Yes, it’s true — there is one virus at the moment that everybody is talking about. It’s the coronavirus – all the washing of hands and avoiding those who are sick, etc. But, all viruses, whichever one is around, can wreak havoc on your body. Your body needs to be in pretty good shape and prepared to fight back. Experts say that if you can boost your immune system and stay healthy, you are fighting a good fight!
How do you fight a good fight?
Some smart tips:
Stay active: Research shows that when you exercise around five days a week, you half the risk of coming down with viruses than those who are more sedentary.
Watch your diet: For instance, if you focus on very healthy foods, for example, the Mediterranean way of eating, you are going to feel the benefits in your body – try it, and see how more energetic and healthier you feel.
Stay on top of stress: Did you know that there is a secure link between your mental health and your immune health? People who are stressed all the time are susceptible to developing a virus. It’s because when you are stressed, your immune system takes a dip.
Get plenty of restful sleep: Because look at it like this – your immune system is like a computer; it needs rest so as not be become overheated. Sleep reboots your body and your whole system.
Other lifestyle habits that do the trick
There aren’t any magic lotions and potions that you rub in or pop in that is magically going to secure your health against viruses and the cold grip of winter. But still, we are going to look at some fantastic natural solutions that are going to boost your body and your immune system and reduce your risk of catching those nasty superbugs. Let’s check them out:
1- Echinacea: This herb has powerful stimulants in it to protect the immune system. One study in 2012 published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine says that Echinacea produced maximal effects on recurring infections, particularly those of the upper respiratory system.2- Elderberry: Hippocrates, the great Father of Medicine, knew that this plant was vital for boosting the immune system – he used it to treat his patients from colds, flu, inflammation, and allergies.3- Astragalus Root: This herb comes from the bean and legume family, long known for its ability to boost the immune system. Researchers have concluded that Astragalus in extract form benefits the immune system and protects people from gastrointestinal inflammation and cancer as well.4- Ginseng: Ginseng is known for its ability to fight infection, boost the immune system and enhance resistance to infection or illness. Ginseng is proven to have antimicrobial compounds. These work at defending your body against attacks from viral and bacterial infections.
1- Bone Broth: Bone broth is one healthy food – it supports the immune function because it promotes the health of the gut. That means that inflammation is reduced, which is caused by a leaky gut syndrome. It’s got plenty of amino acids and collagen in it, which seals the opening of the gut lining, supporting its integrity. Consuming bone broth is an excellent immune system booster food.2- Ginger: We know how Ayurveda medicine praises ginger because of its strong action in strengthening the immune system. Ginger is known to break down the accumulation of toxins in the body – it cleanses the lymphatic system by clearing your body of any unwanted waste. Ginger, from research, shows that it is effective in protecting the body from infectious diseases.3-Green Tea: Studies show that green tea works as an antivirus and antifungal agent, strengthening the immune system with its health-promoting antioxidants and amino acids.4- Foods with vitamin C: Vitamin C foods, like citrus fruits and red bell peppers, improve the health of the immune system because they have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in them. Not only that, but they also have the all-important zinc to reduce the symptoms of respiratory infections.5- Foods with beta-carotene: Beta-carotene helps to reduce inflammation and deal with oxidative stress. Beta carotene foods are pumpkin, carrot juice, sweet potato, apricots, red bell peppers, kale, collard greens, and spinach.
1- Probiotics: Leaky gut causes an imbalance in the body. When this occurs, food sensitivities occur as well as an autoimmune disease. That is the result of a weakened immune system. It is vital to consume plenty of probiotic foods and supplements.2- Vitamin D: A vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmunity and also being susceptible to infection. Vitamin D maintains tolerance and promotes protective immunity. A study from the Massachusetts General Hospital showed that people with low vitamin D levels were the ones more likely to have upper respiratory tract infections than those with sufficient levels of vitamin D.3- Zinc: Many people know that zinc fights colds and other illnesses. And if you have ever experienced bacterial build-up in your nose, it will fight that and help to clear it up.
1- Myrrh: Myrrh ranks as one of the most popular essential oils. From ancient times, it has been used for wound cleaning and to even staunch bleeding. And those who use it know how effective it is to boost the immune system because of its strong antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties.2- Oregano: Oregano essential oil has an excellent reputation for its immune-boosting properties and healing effects. That is because it contains plenty of antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-parasite compounds.
1- Exercise: When you incorporate physical activity into your daily and weekly regimen, you are most definitely strengthening your immune system.2- Reduce stress: As mentioned above, studies prove that when you have chronic stress, it can suppress your protective immune responses and exacerbate pathological immune responses.For you to enjoy and promote healing and be healthy, you need to minimize your stress levels. We all know how difficult this can be in today’s world. But still, it is important. Less stress means better sleep, also mentioned above.3- Take protective measures: When bugs and germs are doing the rounds, it’s imperative to protect yourself and those around you. This means:
Not touching your face and thereby spreading infection.
Staying at home when you are sick to eliminate passing the germs around.
Coughing or sneezing into a tissue.
Seeking medical attention and treatment when needed.
4- Just a precautionary note: Remember to use herbs, supplements, and essential oils with care. Some of them can be pretty potent, and some should not even be taken for more than two weeks at a time. There needs to be a break in between long doses. Also, be cautious if you are pregnant when you use essential oils – check with your practitioner.
Our immune systems consist of an intricate balance of organs, cells, and proteins. These all work together to protect our bodies from viruses and bacteria that want to invade the body. That means when it’s not working properly, you might not even notice signs and symptoms. But when the performance of your immune system is compromised, and you become ill, it is only then that you might realize your immune system is not well.Plants, herbs, minerals, foods and lifestyle changes can be used to prevent and fight infections due to their antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties. On the Dr. Oz show this year, the Chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Michael Roizen, discussed which foods to eat and which ones to avoid, protecting the body.
What to Eat
It might sound pretty obvious, but eating clean and healthy is truly your best bet. Feeding your body nutrient-rich foods keeps it in peak shape and health to fight off illness – this is whether it’s the flu, the coronavirus, or the common cold.Dr. Roizen does recommend eating plant-based foods and plenty of citrus fruits, cruciferous veggies, tomatoes, and omega fats – foods like salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds, olive oil, almonds, and walnuts. Why so? All these types of foods decrease inflammation in the body, an important defence against viruses.
What foods to avoid
Dr. Roizen advises people to avoid processed foods, added sugars, and red meat. These types of foods increase inflammation in the body. It is also suggested that people stay away from shellfish and sushi, particularly with the coronavirus around. These foods often can carry parasites or other viruses, which can weaken the immune response.You know that saying – what you put in is what you get out, right? It makes sense, therefore that the food we eat is what gives our bodies the materials and “information” it needs to function properly. Without the right information, our health and our metabolic processes suffer, period.“No doctor has ever healed anyone of anything in the history of the world. The human immune system heals, and that’s the only thing that heals” – Bob Wright