5 Quick + Easy Ways to Support Your Immune System

These days, almost all of us lead crazy-busy lives. Even with some great self-care practices in place, stress can sometimes get the best of us, compromising our immune systems and making us feel run-down. We all know the importance of keeping our immune systems in tiptop shape - but with so many other things to juggle between job responsibilities, family time, and trying to squeeze in exercise, figuring out how to boost your immunity can feel like a job in itself.

What many people don't know is that supporting your immune system doesn't have to be a huge effort. In fact, it can be pretty easy!

Here are five tips to support your immune system today.

Herbs

1.) Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a diet based on whole foods that avoids excessive amounts of sugar is your best bet for strengthening your immune system. Be sure to include plenty of foods that offer these key nutrients:

  • Vitamin C
    Peppers, citrus fruits, berries, and vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts are all high in antioxidants and can help support the function of immune cells.

  • Vitamin A
    Sweet potatoes, carrots, red bell peppers, dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, apricots, and winter squashes are all great sources of beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor that is vital for healthy immune function.

  • Vitamin E
    Nuts and seeds of all kinds are a delicious way to get more vitamin E into your diet.

  • Zinc
    Good sources of zinc include red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, nuts and seeds.

2.) Keep Your Gut Healthy

Adding probiotic-rich foods to your diet is a great way to boost immunity since more than 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. Naturally, fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, miso, tempeh, natto, kombucha, kefir and live cultured yogurt are all delicious ways to support gut health.

3.) Get Your ZZZ's

Studies show you need at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to promote the production of immune cells that help defend against microscopic invaders. It is also essential to support your body's natural circadian rhythm by following a bedtime routine, avoiding or reducing blue light from screens, and getting outside during the day.

You can also take a sleep supplement like MegaFood Melatonin Berry Good Sleep. This supplement contains 3mg of melatonin to promote healthy sleep cycles. As well as wild blueberries and tart cherries, both natural sources of phytonutrients to help protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals.

You can find this product at your local health food store, or order online by clicking here.

4.) Stress Reducing Activities

Life is stressful. There is no doubt about that. However, did you know that being "stressed out" can hinder your immune system? Some of my favourite ways to reduce stress include exercise or daily movement, getting outside, taking time to enjoy hobbies, spending time with friends and family, meditation, reading, or taking a hot bath. Whatever helps you de-stress, do more of that!

5.) Immune Boosters

  • Black Elderberry
    For hundreds of years, the elderberry has been used as medicine to boost the immune system, fight off the flu, help with sinus pain, and reduce inflammation.

Elderberry

I'm a huge fan of MegaFood Elderberry Immune Support because it’s made from whole plant foods such as elderberry, ginger, and blueberries. It also contains 6mg of zinc per serving, which is a powerful antioxidant that boosts immune function.

You can find this product at your local health food store, or order online by clicking here.

  • Rosehip
    More fruit than herb; but because of its extraordinary levels of vitamin C, I thought it would be essential to add. I love using rosehip in my herbal infusions; it's the ultimate cold fighter!

  • Echinacea
    This flowering herb helps to reduce symptoms of the common cold and flu by increasing your white blood cells to fight infections.

  • Oil of Oregano
    This powerful oil is packed with infection-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties. Place a few drops in a glass of water and take it like a shot. You can also create a steam bath for yourself using a bowl of hot water, a few drops of oil and a towel to drape over your head. Inhaling the steam will help expel and break up the mucus.

  • Garlic
    My favourite addition to any savoury meal! Garlic contains a compound called allicin that is known for its antibacterial properties. However, it can only be activated when it's chopped or crushed and left to sit out for 5 minutes - so make sure you do this to really reap the benefits! Not only is garlic antibacterial, but it also has antivirus and antimicrobial properties.


Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not designed to diagnose, treat or cure. We are all unique, for your individual health concerns, it is essential to discuss these with a Holistic Nutritionist or relevant health professional.

This post was sponsored by MegaFood Canada, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting companies that support Plentyfullme – I know you guys will love this product!

For more inspiration and information from MegaFood Canada, check out their Instagram by clicking here.