-boosting tips to keep your body in good shape.