Although winter is on its way out, flu season is still well underway and CODVID-19 has many of us shook. The other day we saw a meme that compared empty toilet paper shelves to ‘full’ produce and vitamin shelves at local supermarkets and shopping centers.
The fact is our best defense against a visit from any sickness or virus is STILL and will always be protecting yourself and boosting your immune system. Here are a few ways you can start right now!
Choose The Right Herbs And Spices
Through centuries, various herbs and spices have proved to be nature’s best healing agents. Between herbal teas, tonics, and vitamin-pumped green juices, we are lucky to have such convenient (and delicious!) ways to incorporate them into our diet. If you need a quick immune-boost, here are a few herbs and spices that’ll get the job done:
Ginger: Lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels, improves digestive issues, decreases the risk of heart disease, and lowers the risk of infection by inhibiting bacteria growth.
Elderberry: Nutrient and antioxidant-dense eases cold and flu symptoms, supports general immune health, wards off harmful bacteria, and is good for heart health.
Garlic: Powerful antibiotic, combats common cold symptoms, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, anti-inflammatory properties, and helpful in preventing various diseases.
Astragalus: Ancient Chinese root used for immune-boosting, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects, and fighting viral and bacterial infections.
Get Enough Sleep
Studies show that lack of sleep can make you vulnerable to illness and slow your recovery time if you ever do fall sick. Truth be told, sleep is at the very foundation of health because our body simply cannot function properly—or at all—without it. It’s even said that 4-5 hours of sleep over the course of a work week gives you the same level of cognitive impairment as if you had stayed up 24 hours straight. Long story short: get some sleep. 7-9 hours of sleep is the sweet spot for healthy adults to remain healthy. If you’re having trouble getting to be early enough, try:
- Sleeping in a dark, cool room.
- Utilizing essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus.
- Turning off electronics one hour before bed.
- Take a night time bath or shower.
- Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening.
Replace Poor Habits with Better Ones
Staying healthy during flu season truly comes down to common sense. Behaviors such as drinking excessively, smoking, not washing your hands, and making poor eating choices are all things we know aren’t good for us in general, so it’s not far-fetched to think that these habits are especially detrimental during flu season. To combat illness, all you really need to do is change some of your daily habits.
- Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
- Cut back on smoking and drinking.
- Wash your hands often.
- Drink enough water.
Get Your Blood Pumping
Exercise is a natural immune system booster because it creates positive development in your mental, emotional, and physical health. Exercise increases the amount of good quality sleep you get each night, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and even improves blood circulation—all of which fight off illness and a general feeling of being under the weather. The great thing about exercise is that you can do any activity that’s enjoyable for you. All you need is 25-30 minutes out of your day to:
- Take a walk.
- Play a sport like basketball or tennis.
- Go swimming.
- Run on the treadmill.
- Exercise w/ a workout video.
Minimize Stress Early And Often
Stress can manifest physically as stomach aches, headaches, tension, fatigue, and other symptoms that leave you feeling unwell. While science has yet to make a direct link between stress and a weakened immune system, it’s important to note that the impact that stress has on your general wellness is what makes you vulnerable to flus, colds, and other viruses. Minimize stress through:
- Positive Affirmations.
- Improving Time Management.
- Planning Ahead.
- Adopting A Stress-Relief Hobby.