Six Cheap & Easy Immune Boosting Tips - The Living Well

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Six Cheap & Easy Immune Boosting Tips

immune boosting tea and candle

‘Tis cold and flu season, which means all things sniffles, tissues, and early bedtimes. Are you tired of being plagued year in and year out by the nagging sickness that seems to knock you out at least once a year? Here are my six cheap and easy immune-boosting tips.

The temperatures are starting to drop, and the sniffles are in full swing. Welcome to the season when we all pay a little more attention to our immune system, and rightfully so. The immune system is fascinating, changing with the changes of season and lifestyle working to support the body.

We don’t often see it that way, designed with every capacity to keep you well. Instead, we are fed messages that make it seem the only way to help your body is to work for your immune system. Unfortunately, many of the ways we do this go against our immune system, doing more harm than good, like the use of excessive cleaners and anti-bacterial.

Today I want to transition your view of your immune system and looking to support it rather than work for it, focusing your efforts on energizing it rather than changing it. We give it space to work in that process, which is what it was designed to do. Not to mention, it is the very thing that strengthens it.

Here are a few fun facts about your immune system:

  1. It changes with the seasons. Scientists have found that your microbiome can change up to 30% with each season priming it to work with the conditions. 
  2. It is more robust in the fall and winter than in summer.
  3. Your immune system was made to work. It thrives on working. Similar to a muscle, it gets stronger with work, but too much work can exhaust it. It’s all about balance.
  4. It interacts with every other system inside the body based on your energy flow, determining whether you are in a state of thriving or surviving. Perhaps the most defining system is the emotional system and its effect on the immune system. Making your immune system an emotional one just as much as a biological one.
  5. Your immune system is shaped by your environment, both culturally, physically, and emotionally.

All of that to say, your immune system is incredible. And left to function as it should, it does an amazing job at keeping you alive. The key is to provide balance in energy, supplying the nutrients and life it needs to feel supported. Here are six cheap and easy immune-boosting tips to energize your body.

6 Cheap and easy immune-boosting tips to energize your body

1. oxygenate your body

The most vital nutrient in our body is oxygen — the very purpose of every breath we take. Oxygen is a great supporter of the immune system, helping to fire up the cells in your body to function well rather than grasping for air. But most of us are not getting enough oxygen. Whether due to stress and living with tension or not moving our bodies enough, we’re deprived, creating a more viable environment for illness to thrive.

PRACTICE DEEP BREATHING

One way to better oxygenate your body is to practice deep breathing. Simply taking 3-5 deep breaths a couple of times a day can make all of the difference. Try it out every time you come to a stoplight or during commercial breaks at night. Stop and focus on your breathing. Inhale through your belly {yes, pushing it out} for 4-5 counts and exhaling for the same. Repeat this practice 3-5 times, multiple times a day. It’s a practice that can significantly change your health, your energy, and even your happiness.

hand holding a chai latte

2. practice seasonality

For centuries seasons were a vital part of everyday life. In the days before, we had perfectly controlled temperatures, ways to transport products all over the globe, and we had to hunt for food. But now that most of us live in homes and work in environments outside of the natural flow of life – regulated to a T – it’s easy to do the same thing day in and day out. Not even realizing that while our environment might allow us to be repetitive in nature – our body certainly isn’t.

The short answer, your body is changing with the season. Your hormones are shifting, as is your circadian rhythm, and even your immune system is switching gears. One essential way to help your body is to be aware of these changes and change with them.

Live seasonally seems simple and insignificant, but hormonally speaking – it could be one of the most significant changes you make.

Here are a few practical changes to make: 

  • Save smoothies for spring and summer when your body is trying to cool off and eat more soups and casseroles in the winter.
  • Take more time to rest and recover during the shorter days and allow your body to be pushed in the long days of summer.
  • Create stability when the weather feels unstable.
  • Eat what’s in season even though you can buy all foods whether in season or out of season. Learn the art of seasonal meal prep to make this easy.

Learn how to boost your metabolism by eating seasonally and try practicing these 15 changes to make for spring. If you’re entering the fall and winter seasons, learn five fail-proof changes to make for the cooler months.

bath with eucalyptus

3. de-stress or deal with stress

Stress could be considered one of the most detrimental health crises of our day. Stress seems to be everywhere, and not the good stress we used to face. Today our stress generally consists of sitting and sometimes emotionally eating, only adding to the stress load in the body.

While it’s impossible to avoid stress – it is possible to limit it or learn ways to deal with it. Whether you have a significant life change like a job change or a change in family life, you don’t have to let this get the best of you.

Take a reading of your stress life, like a thermometer, and understand when you need to fill yourself back up. Keep a list of ways to help you de-stress, which doesn’t mean getting rid of the stress but learning how to support yourself regardless of the stress. 

Make sure you pinpoint the stress and then come up with a game plan so your body can live more at ease regardless of the stress. It’s always about creating balance, knowing when you’re out of alignment and how to get yourself back in.

Here are some ways to de-stress

  • Practice daily self-care
  • Take hot baths
  • Create a morning routine
  • Hit the trails for a long walk with your dog or a friend
  • Get social
  • Create space just to be
woman holding dry brush

4. move your body {or at least your fluid}

One central component of our immune system is our lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is home to our lymph nodes and lymph fluid used to detoxify the body through circulating toxins and other substances to be filtered and detoxified out of the body.

But the thing about the lymphatic system, unlike the cardiovascular system, it has no central pump. This means you have to move your body or at least the fluid to move the lymphatic system. Moving your body is the easiest way to do this. But there are a few additional ways to increase lymphatic circulation, increasing your immune system. 

The best ways to circulate your immune system:

megafoods supplement

5. supplement without over supplementing

You don’t need a lot of supplementation- a little goes a long way. Remember, supplements should supplement a healthy diet, not replace it. The best place to nutrify your body is with food and fresh air.

But, like anything in the body, supplementation is a vital and necessary component. In many cases, we’re not able in the “typical” diet to get all of the required nutrients we need to support the massive job of the immune system. That’s where supplementation can benefit. Make sure you choose them wisely and don’t overuse them. But try rotating your supplements to support total body health.

Here are my favorite immune-boosting supplements.

  1. Vitamin C
  2. Vitamin D + K
  3. Zinc
  4. Probiotics
  5. Magnesium

6. stop feeding viruses

Just like you need food to thrive, so do all of those germs we’re working to prevent. There happen to be a few foods that viruses and bacteria love to consume. Substances that help them replicate, grow and stay healthy and steady in your body. Not what we want at all. Take these foods into account, maybe even skipping them, to prevent illness this flu season and prevent it all year long.

Alcohol

It acts like a diuretic dehydrating the body, making the immune system more sluggish. Plus, it is a toxin that the liver has to filtrate, backing it up or congesting it, preventing it from filtering out the virus and bacteria. If you choose alcohol, limit it. Skipping it all together when you feel like your body is overwhelmed.

Caffeine

Caffeine can slow down the detoxification pathway interfering with your body’s ability to destroy and eliminate toxins. It may feel like it gives you a boost, but that boost comes with consequences. Not only does it slow the detoxification pathway, but it can also change the messaging patterns changing the flow of hormones. You see this mostly with a disruption in circadian rhythm.

Limit caffeine to one dose a day, skipping it as often as possible, especially if you’re feeling under the weather. And keep it before 1:00 pm to help foster healthy circadian rhythm patterns.

Dairy Products

Dairy is technically considered one of the high-inflammatory causing foods. The proteins in dairy are hard for many people’s digestive tracts to break down. When the digestive system can’t break it down, it causes harm to the gut and gut microbiome, causing the body to send out an immune attack. Some also believe that dairy is fuel for viruses and bacteria to thrive. 

Gluten-Containing Foods

The same is true with gluten-containing foods. Not only is it an inflammatory-causing food, but it also acts as a great food source and fuel source for unnecessary pathogens in the body. Decreasing the immune energy while enhancing the strength of a pathogen is a recipe for illness. 

Poultry {including eggs}

This is a little bit more tricky because no one wants to know that chicken could be causing more illness. I mean, your mom did give you a lot of chicken noodle soup when you were sick. But, the benefit of the soup came from the broth, not the chicken. 

The real reason you shouldn’t eat poultry when you’re sick and not overeat it, in general, is because poultry is a carrier of viruses and bacteria {1}. Not only do they carry pathogens, but eggs and poultry also tend to be great food for them.

I’m not saying don’t eat them, but pay attention to your body and check your energy after eating them, skipping the chicken noodle soup and opting for a vegetable broth soup instead. 

Sugar

Of course, sugar is on the list, when isn’t it when it comes to our health? We all know that excess sugar is not doing anything beneficial to the body – only creating more stress. That means, to prevent illness and get better quicker when you do get sick, you have to limit your sugar intake. Not only is it a stress on the body, but it’s a hormonal disruptor, disrupting your immune system. Kick the sugar habit – or at least the added sugar – and definitely skip the sports drinks. They will not rehydrate you like you’ve been told.

listen to your body

Like always, the most important thing you could ever do is listen to your body. It knows what it needs and signals how it feels. That way, you know when you certainly shouldn’t push it too hard and even when you need to grab some extra zzzs. Take time to slow down and hear it, providing what it needs and creating a healthy environment for it to thrive.

pick one easy immune boosting tip to implement

Now pick one easy immune-boosting tip to start implementing it today. It doesn’t have to be a big change, but the little ones pay off to create big changes in your body. Stay alert and when a cold or flu does strike, hit the holistic methods first!


Do you enjoy practical tips to improve your health?

Check out THIS post about 10 no-cost wellness tips that I swear by!


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