Taking care of ourselves should be at the very top of our daily lifestyle but the hectic lives we lead can also make self-care a huge struggle. Days run into weeks and before you know it you realize it’s been way too long since you’ve had a quality work out, made consistent healthy food choices or even had 5 minutes to yourself. Unfortunately, it can lead to not only emotional stress but also a weakened immune system.
Here is the good news, it’s never too late for a fresh start or to get back on track and taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are 5 of my favorite natural ways to boost your immune system and keep yourself happy and healthy.
1. Hot Lemon Water
Giving your immune system a good boost is just a cup of hot water away. Lemons are packed with Vitamin C and has a wealth of other benefits like protecting the body from Immune system deficiencies and with it’s powerful antibacterial properties, lemon juice helps the body fight infections. Drinking lemon juice with warm water every morning also helps the body maintain a healthy pH balance and acts as a detoxifying agent.
2. Vitamin D
An inactive lifestyle can have many consequences on our health and developing a Vitamin D deficiency is one of them. This deficiency can have major consequences for our immune system. With so much of our lifestyle centering around television, computers and other electronics, we are not spending quality time outdoors to soak up the natural benefits of sunshine. Just 10-15 minutes a day sitting in the sun can do wonders for boosting the body’s natural levels of Vitamin D essential to fighting off illnesses. It is tough to take in enough Vitamin D through our diet, it many be necessary to take a supplement. A simple blood test can show you if you are low on Vitamin D.
3. Eat More Plants
I know this sounds like a no brainer but the truth is that on average, only 14 percent of American adults consume at least 2 servings of fruit and at least 3 servings of vegetables daily but real food grown from the earth is essential to fueling our bodies. When we don’t receive adequate nutrients we deplete our body’s natural ability to protect and heal itself. God created the earth to provide all that we needed and it doesn’t come from processed food in a box.
If this is a struggle for you, find ways you can easily incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet. Most grocery stores have pre-cut fruits in veggies in containers you can keep in the fridge. This The Fresh Table Green Smoothie is so easy to throw together each morning and take with you as you are walking out the door or for a healthy snack.
1/2 Cup 100% Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Coconut Water (regular water works too)
1/2 Frozen Avocado (can also use 1/2 banana)
5 Large Frozen Strawberries
2 Cups Fresh Spinach
Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, thin with additional water. Makes 1 – 2 smoothies
4. Get More Sleep
We all know how important sleep is for our overall well being but here is how sleep affects your immune system: when we sleep, our immune system releases proteins called cytokines, and some of these proteins help to promote sleep. Sleep deprivation has been shown to decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep weakening the immune system and which makes us susceptible to infections and illnesses.
If sleep is a struggle for you of course talk to your doctor to ensure there is not something going on that is keeping your from getting adequate rest. You can also check out this article if making some simple lifestyle changes can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
You had to know exercise was going to be an important component to this article. We are Faithful Workouts after all but there is no denying how effective physical activity is to boosting the body’s immune system.
Just like a healthy diet, exercise contributes to an overall healthy lifestyle and therefore to a healthy immune system. Exercise promotes good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body and do their job efficiently.
I won’t sugar coat this, exercise is something that you have to make a priority and a habit in your daily life. You can’t wish or pray for a body that is healthy and fit. You can ask God to help you through daily prayer. You can surrender your weaknesses to Him and lean on Him for strength. You can declare God as your personal trainer. You can faithfully root yourself in who you are in Christ and break the chain of lies the enemy tries to defeat you with.
I hope you found these tips inspiring and encouraging as you pursue a healthier lifestyle so you can grow stronger in mind, body and soul. Hold tight to the truth that you are not alone in this. God is with you and He is for you!
Michelle is the founder of Faithful Workouts and The Fresh Table. She began her fitness career in 1984 and still loves to help people break free from fitness frustration and move towards a life that's full of physical and spiritual health. Michelle is married to Jeff and they have three children PLUS two lovable dogs.