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Regular exercise can strengthen the immune system, leading to an increased resistance to illness during flu season.

Natural ways to have a healthy immune system

Improving the immune system will help keep one healthy and be beneficial overall. As many students know, getting sick can be a major problem because it clashes with their ability to do well in school.

There are many natural ways to improve your immune system.  Getting enough exercise, eating healthier foods, and getting adequate sleep will greatly help the health of the immune system, which helps to fend off illnesses.  Yet there are more ways to help the immune system than those.

One simple way to help the immune system is to get fresh air. Simply open the window for a while and let fresh air in. It will help to eliminate pollutants that will harm the immune system.  Staying hydrated also helps to strengthen the immune system function, as this allows the body to be able to clear out cells that have been eliminated by the immune system, as pointed out by Nutrition 101: Choose Life Family Nutrition and Health 2nd edition.

Minimizing stress is also key to a healthy immune system. “In short, stress burns up nutrients. When the body is out of nutrients — its fuel — it can no longer run effectively,” says Nutrition 101: Choose Life. “One of the first systems affected by a lack of nutrients is the immune system.  This is one reason why people under a great deal of stress are more susceptible to illness and feel tired most of the time.”

Besides taking care of the body, there are other ways to improve and keep the immune system healthy. According to Nutrition 101: Choose Life! there are good and bad foods for your immune system. Eat foods such as whole grains—especially oats, but not quick oats. Fruit is also beneficial, particularly cantaloupe as it has beta glucans, which help to build white cells, and are great antiviral and antibacterial agents.  These beta glucans can also be supplemented.  There are foods that hurt the immune system, some of them are alcohol, too much caffeine, as well as too much refined sugar or other sweeteners in food or drinks.

Vitamins are also beneficial. Vitamin C is good when taken over the course of a day since that allows the body to get more of the nutrients than it would if it was taken all at once. Then there is Vitamin D. It helps keep the body healthy in many different ways, including the immune system.

Besides these there are various herbs, extracts, and other remedies to avoid getting sick.  According to physician Dr. Mercola in his article about the benefits of an herb called Cat’s Claw, it stimulates the immune system. He also went on to point out other effects, such as that this herb should not be taken by those that are pregnant or breastfeeding because it is known to have a blood pressure lowering effect. “Cat’s Claw can shorten the duration of the flu and catnip will help lower a fever,” says Natural Life Magazine.

Elderberry syrup can help to protect against the flu and colds.  It also helps to shorten the symptoms of the flu as it has anti-viral properties.  It can be found for sale at health food stores and in other stories as well. This is explained by Natural Life Magazine.  For adults, when sick, it is safe to take a tablespoon every three to four hours. It is also possible to make your own and various recipes can be found online, but must take caution when doing so as various parts of the Elderberry plant are poisonous, including the stems and seeds.

Green tea is beneficial as well, as it is also antiviral and antibacterial. It is best to avoid the caffeinated varieties, as caffeine does not help the immune system and it can inhibit sleep which is much needed when sick.

A tonic is also great for helping fight sickness as well as maintenance.  The following is a recipe for Super Tonic, found in Nutrition 101: Choose Life

Super Tonic

Combine equal parts of the following ingredients:

  • -Fresh hot cayenne or habanero peppers
  • -Peeled sliced ginger
  • -Peeled chunked horseradish
  • -Peeled chopped onion
  • -Peeled garlic
  • -One quart of apple cider vinegar

Then take these ingredients and pour them into the blender and blend on high for two to three minutes.  Caution do not have your nose over the blender, when you take the lid off as it can make people faint.  After removing the lid, let it sit for a few minutes and then pour it into a large wide mouthed jar.  Don’t forget to label and date it.  Tightly seal the jar and shake it twice a day for two weeks.  Then strain it and bottle the liquid.  The pulp can now be discarded.  Store the liquid in the refrigerator.  Depending on the spiciness of the tonic a tablespoon can be taken at a time diluted with water, though caution is advised as if too much is taken at once it can unsettle the stomach.  If sick or coming down with an illness, it can be taken twice a day.

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