As cold and flu season peaks and talk about new viruses emerge, it’s easy to be concerned about your health and the health of your family. As a busy homeschooling mama of four, I don’t have time to take a sick day. If I go down, things get crazy! I have spent years learning about natural ways to boost my immune system, fight germs and keep my family healthy.
These 10 ways to boost your immune system are essential in staying well and keeping your family healthy.
1- Wash Your Hands
It seems to go without saying that washing your hands is a must all the time. This is especially important around cold and flu season when germs are abundant and staying well is the goal.
Washing with hot water and soap is ideal, but if you are on the go and want to be sure to keep the germs at bay, I recommend a hand sanitizer with essential oils such as tea tree oil, lemon, or cloves. These have additional germ-fighting power and are more gentle on your skin. Our favorite is Young Living’s Thieves* Hand Sanitizer, but there are many others available as well.
2- Stay Well Hydrated
Water is always best- you should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces every day. Staying hydrated is a key component to staying well.
In addition to water, coconut water and herbal teas have additional immune-boosting properties that can help you stay well. Some of my favorite herbal teas include Lemon Ginger and Tumeric Three Roots. These are both soothing and gentle teas that help keep you hydrated and prepare your body to fight all the germs.
Elderberries are a superfood for health. The berries and flowers of elderberry are packed with antioxidants and vitamins can help tame inflammation, lessen stress, and help fight illness.
I recommend making your own Elderberry Syrup if possible. Wellness Mama has a great step by step recipe that makes the process simple. If you can’t make your own, many of my mama friends have used Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup with great results.
4- Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods
It’s always a good idea to eat a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, and whole grains. This is even more important during cold and flu season as you are working on staying well.
Avoiding sugar and processed foods can help to stabilize your blood sugar. Keeping blood sugar levels consistent helps to improve immune system activity and boosts your body’s ability to fight germs.
5- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a necessary part of keeping the body healthy and strong. It contains antioxidants and minerals that are necessary for the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues.
Vitamin C is involved in many body functions, including the absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. Many people get plenty of Vitamin C through the foods they eat, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
If your diet is lacking, or you feel a cold coming on, adding a vitamin C supplement can be helpful. Liposomal Vitamin C is a great option if you are looking for a supplement. Liposomal is a way of preparation where the vitamin is stored inside tiny fat-like particles and therefore is much easier for the body to absorb and get to the body systems in need of a boost.
6- Fresh Air and Exercise
Getting outside and breathing fresh air can do wonders for your mental and physical health. The sun gives bountiful doses of Vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium and can increase energy and mood.
Moderate exercise can boost macrophages, the kind of white blood cells that fight bacteria and viruses. It also releases endorphins which can bring about feelings of euphoria and well being- a great bonus!
7- Foods with Anti-Viral Properties
Along with lots of fruits and vegetables, there are some other super helpful foods you can eat to boost your immune system. Coconut oil, walnuts, pomegranates, apple cider vinegar, and raw garlic have some of the highest anti-viral properties.
Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, and kombucha are also great options. They have tons of immune-boosting properties and are super yummy too. You can find most of these in your local grocery store.
8- Get Plenty of Sleep
A large portion of our population is perpetually sleep-deprived. I know as a mom of a 2-year-old, sleep is not something that I get enough of on a regular basis.
Sleep is so important in keeping your immune system strong. Here are a few ways I try to increase the quality and quantity of sleep that I get:
- Staying away from screens at least 1 hour before bedtime
- Winding down with a cup of hot tea or water
- Get some light exercise daily
- Lower my caffeine intake (including chocolate)
- Lavender essential oil* in the diffuser at night
9- Bone Broth
Adding bone broth to your diet is a great way to stay hydrated and feel great. I drink bone broth on a regular basis and I love how it supports my body. The multiple nutrients found in bone broth can be incredibly beneficial, and consuming it on a regular basis is a great way to help you feel your best.
Bone broth is a natural source of nutrients like collagen, gelatin, several trace minerals, and anti-inflammatory amino acids, which support gut, skin, and joint health. Bone broth is a great tool for boosting your immune system.
If you’d like a super boost- try a 3 Day Bone Broth Fast. It’s a great way to ramp up your health and help support your body during these tough winter months. Kettle and Fire is my favorite brand of bone broth- tons of yummy flavors and super quality.
10- Medicinal Mushrooms
Medicinal Mushrooms are another superfood- and have amazing immune-boosting properties. The varieties of mushrooms with the most benefits include: maitake, shiitake, rishi, and cordyceps.
Medicinal Mushrooms provide multiple benefits including:
- improved mental health
- increased energy
- improved digestion
- purification of blood
- regulation of blood sugar
There are many ways to include medicinal mushrooms in your diet. We are currently taking this Immune Support with a blend of 7 amazing medicinal mushrooms. Four Sigmatic has created a great selection of coffee, matcha and even hot cacao with blends of different medicinal mushrooms. They are delicious and supercharged with immune-boosting goodness.
These are some additional things we are using currently to help keep our immune systems in tip-top shape. Check them out and see if these would be helpful to you as well.
- Klaire Labs Micellized Vitamin A
- Lauricidin®- The Original Monolaurin Supplement
- Bio-Botanical Research Biocidin TS, Throat Spray
- Cataplex A-C
- Xlear Rescue Nasal Spray
- Colloidal Silver Nasal Spray