Healthy Living in the Carolinas

Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Ways to Boost Your Immune System

There are many natural ways you can boost your immune system.  Here are some that I practice and believe in.


Ways to Boost Your Immune System:

1: Get plenty of rest.  Lack of sleep and stress can increase the hormone cortisol, which if elevated for long can suppress immune function.  Not getting enough sleep can also make you irritable which leads to a more stressful day and an overwhelmed feeling.  Aim for 7-9 hours a night.  Have your room very dark. Get room darkening shades. Get an air purifier to clean the air and make white noise. We love ours! Or, if that’s not in your budget now, get a small white noise maker like this one: Sound Machine  Turn the temp down at night.  Avoid caffeine after 3pm. Don’t eat within 2 hours of bedtime as this stimulates your digestive system and can keep you up.  Don’t drink alcohol right before bed.

2: Drink less alcohol. Excessive amounts can impair the immune system.  It’s always good to give your body a break from alcohol from time to time.

3:  Avoid tobacco smoke.  If you are still a current smoker  this should be your first stop to a better you!

4: Take a probiotic daily.  A good one.  Read the labels closely. I am a big supporter of this.  Aim for one with 7 different strains of bacteria. Find one with over 5 billion CFUs is best. Choose one that is dairy free, gluten free, and chemical free. Preferably one with lactobacillus acidophulus & bifidobacterium strains. I currently take Garden of Life Mood+ probiotic.  My kids have been taking these two this year:  Kids Probiotics and Garden of Life

5:  Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. This will feed your body with nutrients it needs to fight infection and possibly avoid it in the first place. Two great ways to add more to your daily diet is to make a smoothie and a big batch of vegetable soup.

6: Take a Vitamin D supplement and get out in the sun for 15 minutes a day.  Low levels of vitamin D are linked to greater risk of respiratory infection.  Have you considered getting your Vitamin D level checked? I did and I was shocked to find out my level was a little low. I now take a supplement daily. Here is the one I take: Nature Wise

7: Eat more garlic. Not the powdered type, but the real deal. Garlic is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent and immune booster.  If I feel a sickness coming on I put a small clove of minced garlic in a little of extra virgin olive oil on a spoon and take it with water. If you don’t chew the garlic the flavor won’t linger. There are garlic supplements on the market, but I feel the raw garlic is best. Be aware to start off small as it can upset your stomach.

8: Exercise. Get up and move. Do something to get your heart pumping. Stretch. Go for a walk. If you are already sick, rest!

9: Minimize stress. This is a hard task for many but consider where and how you spend your time. Don’t overbook yourself. Take time to rest. Know when to say NO to things for the benefit of your family. Exercising and Yoga help with stress as well.

10: Drink bone broth.  You can purchase bone broth or make your own. There are many recipes on the internet to choose from.  Here is a recipe to try: Wellness Mama. I use this brand if I am not making my own: Pacific Bone Broth and you can find it in bulk at Costco. Bone broth supports gut health and supporting your gut health boosts your immune system function. Bone broth has many benefits. To read more about that go here: Bone Broth Benefits.

11: Drink green or black tea. They have disease fighting antioxidants (polyphenols and flavonoids). The catechins in the tea have shown to help fight diseases. It can also help your digestive system. I drink Ito En Matcha Blend. I cold brew it many days. Do not boil your water for this tea (160-180 degrees is ideal).

12: Take elderberry. Elderberries are packed with many minerals and vitamins to give your immune system a boost. Making your own syrup is best. I have done this and it’s delicious. However, right now we are taking these gummies (Nature’s Way) and I plan to getting or making some syrup as well. Here is the recipe I’ve made in the past: Elderberry Syrup

13: Drink or eat ginger. Ginger is antibacterial and supports the immune system. Ginger is also excellent for upset stomachs. You can add ginger to hot tea or add it to recipes.

14: Take zinc. Zinc is a nutrient that we need to stay healthy.  It helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Try these: Elderberry and Zinc Lozenges

14: Add Camu Powder to your daily routine. It has 60 times the amount of Vitamin C than a serving of an orange! Add it to your smoothies or try making a tonic like this one:  Camu-Manuka Honey Tonic  Here is the brand I use: Camu Powder

15: Stay hydrated. Drink water. Avoid sugary and diet drinks.

16: Young Living Essential Oils are wonderful. I’m obsessed with mine! If you would like to know more about them please feel free to message me your questions.  Some of my favorite oils this time of year are Thieves, Raven, RC, Peppermint and Lavender. I love the smell of Thieves (clove and cinnamon) and Raven (wintergreen and peppermint). NingXia Red is also a great supplement to take this time of year, or everyday for that matter. I love cleaning my home with Thieves non-toxic spray. It smells SO good.

Consider ordering a starter kit. It’s a great way to get started with essential oils and it saves you a lot of money. Check out all the amazing products Young Living has to offer. If you do decide to order I would greatly appreciate you using my link: Young Living  You will have to log in and create an account to order. Becoming a member saves you a lot of money in the long run as you don’t have to pay retail pricing and you can earn rewards. The starter kit has many of my favorite oils and samples of NingXia Red. If you don’t wish to become a member, you can still place an order.

Here’s a pic of one of the Starter Kits:


I hope these tips are helpful for you and that your family is staying healthy.




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Please keep in mind I am not a Registered Dietitian. While often my advice relies on research, most of it is from my own personal experience of healthy living over the years.  Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise routine.

Question or comment?