During this time of year, when colds and flus run rampant, people often wonder, are there ways to boost your immune system naturally? And, the answer is a resounding yes! Read on to see the ways that you can improve your immune system and experience fewer illnesses this year.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Water is the essence of life, and it is essential for immune health. This is largely due to the fact that water is a key component of lymphatic fluid. Lymphatic fluid contains a special type of white blood cells, called lymphocytes, whose primary function is to help the body fight infection. To boost your immune function, aim to drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This will help to keep your lymphatic fluid circulating and doing its job of removing waste products, toxins, and impurities from your body, including bacteria and viruses.
Eat Foods High in Probiotics
Did you know that 70% of your immune system is found in your gut? That’s why a healthy diet is one of the most important factors in immune health. Some of the best foods to boost immunity contain probiotics, live bacteria, and yeasts. Probiotics can be found in fermented and cultured foods. Some foods that contain probiotics are:
- Apple Cider Vinegar – a type of vinegar made with crushed apples, yeast, and sugar
- Kefir – a drink made from fermented milk
- Kimchi – a Korean dish of salted, fermented vegetables, often based on cabbage
- Kombucha – a fizzy sweet-and-sour drink made with fermented tea
- Miso – a fermented soybean paste
- Sauerkraut – raw cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria
- Tamari – a Japanese sauce made from fermented soybeans, it is a by-product of miso
- Tempeh – a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans
- Tofu – condensed soy milk pressed into blocks of different firmness
- Yogurt – a dish produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk
Spice Up Your Life
Along the same lines as probiotics, yeast, and live bacteria, herbs and spices can also play a role in boosting your immune system. That’s right, a healthier you could be as close as your spice cabinet! Some helpful spices to add to your life include:
Cinnamon is a pantry staple in most homes, so chances are high that you have this spice tucked up on a shelf already. The active, infection-fighting component of cinnamon is called cinnamaldehyde. This unassuming spice has been shown to both relieve and treat respiratory tract infections, but it may also inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Eating raw garlic may not make you the most popular person to have a conversation with, but it may make you the healthiest! Over the centuries, garlic has been used to ward off the plague and was even used in wartime to prevent gangrene. One tiny clove is jam-packed full of high levels of calcium, potassium, and sulfuric compounds – all of which may help to wipe out bacteria and infection.
This is another herb you may already have in your spice cabinet. Rosemary is a member of the mint family and it has a range of health benefits. It is a rich source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help to boost the immune system and reduce infection.
Ginger has incredible anti-inflammatory properties that may prevent certain viruses from attaching to and infecting the upper respiratory tract by stimulating the respiratory cells to secrete an antiviral protein. It may also help to clear up congestion by inhibiting the production of mucus.
Oregano is a popular culinary herb that can be found in almost any kitchen, but it is also a powerful anti-microbial. Studies have shown that oregano is an effective tool against 23 different species of infection-causing bacteria. Additionally, it’s been shown that two components of oregano (carvacrol and thymol) may also protect you against certain viruses.
Thyme is a fantastic herb believed to prevent viral and fungal infections. It is useful for relieving symptoms of respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, colds, flu, allergies, and blocked sinuses. It also helps to eliminate phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tract, eases inflammation, and prevents microbial development. Additionally, thyme contains high levels of Vitamin C which stimulate the production of white blood cells, to strengthen the immune system.
Turmeric contains curcumin which has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric has long been a staple healing food for centuries in ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine, being used to treat and prevent a wide range of illnesses. *Note – High doses of turmeric should not be taken by anyone on blood thinning medication.
Try Fire Cider
Fire cider is a traditional folk remedy made with many of the herbs and spices listed here as well as lemons and apple cider vinegar. It’s a potent tonic that has been used for generations as a remedy to naturally protect against colds and flu and ease sinus congestion. You can find instructions on how to make a batch for yourself here, or do a quick google search to come up with other recipes.
Excess stress can overwork your immune system and drain your ability to stay healthy. Daily stressors big and small can constantly push your immune system and reduce its ability to keep you healthy. That’s why it is so important to make time for self-care. From moments of meditation or reading to long walks and massages, take the time each day to halt the grind and do activities that focus on you and “refilling your tank.”
Upper Cervical Care
Did you know that one of the best things you can do to boost your immune system naturally is to get started with Upper Cervical Care?
Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the connection between your neck, brainstem, and central nervous system. A healthy central nervous system is the single most important factor there is in your being able to fight off whatever colds or viruses you come in contact with. With regular upper cervical adjustments at Atlas Specific, we can help your body learn to heal itself naturally.
This cold and flu season, combine the foods, herbs, and spices listed in this article with upper cervical care at Atlas Specific and find yourself the perfect recipe for a healthier season. Our patients visit our Durango office from all over the Four Corners region, including, Bayfield, Ignacio, Mancos, Cortez, Aztec, and Farmington. Contact us today by dropping by 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, give us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, or click the link below to schedule a free evaluation.
Notice of Disclaimer:
We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, do not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of the patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.