How to boost your immune system this autumn?
Now that the weather is a bit chillier, and with the added factor of a global pandemic, we’ve found ourselves looking for simple ways to naturally boost our immune system. Avoiding getting sick is just that little bit more important right now than it has been in many years, for obvious reasons. So we’ve decided to collect some natural mood-boosting, immune system supporting ways you can use too this season to stay happier and healthier.
1. Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables
One of the pillars of health and looking after your immune system is the most obvious of them all: eat your fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables that are brightly coloured usually contain the highest amounts of immunity-building antioxidants – think berries, sweet potatoes, kiwi fruit, kale, grapefruit and carrots. If you also want to take the environment into consideration, choose seasonal: brussels sprouts, all types of cabbages, kale, leek, potatoes, spinach and squash are your best friends in October and November.
2. Eat more garlic
Garlic does have properties that will boost your immune system and help you fight off colds and flu. Now that we are a bit more socially distant or even work from home, you have no reasons not to give a try to garlic supplements. If you are new to the world of garlic, you may want to try odourless garlic capsules first and gradually grow into the world of more ‘fragrant’ options.
3. Get enough sleep
Try and get at least 7.5-9 hours of sleep, as sleep deprivation has detrimental effects on your immune system which makes you more susceptible to illness. Sleep stages are governed by our circadian rhythm, which regulates body temperature and hormonal secretion relative to waking and sleeping hours. Our best sleep works within this circadian rhythm, based on daylight and darkness. So try and set your bedtime between 7pm-11pm in the winter, limit your exposure to blue light before bed – a ‘no phones after 7pm, and no phones in the bedroom at all’ rule shall be the first thing you want to implement – and you can look into getting a sunrise-simulating alarm clock, like the Philips SmartSleep or the Lumie that eases you awake.
4. Take an oregano oil facial steam
Oregano oil has antibacterial, antioxidant and antiviral properties, which are just the things you need to help fight off colds and flu. We think the best way to use oregano oil is to add a few drops to a bowl of hot water, drape a towel over your head, then put your face over the bowl and inhale the steam. Another great use could also be by diffusing some of it in your home and create a generally natural, healing atmosphere.
5. Make a lemon- ginger- honey immunity shot
We followed Alpha Foodie’s recipe to create these booster shots. You can freeze these too, and add them to smoothies and cold press juices as well.
Cayenne pepper reduces inflammation while aiding various ailments including coughs and an upset stomach, but it is also an antioxidant that fights harmful free radicals. Honey, among its antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant properties can also help boost immunity, fight infection and improve the digestive system as a natural cleanser. We add lemon for its alkaline priorities and Vitamin C content, and finally ginger to improve brain functions, lower blood sugar levels and to treat a variety of digestive ailments. This immunity shot really is an all-rounder for the cold autumn and winter months.
6. Drink tea
Peppermint, Ginger, and Cinnamon tea all have cold and flu-fighting properties and not to mention – they taste amazing, can instantly create a hygge-like feel at home and relaxes your mind & body.
7. Work out regularly
We all know exercise is great for us, yet, it’s just so difficult to get going. But just 30 minutes of light exercise 3 times a day – yoga, stretching, bicycling and even walking- helps release endorphins in your body, keeps you in good shape and your immune system strong. Besides, when exercising, your body eliminates toxins, altogether creating a powerful defence against all kind of health threats.
How will you strengthen your immune system in the cold months? Let us know in the comments below!