Trending

VIEW ALL »

8 Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System

by

immune healthSome people seem to catch every bug that comes along, while others breeze through cold and flu season without a sniffle. Is there a secret to their success? Limiting your exposure to sick people isn’t always possible, so it’s up to you to shore up your defenses, no matter what your age.

Here are the best ways to keep yourself naturally healthy:

1. Humidify.

Keeping your house — or at least, your bedroom — from getting bone-dry during wintertime does two things: it helps keep your first line of defense, your mucus membranes, intact and moist. Plus, it provides a hostile environment for viruses, which like it cold and dry.

2. Get enough vitamin D.

New research shows it to be a sure immune booster, and lots of older people just don’t get enough, especially during the short days of winter. Supplement with 1,000 IU a day of vitamin D3, cholecalciferol. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk for pneumonia.

3. Add vitamin C.

Japanese researchers have shown that older people with reduced stomach acid (atrophic gastritis) had fewer colds when they supplemented with 500 mg of vitamin C a day. Vitamin C helps white blood cells produce infection-fighting chemicals called cytokines. If you do feel a cold coming on, it’s best to boost your intake even higher, to several grams a day, in divided doses, until your symptoms subside.

4. Limit sweets.

Eating more than 200 calories worth of refined sugar a day can depress your immune system. And 200 calories isn’t much — 3 cookies will do it. Satisfy your sweet tooth with citrus, mangoes, berries and other nutrient-dense fruits.

4. Eat garlic and onions.

Both increase germ-fighting power in your respiratory tract. Garlic is known as “Russian penicillin,” while onions are China’s top choice for healthy lungs.

5. Get enough sleep.

Being deprived of four hours of sleep in a single night led to a 30% reduction in activity of natural killer cells, one of your body’s first lines of defense. If you’re having trouble getting a full night’s sleep — at least seven hours — talk with your doctor about other things you can do, before you try drugs.

6. Exercise.

Regular, moderate exercise works best. It makes immune cells circulate through the body more quickly, so they are better able to kill bacteria and viruses. Research shows that women who walk 45 minutes a day are half as likely to catch a flu or cold bug as sedentary women, and that active women in their 70s had immune systems that were as healthy as women in their 30s and 40s. No matter what your age, anything is better than nothing.

7. Try an herbal remedy. Echinacea can reduce the duration and severity of colds, if you start taking it at the very first sign of symptoms. Research also shows that 200 mg of a standardized American ginseng extract reduces symptoms and severity. If your immune system is weak because of other health problems, medicinal fungi such as maitake, reishi and cordyceps can help.

The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: Your body’s immune system can be your greatest ally in resisting and fighting off infections. However, your immune system becomes weaker as you age, and you shouldn’t always count on pharmaceutical drugs to save the day. Learn to use natural means to build your immunity for a long, healthy life.

Healthy Living Starts Here

Never miss out on valuable information. Subscribe to our newsletter today!



Leave a Comment Below


17 responses to “8 Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System”

  1. Sue says:

    Great ideas…and all really simple. I usually supplement my multivitamin with 1,000 IU of Vitamin D all year round. Should I increase this to 2,000 IU during the winter months?

    • That probably would not be a bad idea, and you might even want to take more than that.

      To ensure optimal vitamin D levels year-round (blood levels of between 50–80 ng/mL (or 125–200 nM/L), the Vitamin D Council suggests that adults take 5,000 IU per day for 2–3 months, and then obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test and adjust your dosage so that your blood levels fall within the recommended range.

  2. Brian says:

    I didn’t know eating too many sweets lowers your immunity…now I have another reason to try to limit my sugary snacks!

  3. BethF says:

    Thanks for this article. I had no idea about the thing with sweets! I will watch this for sure.

    I am also a huge fan of Immunity Defense by Stop Aging Now. (www.stopagingnow.com/IMD/Immunity-Defense-Formula). I think this product is A MUST during cold and flu season (which unfortunately is here). I also take it a week or so before going on a plane.

  4. […] to take fewer sick days this Winter? Well a new study shows that there’s a supplement that can help you do just that, […]

  5. Solunas says:

    Before I got my D Level up to 70 I would use extra doses of D to get over whatever was creeping up on me[ sniffles, sore throats etc.

    I used a high-potency liquid vitamin D (like 2000-4000 IU per drop) and give myself 6000-10,000 IU doses, 2-4 hours apart for about 8 hours. Nothing ever came of anything i treated like that. And now I haven’t had so much as a sniffle for over 2 years.
    Contrast that with the last year I got a flu shot and got the flu – twice!

  6. […] Instead of using regular noodles, use Shirataki fettuccine-shaped noodles. These traditional Japanese-style noodles are made by blending the root of the konnyaku plant (a member of the yam family) and tofu, and can be found in the refrigerator section at your local health food store. Shirataki noodles are a great alternative to noodles made from wheat flour because they contain very few calories and carbohydrates, and they pick up whatever flavor you are cooking with, so you feel like you are eating regular noodles. This recipe is quick and easy to make, and the garlic cloves and carrots will help boost your immunity. […]

  7. […] of the best ways to strengthen your immune system are to eat a low-sugar, whole foods diet that includes plenty of immune-boosting foods like garlic […]

  8. […] only choices are to be miserable, take drugs or stay inside. But there are nutritional ways to tweak your immune system so it’s not so sensitive to pollen, mold or […]

  9. […] C protects DNA and sperm from free radical damage. It strengthens the immune system, shortening the length and severity of colds and flus. Vitamin C helps to prevent cataracts, a […]

  10. […] C protects DNA and sperm from free radical damage. It strengthens the immune system, shortening the length and severity of colds and flus. Vitamin C helps to prevent cataracts, a […]

  11. […] or not, cold and flu season is right around the corner, which means that now is the perfect time to prepare your immune system to defend you from infection. It’s always a good idea to follow sanitary practices like frequent […]

  12. […] and soon people with coughs and sniffles will be everywhere. There are lots of things you can do to reduce your chances of catching anything, and just as many ways to ease your symptoms and speed your recovery if the germs […]

  13. […] your family can shorten the length and severity of a cold or flu (and better yet prevent them) by increasing the strength of your virus-fighting immune system. I also shed some light on whether or not patients with CFS and fibromyalgia should get a yearly […]

  14. john aouad says:

    wonderfull website,it offers to the media very uptodate,medical,proffessional advices to keep a healthy life style

  15. […] When the body says No! Top 10 Drug Company SettlementsU.S. Gets “Big F” on Health Report Card8 Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System'Chemo brain' not just in cancer patients' heads – Orlando Sentinel10 Celebrities who battled breast […]

  16. […] nutrients in multivitamins may be just what your body needs to fight off an illness. In particular, vitamins A, C and D have all been linked with stronger immunity, while the mineral zinc has been shown to help fight against infections. Multivitamins may be just […]