Strengthening your immunity these days is more important than ever. As we age, our immune systems play an increasingly critical role in our health, protecting our bodies from illness, disease and infection. Below, we’ve put together some simple ways to help boost immunity and your body’s defense so you can stay healthy and happy.
Please note, these tips are not meant to be used in place of professional medical advice. Be sure to always check with your doctor before partaking in anything that could impact current medications or health conditions.
1. Limit Sugar Intake
If you can avoid sugary foods as often as possible, especially when you’re feeling under the weather, it can significantly improve the time it takes for your body to heal. Refined sugar tends to create inflammation in the body and lower your natural immunity.
2. Get 7-8 Hours of Sleep
Never underestimate a good night’s sleep! Rest goes a long way to help strengthen your body’s immune system, giving it a break to repair and rejuvenate to continue healing. Getting at least 7 hours, if not 8 hours, is ideal.
3. Try Elderberry
Elderberry is a flowering plant used in folk medicine for generations. It’s been known to enhance immune function, with properties that aid in relieving coughs, colds and congestion. The plant itself looks like a shrub, with flowers and tiny dark berries that are used to make healing syrups or teas. You can typically find elderberry supplements in your local health food store.
4. Exercise on a Regular Basis
Try to aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, even if it’s broken up throughout the day! Something as simple as a brisk walk has been shown to help boost immunity and the body’s ability to fight off disease, as well as helping us to sleep better and reduce stress.
5. Eat Raw Honey
Honey is a superfood! It offers antioxidants alongside many health benefits when eaten regularly. Not only is it ideal for your immune system, it also is antibacterial, helps protect against cancer, is excellent for your skin and much more. Just make sure you buy local for the best quality!
Bonus tip: Put honey in green tea for an extra immunity boost! Green tea is packed full of antioxidants and other health properties that strengthen immune defense.
6. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are exactly that – processed! Which means they are often lacking the naturally-occurring health benefits that fresh or raw foods can offer. Not only do processed foods not give you nutrients, they can actually compromise immune function.
Instead of reaching for processed meals or snacks, try to focus on whole fruits and vegetables. Foods that are known to boost immunity include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Sweet potatoes
7. Incorporate Probiotics
Probiotics are bacteria that live in the colon that help to produce disease-fighting white blood cells. Gut health and immunity often work hand-in-hand. The more probiotics you can incorporate into your diet, the quicker you’ll likely get over your next cold! Some great probiotic-rich foods include sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and yogurt. You can even find probiotic supplements at your local grocer!
At Cumberland Crossing by OceanView, your health is our number one priority. If you’re interested in seeing our active senior campus, you can sign up for a virtual tour! Contact us today to schedule!