Your immune system is a fundamental part of staying healthy year-round. However, stress, environmental factors, diet, and other factors can weaken how well it can defend against illnesses and infections. Medications typically work once something is already awry, so what can you do to prevent getting sick? Today, we’ll take a look at several DIY ways to boost your immune health at home.
Boost Your Immune Health With a Balanced Diet
Your diet is one of the best places to start when looking for ways to strengthen your immune health. When your immune system has the tools it needs to fight off bacteria and viruses, it can help reduce your risk of illness and shorten your recovery time.
A well-balanced diet should include proteins, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, water, and healthy fats. Choosing fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, minerals, and key vitamins can support not only your immune system but your overall wellness.
- Citruses like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are high in immune-boosting vitamin C.
- Berries contain high levels of antioxidants. Look to include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries in your diet.
- Garlic, onions, and other Alliums have natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
- Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals that can support immune health.
Your gut health plays a significant role in the health and effectiveness of your immune system. In addition to the options above, consider incorporating probiotics into your diet. Probiotics, such as those found in yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome can help promote a strong immune system.
Hydration is essential for your overall health. Water helps ensure your cells have enough fluids to do their job properly. Adequate hydration also assists your body with flushing out toxins through your liver and kidneys.
Most adults should aim for 11 – 15 cups of water per day, depending on factors like activity level, health, and sex. If you have trouble reaching your daily hydration goals, consider setting a timer or downloading an app to help you stay on track.
When you are already ill, staying hydrated is even more important than usual, as your body needs more fluids than usual to combat bacteria and viruses. Herbal teas can help you stay hydrated when you are sick. Add-ins such as lemon, honey, and ginger can add flavor, provide relief from symptoms like sore throat, and offer additional immune-boosting benefits.
Consider Herbal Remedies
Certain herbs have been used in traditional medicine to help support the immune system. Some of these options include:
- Echinacea: May help boost immune health and speed up the recovery time from common colds and the flu.
- Elderberry: The berries of this plant are rich in antioxidants and may help reduce inflammation and support your immune system.
- Turmeric: It contains curcumin, a compound that can help combat infections and features both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Ginger: This root has antibacterial and antiviral properties and supports healthy immune function. Ginger is also known to relieve nausea.
Keep in mind that these herbs and supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Speak with your doctor before using alternative treatments, as they could negatively impact preexisting health conditions or medications.
Increase Your Vitamin Intake
A wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are essential to maintaining a strong immune system.
- Vitamin D: This vitamin is important for your immune system, mood, and overall health. You can increase your vitamin D levels through supplements, certain foods, and safe sun exposure.
- Vitamin C: This antioxidant is renowned for its ability to promote a strong and healthy immune system. High doses of vitamin C, such as those given intravenously in a Myer’s Cocktail, can help combat a wide range of health conditions when used alongside traditional treatments.
- Vitamin B Complex: This family of vitamins plays many roles in your overall health, including energy levels, producing healthy red blood cells, and maintaining a healthy immune system.
- Magnesium: Although magnesium is not a vitamin, this mineral can support immune health by helping your body fight infections.
If you’re looking to increase your intake of these immune-boosting vitamins and minerals, a Myer’s Cocktail in Washington, DC, can help. This IV infusion is a blend of hydrating fluids and essential vitamins that can help boost your immune health. Treatments typically take less than an hour and can be administered at homes, offices, and even the gym.
Incorporating natural remedies into your daily life can help strengthen your immune system, giving it the best platform to fight off infections. However, it’s important to remember that if you are very ill or your symptoms worsen, you should see a medical professional or contact an in-home concierge physician. They can evaluate you, make a diagnosis, and write a prescription for medications if needed, helping you get back to feeling your best as quickly as possible.