How to Boost Your Immune System
Learn how to boost your immune system with these simple steps. On the whole, your immune system does an amazing job of defending you against microorganisms. Sometimes though, your immune system fails to fend off an invading germ and you get sick. What if you knew how to boost your immune system to increase its effectiveness and help it stay balanced?
These simple strategies will enhance your immune function, helping increase resistance to flus, colds and other respiratory illnesses.
What is Your Immune System?
The immune system protects your body from foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and toxins. It is made up of a complex system of organs, cells, and proteins that all work together in synergy to protect you.
There are two main parts of your immune system:
- The innate system that you are born with
- The adaptive system which you develop during exposure
According to John's Hopkins Medicine, various organs of the body create the cells of both parts of the immune system, including:
- Adenoids. Two glands located at the back of the nasal passage.
- Bone marrow. The soft, spongy tissue found in bone cavities.
- Lymph nodes. Small organs shaped like beans, which are located throughout the body and connect via the lymphatic vessels.
- Lymphatic vessels. A network of channels throughout the body that carries lymphocytes to the lymphoid organs and bloodstream.
- Peyer's patches. Lymphoid tissue in the small intestine.
- Spleen. A fist-sized organ located in the abdominal cavity.
- Thymus. Two lobes that join in front of the trachea behind the breastbone.
- Tonsils. Two oval masses in the back of the throat.
Can You Boost Your Immune System?
If you are wondering not only how to boost your immune system, but if you even can, studies have shown some interesting data on how much of the effects on our immune systems are hereditary versus lifestyle.
An amazing 80% of the influences on our immune responses are non-hereditary and attributed to environmental and lifestyle factors. This is good news, as those are the factors our actions and decisions can influence.
This means that individual lifestyle factors, as well as the germs we are exposed to throughout our lives, both play an important role in balancing and boosting the immune system.
So what can we do to strengthen our body's defense system?
How to Boost Your Immune System
Healthy lifestyle choices not only effect the immune system, but all the systems of our intricate bodies. These suggestions on how to boost your immune system are just a few of the many steps and choices available when determining healthy lifestyle steps that result in optimal functioning.
Strategies for healthy living are always recommended as your first and most powerful step towards boosting your immune system function. Every part of your body functions better when it is bolstered by health building actions such as these:
1. Do Not Smoke or Vape
Smoking and vaping have a negative, deteriorating effect on your immune and respiratory systems, but also on all internal organs.
2. Exercise Regularly to Promote Health
Regular exercise contributes to overall good health and therefor, to a healthy immune system
3. Eat a Diet High in Colourful Fruits and Vegetables to Boost Your Immune System
Avoid processed and refined foods and load your diet up with a variety of colourful fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and opt for organic protein sources. Choose heart healthy fat sources and add probiotics to your diet.
Ensuring we have adequate intake of macro and micronutrients is important for immune balance.
Chicken, cereals, bananas, pork loin, potatoes with skin
Tomatoes, citrus fruit, sweet peppers, broccoli, kiwi fruit
Sunflower seeds and oil, almonds, safflower oil, peanut butter
Whole wheat, legumes, nuts, seeds
Oysters, beef, Alaskan king crab, turkey (dark meat)
4. Minimize Stress
It's no secret that we are all feeling a lot of stress these days. Not all stress is avoidable so it is crucial to develop healthy coping strategies and stress relievers in to your life. These can include:
- Talking to a friend
- Making time for laughter
- Deep breathing
- Rest and relaxation
- Reading and writing
- Enjoy a hot bath, and light a natural candle
- Diffuse essential oils
5. Good Sleep Health
Sleep plays a crucial role in overall health and has a direct and significant effect on your immune system, along with all of your body systems. Some ways to promote good sleep are:
- Stick to a sleep routine, the same time each night
- Create a restful environment for sleep, minimizing clutter, light and noise
- Spend time outside during the day
- Avoid use of electronics at least 1 – 2 hours before bed
- Avoid eating and drinking at least 2 hours before bed
- Use natural lavender to help promote sleep such as a lavender pillow spray
6. How to Boost Your Immune System with Essential Oils
Essential oils are the pure concentrated essences distilled or pressed from beneficial plants, roots, barks etc. Essential oils have been shown to support healthy immune and respiratory function. They can also support the body's antioxidant defense, reduce inflammation, relieve stress and a variety of other immune boosting benefits.
Simply place essential oils in an oil diffuser, direct inhale from the bottle, add to a steam inhalation treatment or bath, apply topically or use in a room and pillow spray
The Top Four Essential Oils for Immune System Support
Eucalyptus is well known for immune function enhancing as well as natural decongestant and expectorant properties. Add 3 to 6 drops to a diffuser or add 2 drops to your bath or shower. Dilute 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil into a ¼ tsp of sweet almond oil and add to your bath.
2. Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin, steeped into a tea or taken as a supplement. It is a strong immune system booster on a cellular level. Frankincense is a natural anti-inflammatory and even aids the body in creating additional white blood cells.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree essential oil has a multitude of benefits including natural qualities in fighting harmful pathogens. Tea tree helps eliminate viruses and bacteria and it has immune boosting properties. The best way to unlock it's immune boosting properties is by adding 3-6 drops to a diffuser.
Rosemary essential oil provides fast comfort from congestion and headaches. It is well known to boost resistance to illness and disease and can help decongest the nasal airways. Rosemary essential oil promotes a stronger immune system so diffuse often. Add 5 drops to your diffuser or dilute with carrier oil and apply topically.
Aromatherapy can provide numerous potential health benefits including supporting a strong immune system, Essential oils are easy and enjoyable to implement and a natural stress reliever. They offer a simple, natural way to help ward off bacteria and viruses and to relieve and comfort symptoms quickly.
Essential Oil Steam Inhalation Instructions
If you don't have a diffuser, try using steam to inhale essential oils.
- 2-3 drops of any essential oil
- 2 cups steaming hot water
Add your essential oils to steaming hot water in a basin. Cover your head with a towel and place your head above the basin. Keeping your eyes closed, breathe through your nose from a comfortable distance, exhaling through your mouth.
In this post you learned how to boost your immune system with six simple strategies that are natural and effective. Lifestyle choices have a significant effect on the immune system and its response. By switching out some your daily choices and adding in the six steps we covered in this post, you can better support your immune system and overall health and experience less illness.
What is something you already do to help boost your immune system? Let us know in the comments below!
Wishing you Zen,
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