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The 5 Best Natural Immune System Boosters

Written by: Sara Holmström, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Sara Holmström

During the colder months germs tend to spread like wildfire in schools and workplaces. Winter months can be rough on our immune systems. The cold, darkness, and dry air make us more susceptible to colds, flu, and other infections.


ortrait of a beautiful young woman in the kitchen, representing a healthy lifestyle

What better time to boost your immune system for better protection against everything that's going around?

 

Instead of taking painkillers and effervescent tablets when you get sick, there's a lot you can do to naturally strengthen your body. That way, you might not even get sick in the first place. And if you do, your immune system can help you recover faster.

 

Let us have a look at the best natural ways to boost your immune system!

 

The 5 best natural immune system boosters

 

1. Prioritize sleep

 

Think of sleep as your body's built-in immune booster. While you slumber, your body goes into repair mode, clearing out toxins, releasing protective proteins called cytokines, and replenishing immune cells.

 

Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night, or if your sleep less, make sure to take a nap during the day. To optimize your sleep hygiene, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet. 

 

2. Breathe deeply from your stomach


Stress is a notorious immune system saboteur. Deep breathing exercises activate your parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress hormones that can impede immune function.

 

When you breath through your nose, many unwelcome bacteria get caught in the nasal hairs or nasal mucus membranes. This allows you to blow them out instead of them being carried further into the body (as with mouth breathing). Practice diaphragmatic breathing by sitting comfortably and placing one hand on your stomach. Inhale through your nose, feeling your belly expand. Exhale slowly through your nose, feeling your stomach contract. Repeat for 1-2 minutes a few times a day.

 

3. Spend a lot of time in nature


Stepping outdoors isn't just about scenic views; it's a natural immune pick-me-up. Spending time in nature exposes you to beneficial microorganisms and increases Vitamin D production, both of which contribute to a stronger immune system. Go for a brisk walk in the park, hike in the woods, or simply sit on your porch and soak up the fresh air. Aim for at least 30 minutes of outdoor time daily. 


4. Move your body


Exercise isn't just good for your heart and muscles; it's also a powerful immune system booster. Physical activity increases the circulation of white blood cells, your body's frontline soldiers against infection. 

 

This also helps your lymphatic system pump around and, therefore, cleanses your body more effectively. This reduces the load on your immune system, which then can deal with the bacteria that eventually make it through your nose, mucous membranes, and stomach acid.

 

5. You are what you eat


Let's start with how you eat. Make sure you eat your food calmly and chew thoroughly. This gives the stomach time to prepare for taking care of the food and replenish with stomach acid. Stomach acid kills many of the bacteria that make you sick.

 

What you eat also affects your immune system. A varied diet benefits your good gut bacteria, which strengthens the stomach's defense against bacteria. If you also make sure to cook from scratch with nutrient-rich ingredients, your immune system will have enough energy to strengthen your defenses. For example, you can eat extra oats, almonds, lingonberries, turmeric, ginger, and garlic, which all have a positive effect on the immune system.

 

Other foods you can eat more of during the winter to boost your immune system are pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, Brazil nuts, pecans, and cashews. They all contain a lot of zinc, which is one of the most important minerals for the immune system. Many people today are deficient in zinc. It is also good to eat something with a lot of enzymes, such as honey, avocado, banana, or kefir, which are needed for the body to absorb zinc properly.

 

Finally, it is good to replenish with good bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. You can find them in kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir.


Listen to your body and find your way

 

Be kind to yourself during winter and make sure you get enough rest, sleep, and recovery. The body needs more rest when it's winter and there are a lot of bacteria around.

 

You can follow some or all of these tips for a natural immune system boost, but most importantly, be kind to yourself. Listen to what your body needs and it's okay if you can't follow every advice.

 

Just becoming aware of what influences your immune system is a good step on the road to better health!

 

For additional information and inspiration on reducing stress, increasing energy, and achieving balance and presence, visit my website or follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn.


Sara Holmström Brainz Magazine
 

Sara Holmström, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Sara Holmström is a Holistic Health and Lifestyle Therapist and Reiki Practitioner located in Sweden. She guides individuals on the path to better health, often with a focus to decrease stress and increase energy. Drawing from her personal journey, Sara has taken on a holistic approach to health, addressing physical, mental, and energetic facets when coaching. Through her warm and clear guidance, she assists clients in achieving balanced health, enabling them to harness their energy productively to attain their life goals. She is the founder of LYSTRA HOLISTIC – a health coaching company, where she offers one-on-one health coaching and Reiki sessions both in-person and digitally.

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