Building a strong immune system helps the body not only knock out colds but also intense workouts!
There’s no better time than now to focus on building your immune system. With the coronavirus front and center, I’d like to walk you through some methods I use to help strengthen my immune system year-round.
With a strong immune system, you can better fight against ailments like the flu and common cold, but you also can see bigger gains during and after your workouts!
I know it sounds a bit gross, but our bodies are filled with bugs. Good bugs that is! They live in the gut and help fight off certain viruses and bad bacteria that can cause and perpetuate illness.
With that said, the key to a stronger immune system is to build up the good bugs in your belly because they act as a defense for the not-so-good invaders.
Don’t wait until you feel the cough or sniffles. Instead, get on the offense and build your immune system today. Let’s do this!
1. Keep the Good Bacteria in Your Gut Happy
Did you know that up to 70 percent of your immune system stems from your stomach? It’s critical to keep the trillions of good bacteria strains happy with lots of fiber, fermented foods, and prebiotics and probiotics. It’s as simple as adding a few extra helpings of veggies to your meals. Don’t forget to include a small side of sauerkraut or your favorite fermented foods, and take a quality prebiotic and probiotic daily.
2. Avoid Strengthening the Bad Bacteria
Bad bugs thrive on sugar, so it’s essential to find healthy alternatives. If you have a sweet tooth, aim for fruit that is full of fiber. If you’re craving a little extra sweetness, sprinkle on some monk fruit or honey. Skip the processed junk foods, and pay attention to the excess sugars that are lurking in everything from crackers to processed meats. The optimal solution is to focus on whole foods.
3. Get Great Sleep
Sleep is not a luxury. It’s essential for your health and well-being. I know it sounds impossible to get extra sleep, but if there is a will, there is a way. Even a 20-minute nap during the day or right after work can help you be more efficient. One thing I like to do is shut down everything. By turning off my phone, TV and computer, I can get into bed 20 to 30 minutes earlier each night. This isn’t always possible. Trust me, I get it. But know that it’s well worth the effort to your overall quality of health and immunity.
4. Try Immune-Boosting Drinks
Many great drinks can help boost your immune system. Try a golden milk latte with turmeric, a plant-based protein shake packed with fiber, or make a daily routine of sipping a hot cup of tea packed with antioxidant-rich herbs. There are endless teas that have immune-boosting benefits, and they are an easy way to give your immune system a daily dose of love. Look for drinks that have echinacea, elderberry, goldenseal, ginger and reishi. Many are labeled “for your immune system,” which is great! Don’t wait until you are feeling under the weather to dive into a cup of medicinal tea.
5. Circulation (AKA Exercise)
Exercise isn’t always about burning calories or losing weight. Training is one of the best strategies to help maintain a healthy immune system via the increased circulation and blood flow, delivering nutrients farther and wider throughout your body. Your blood transports oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body, and it’s critical to get your blood pumping.
Written by Kim Lyons for Oxygen Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.