You want Strengthen your immune systemto stay healthy? Then you have come to the right place, because here you will find many 11 valuable tips on how to strengthen your immune system naturally. I have also created a list of 10 nutrient-rich and health-promoting foods.
You think it's normal to get a cold or flu once or twice a year? Even though it may happen to many people in our society, it is still totally unnecessary. If you strengthen your immune system naturally and holistically, you will stay fit and resistant even during the flu season.
Whether we are at work, on the train or out in nature, our immune system is constantly challenged. It decides whether we get sick or not. So in this post, we'll clarify how the immune system works and what it needs to keep you healthy and alert. You'll notice how many different factors influence your natural health and influence your defenses.
At the beginning here is a short Table of contents for you:
- What makes our immune system tick?
- 11 valuable tips to strengthen your defenses
- 10 foods and nutrients for a strong immune system
- Conclusion: Consciously strengthen defenses and prevent diseases
What makes our immune system tick?
Our immune system has the task of protecting our body from harmful substances and infections. All immune cells in our body, which are responsible for the recognition and elimination of foreign substances, form our immune system. The first protective layer is formed, for example, by the skin with the production of sebum or also the eyes with a liquid film.
Once the harmful substances have cleared the first hurdle of the immune system, it is the turn of the internal defense mechanisms. These are all endogenous substances designed to block the development of the dangerous pathogens.
In addition to this non-specific immune system, there is also a specific immune system that specifically targets very specific foreign substances in the body (so-called antigens). Your immune system works like your Internet browser: If you have been to a website before, it usually loads faster the next time you visit it, because the browser has remembered the data.
In the same way, your immune system remembers which foreign substances have already been fought in your body and reacts more strongly and quickly to this harmful substance the next time. That is our immune system in a nutshell. Now you can learn what you should do every day to permanently strengthen your defenses and immune system and get sick less often.
11 valuable tips to strengthen your defenses
This post is about how to take your health into your own hands and personal responsibility. Completely in the sense of Salutogenesis is about strengthening your health and thus becoming as resistant as possible to the causes of disease. Replacing a few old habits with healthy behaviors will strengthen your defenses and support your immune system. Here now the promised eleven valuable tipsto strengthen your defenses.
1. move - exercise for strong defenses
On average, Germans move only 650 meters a day. That's an alarming figure. Because our bodies are actually made for movement. If you move, you strengthen the function of your immune system. It's best to plan three activities a week in which you get enough exercise for at least half an hour. Three times a week for 30 minutes is absolute minimumYou should do this for yourself and for your health.
Tip: Personally, I believe that we should exercise extensively every day. Of course, that doesn't mean you should do a hard workout every day. But instead, you can do some casual exercise every day, such as gentle yoga or a walk.
Make sure you don't overdo it, because too much exercise is permanent stress on your body and immune system. I myself tend to exercise too much. With 2 fitness sessions and 2 running sessions a week, I have now found a good rhythm of exercise.
All well and good, but you lack motivation? Use motivating playlists that have been specially compiled for training sessions. Or make a date with friends for sports, so you can motivate each other. By the way, it is not necessary to invest a lot of money and time in gyms. For my training, I made these one-time purchases that allow me to do my CrossFit program easily anywhere, anytime:
My fitness equipment
- Pull up bar for the door (View here*)
- Wrist friendly push-up grips (View here*)
- Training mat for all kinds of exercises (View here*)
- Stainless steel drinking bottle (View here*)
With one-time just under 80€ I can now train flexibly and everywhere and strengthen my defenses. For easier transport of the mat I bought a backpack with fixable straps. Exercising regularly is crucial if you want to strengthen your immune system.
2. relax - strengthen the immune system in a relaxed way
Our fast-paced society can put us under a lot of stress. Like yourself, your defenses are then stressed. If you are permanently under power, you are in the sympathetic system all the time. Sympathetic sounds good at first, but it has a negative effect. sympathetic system stimulates and makes the body ready for fight or flight in case of danger.
When stress or anxiety causes us to experience the so-called Fight or Flight mode activate, our immune system shuts down. Because if we were afraid of a tiger in prehistoric times, we used up all our energy for the race and our immune system went blank. This was not a problem at that time, because after the successful escape, there was no more fear and stress and the body was functioning normally again. Nowadays, most people are under constant stress and are permanently confronted with fears, especially through the media.
When something puts you under stress, your cells release more of the hormone cortisol, which inhibits the function of your immune system. Your parasympathetic system promotes regeneration, digestion and has a calming effect. So if you want to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, you should consciously take breaks, relax and slow down. Ideal for this are Yoga and MeditationBy consciously slowing down your breathing, you automatically switch to the parasympathetic system and reduce stress. This way you can easily strengthen your immune system and stay healthy more easily, because relaxation is just as important for the immune system as exercise.
3. less smoking & binge drinking - For stronger defenses
CigarettesBeer and other beverages weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. Your defenses are inhibited and can block harmful substances only with difficulty. The white blood cells are supposed to destroy the harmful substances in your body, but they can't do that if you smoke. A heavy alcohol intoxication inhibits your immune system. It is better to drink alcohol consciously and in moderation to minimize the burden on your immune system. The best thing, of course, is to stop drinking alcohol altogether.
4. sleep' better - Seldom ill through better sleep
Do you sleep less than seven hours a night? With so little sleep, your immune system can't produce enough white blood cells and you're more susceptible to getting sick. Strengthen your immune system by getting more than 7 hours of sleep a night. Quite simple, but not self-evident. I know it from myself that I don't like to go to bed early. Nevertheless, with enough sleep you can strengthen your immune system immediately.
Besides the quantity, however, is also the Sleep quality especially important. At least one hour before going to bed, you should give up your cell phone and laptop to avoid the blue light of the screens. This is because the light stimulates you, increases your adrenaline level and lowers the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
It's best to get a light alarm clock and turn your cell phone off at a certain time, because then the temptation to answer your cell phone again is really very low. And a light alarm clock also makes getting up more relaxed, as it wakes you up more gently than a shrill alarm. Here are some more tips that will help you sleep better and stay healthy!
5. off to the sauna - healthy temperature change
Maybe you know this: You come back from a warm beach vacation (see Nature Travel Blog) back to cold Germany and immediately get sick. The sauna can prepare your immune system for such temperature changes. The rapid temperature changes from cold to hot strengthen your immune system and make you less susceptible to illness. Especially in autumn & winter you should go to sauna to strengthen your immune system and get sick less often. But also in summer a sauna visit makes sense. Your body is optimally prepared for temperature differences through the sauna and thanks you with stronger defenses.
6. cold showers or ice baths - cold strengthens the immune system.
You can achieve a similar effect as with the sauna by ice bathing. The cold exposure strengthens the body's temperature regulation, blood circulation and the autonomic nervous system. It is best not to start with an ice bath at the beginning, but to turn the water colder and colder while showering until you end up with a very cold shower. Bit by bit you can then extend the time under the cold water until you shower completely cold. Then you will be ready for your first refreshing ice bath. You can find more information in the article about Cold showers & cold training.
7. off into the sun - strengthen immune system with sunlight
Admittedly, this is not always easy in Germany during the cold season. Then just move your beach vacation to this time of year and go to the south. Or take time for a walk during your lunch break, so you can at least get some sun and fresh air. Because these are important for the Vitamin D-production of our body. And the sun vitamin has a huge impact on the immune system.
8. detox - healthy gut for stronger defenses
Almost 80 percent of our immune cells are located in the intestines, so a strong immune system needs a healthy intestine and vice versa. Your intestine regulates your water balance, produces hormones and forms the majority of the defense cells of your immune system. It is therefore logical that your intestines should be in absolute good shape so that your immune system is strengthened and you are sick less often.
To keep your intestines as clean as possible, a whole plant-based diet, fermented foods will help you, Intermittent fasting and Fasting cure or this purification tea*. This way you can stimulate natural regeneration and detoxification, which also strengthens your immune system.
9. forest bathing - terpenes for your defenses
In the meantime, it has been scientifically confirmed that the terpenes found in the forest have the Killer cell production in your body, which kill viruses and cancer cells. In addition, you regulate blood pressure and pulse and can therefore relax better. I have already described how good relaxation is for your immune system.
A forest bath is a great way to combine several factors that strengthen your immune system. With exercise, relaxation and time in the fresh air, you're sure to stay healthy for a long time. You can find more information in our separate article on the Forest bathing.
10. barefoot walking - stimulus for the immune system
Barefoot running stimulates blood circulation, perception, and the body's own temperature regulation, thus strengthening your immune system. In addition, barefoot running improves your posture, strengthens your foot muscles and maintains the health of your joints. You can find more information in the article on Barefoot running. Maybe you'll take your next forest bath barefoot and strengthen your immune system in a special way.
11. whole food nutrition - plant power for the immune system
A wholesome diet ensures that you are well with Nutrients are supplied. Zinc, Vitamin A, C and D are just a few examples of nutrients that strengthen an immune system. With the most complete and unprocessed diet possible, you automatically provide a high nutrient density and can reduce nutritional stress from refined, isolated nutrients and empty calories like those found in sugar or white flour. Optimally, you still complement your healthy diet with a few high quality food supplementsto optimally supply your defenses.
Tip: You can find out how big an impact your diet has on your health in the article on nutritional diseases.
10 foods and nutrients for a strong immune system
In keeping with the nutrition campaign of the same name, we should follow the "5 a day rule" for an optimally functioning immune system. The campaign aims to ensure that we all eat 5 servings of Fruit and vegetables should eat during the day. Fruit cereal for breakfast, orange juice and vegetable sticks in between, vegetable side dish for lunch, etc.
Of course, instead of eating a small portion five times a day, you can eat two to three larger portions of fruits and vegetables instead. Now I'd like to give you 10 foods and nutrients that will boost your immune system to perhaps unknown heights.
1. spinach - nutrient bomb for strong defenses
Spinach is delicious and rich in Iron, Folic acid, Vitamin K and C. The carotenoids in spinach increase the function of our immune system and make it more resistant to foreign substances. Spinach also naturally stimulates healthy intestinal activity and is an absolute must to strengthen its defenses and get sick less often.
2. spices - spicy heat from the inside
Hot spices warm from the inside, promote blood circulation and strengthen the cardiovascular system. Turmeric for example, contains many antioxidants and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Anise has an antibacterial effect and dissolves phlegm. Another example good example of spices that promote health is Garlic, which acts like a natural antibiotic. Other healthy spices are Chili, pepper and cinnamon. A delicious recipe that combines black pepper, cinnamon and turmeric is a Golden milk.
3. water - for a healthy, strong immune system
Make sure you drink enough water. The rule of thumb is "Drink 30 - 40 ml of water per kg of your body weight every day. Enjoy the water warm and also like to combine it with this nutrient detox tea*. The water and nutrients of the detox tea will strengthen your defenses. It is best to drink filtered tap water and save carrying water in plastic bottles to your home. Also have a look at the article Water from plastic bottles VS tap water.
4. proteins - strengthen the immune cells in the intestine
In order for your immune cells in the intestine to develop optimally and your immune system to remain strong in the long term, are Proteins essential. A varied diet includes many different Vegetable protein sourceswith which you can promote pleasure and health.
Protein bombs are, for example, sunflower seeds, nuts, buckwheat or Legumes like Chickpeas. If you tend to include too little protein in your diet, the following is suitable this vegan protein powder* really good for balance. Proteins are the basis of many bodily functions. For a strong immune system and less frequent flu outbreaks, proteins are therefore essential.
5. ginger - the weapon against pathogens
Ginger is a real all-purpose weapon and best suited to strengthen your defenses and get sick less often. Essential oils, resin acids, as well as vitamin C, magnesium, iron and many other nutrients in ginger will strengthen your defenses. The healthy root naturally promotes intestinal activity and stimulates the immune system.
Ginger can also be enjoyed as a tea, which means you can check off two items on this list. Heat a few slices of ginger with a liter of water in a saucepan for 15 minutes and enjoy your ginger tea. Ground organic ginger in a plastic-free jar you can find here*.
6. strengthen defenses with zinc
To protect your cells from foreign substances such as free radicals, is Zinc an important nutrient. Rich in zinc are, for example, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed or oat flakes. Because zinc protects the mucous membranes, it is harder for foreign substances to settle in the organism. Even if you already have a cold, zinc can regenerate the cold faster and strengthen your defenses permanently.
7. medicinal and wild herbs - for a healthy body
There are many native herbs that you can use to boost your health. Many of them are often even mistakenly considered weeds. Dandelion promotes, for example, the purification of the kidneys and liver and provides many vitamins. The Nettle provides good blood circulation and blood purification. Thyme on the other hand, has antiseptic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These are just a few examples of healthy medicinal and wild herbs that you can use to strengthen your immune system and stay healthy.
8. red berries - nutrient supplier for a strong immune system
Red berries are real nutrient bombs and they contain super few calories. The nutrient dense berries contain lots of vitamins A, C and E and are also packed with antioxidants. These reduce oxidative stress in the body and ensure that your body can provide more energy for the immune system.
9. kombucha tea - secret tip for strong defenses
With this tea you can strengthen your defenses and ideally prevent colds. Kombucha tea is perfect for killing harmful foreign substances in the intestine and adds its own microorganisms that take over important tasks in the intestine. It is the perfect drink to strengthen your immune system and to get sick less often. You can either make the tea yourself or simply use the buy here ready and plastic free*.
Tip: The healthy bacteria contained in lactic fermented vegetables also have the same effect. Kimchi, sauerkraut or fermented carrots are therefore great for your immune system. When buying sauerkraut, make sure that it has not been heated, because then the healthy helpers die.
10. kale - strengthen the immune system with the all-rounder
Kale is also a real all-rounder with quite high vital substance content and high nutrient density. Rich in vitamin K, Calcium and iron, kale promotes detoxification of your body like no other vegetable and provides many nutrients. Try it as a delicious kale chips.
Conclusion: Consciously strengthen defenses and prevent diseases
I hope that with this post I can help you to strengthen your immune system and get sick less often. As you can see, it's not that complicated to consciously boost your immune system and stay healthy. Just follow the tips, establish healthy habits and avoid doing or eating things that are clearly harmful to your health.
I look forward to your comment on the article too!
PS: Do you already live plastic-free? Be sure to check out my Tips for plastic free living an. You'll notice how many plastic-free alternatives there are for your everyday life.