No one wants to be sick over the holidays and the best way to
avoid that is to boost your immune system and let it take care of
those pesky germs that could ruin your holiday fun. Here are some
tips on ways to boost your immunity by strengthening your immune
- Eat lots of bright colored fruits and vegetables with
antioxidants to help fight off free radicals that can damage
cells and lead to inflammation, and chronic diseases.
- Vitamin D increases serotonin levels, is important for bone
health and helps the body to produce a protein that kills off
viruses. It can be taken in supplement form or found in fish such
as salmon, herring and mackerel, fortified cereals, dairy and soy
products, and white button mushrooms.
- Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that live in the intestines
and help fight off the bad bacteria and germs that can make us
sick. Eating yogurt with live active cultures or taking high
quality probiotic supplements such as acidophilus and bifidus can
help support the friendly bacteria and help them to thrive.
Acidophilus is often called "nature's antibiotic" because it
plays such a vital role in immune system health. Bifidus promotes
the growth of good intestinal flora in the large intestine,
lowers the pH of the intestine, manufactures specific B-vitamins,
and promotes immune function and overall health.
- The allicin found in garlic has been reported to fight infections
and bad bacteria. One British study found that of 146 people
participating, those taking garlic were two-thirds not as likely
to get a cold.
- Selenium is a nutrient very important to immune system function.
It helps produce cytokines in white blood cells and can be found
in shellfish such as crab, clams, lobster and oysters, Brazil
nuts, fish like salmon, tuna and herring, poultry, eggs and
- Black and green tea both have L-theanine which is an amino acid
that gives the immune system a boost. One study from Harvard
reported people drinking 5 cups daily of black tea over a two
week period had 10 times more interferon to help against viruses
in their systems than those drinking a placebo drink. A
University of Michigan study reported results supporting
quercetin, an antioxidant also found in black and green tea, as
being able to keep viruses from replicating.
- Douglas Schar, DipPhyt, MCPP, MNIMH, director of the Institute of
Herbal Medicine in Washington, DC, is one expert reporting that
mushrooms are a natural immune booster. They increase white blood
cell production and have properties that can help protect you
from viruses, bacteria and even yeast. Shiitake, maitake, and
reishi mushrooms have been found to be the best immunity
boosters. You'll find all these mushrooms as well as cordyceps,
Turkey Tail and Agaricus blazei mushrooms, with astragalus, beta
glucan and AFA bluegreen algae in this immune support supplement.
- Macrophages are an important part of the immune system and can be
activated by beta-glucans, which are fiber with antimicrobial and
antioxidant properties. Grains such as oats, barley or this
immune support supplement are good sources of
- Stress can negatively affect the immune system, so finding a way
to deal with stress is vital when your goal is to strengthen
immunity. Chronic stress can lower your numbers of killer cells
and affect macrophage functioning. Having a positive life
perspective and engaging in activities that make you laugh have
both been shown as ways to reduce stress hormones and boost the
- Exercise not only is a way to boost immunity, but also to reduce
stress. Half an hour of aerobic exercise can help increase white
blood cell circulation. Stick with moderate exercise though as
intense exercise can actually reduce immune system function.
Research shows that taking a 30 minute walk each day during the
winter can reduce sick days by half as many.
Don't let your holidays be ruined by getting sick. Boost your
immune system and let it help keep you healthy and able to enjoy
all the fun.