Natural Immunity Boosters

natural immunity boostersThis winter has been a long, cold one for most of the country and along with it a prolific germ season. The flu, cold and stomach bugs seem to be making their rounds even more aggressively than usual. Protect you and your family from these nasty bugs with these natural immunity boosters:

1.    Foods/Supplements:

Fruits & Veggies  – Choose bright colors like purple, red, orange deep green and yellow (spinach, kale, beets, apples, carrots, sweet potato etc). Full of antioxidants which are known for boosting immunity and cellular repair. Many of these types of produce also are rich in the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin also important for combating stress.

Vitamin C – Important for healing wounds, maintaining bone and teeth health and a potent antioxidant. Any of the citrus fruits will be chock full of this vitamin along with dark leafy greens, broccoli and brussel sprouts. Or consider supplements such as Zycam or Emergen –C.

Selenium – Low levels of this mineral have shown to increase risks of getting severe flu. Button mushrooms, Brazil nuts and tuna.

Glutathione – Another potent antioxidant to help fight infections found in watermelon, green and red cabbage and broccoli.

Zinc – An essential mineral that plays a significant role in immunity. Often found in OTC cold and flu medicines. Wheat Germ, red meat, beans, nuts and other whole grains contain zinc naturally.

Extras: Almonds – a real immune super food, it’s full of riboflavin, niacin and Vitamin E (just watch your quantity). Garlic – packed with antioxidants – consume naturally in food or as a supplement. Green or Black Tea – Both contain polyphenols and flavonoids, other powerful antioxidants.

2.    Sleep: Ideally 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is recommended. Listen to your body and if you’re exhausted get some rest- you may want to try and sneak in a short afternoon nap if possible. Keep in mind that alcohol consumption can decrease the quality of your sleep.

3.    Exercise: Try to maintain your fitness routine. Exercise is a scientifically proven stress buster and contributes to increasing your energy and improving your sleep. One caveat though, if you are sick it’s ok to take some time out to let your body recover. You can do more harm by pushing yourself physically when ill.

4.    Music: Listen to your favorite music, whatever reaches deep inside and makes you feel wonderful. Like exercise or chocolate, this will release the “feel-good” hormones that will leave you feeling happy, positive and stress-free. BUT watch the volume – loud noises and sounds can raise your blood pressure and add to your overall stress.

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Author: Jennifer Hamlet

Jennifer is the curator for Ridgewood and would love any feedback or suggestions you may have.


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