These 14 Tasty Health Tricks Are Awesome For Your Immune System
Runny nose, sore throat, banging headache, tiredness, vomiting. These are the common symptoms we all know too well that let us know our body is under attack. When your body’s first line of defence fails, there’s not much you can do except sit it out and dope yourself up on medication. But did you know there’s a lot you can actually do to help boost your immune system and steer clear of annoying colds and illness in the first place? Outside of the basics, like getting enough sleep and exercising regularly, here are 14 very useful tricks to immunity!
#1 Try Probiotics
Incredibly, 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. There are trillions of beneficial bacteria there and keeping these good guys healthy is one of your best defences against sickness. And what’s the tastiest way to help get them into your diet? Probiotic yoghurt drinks!
#2 Clean Hands
Cleaning, and also properly drying, your hands frequently is super important. Be sure to replace and clean damp towels often to stop bacteria flourishing.
Photo: Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune
#3 Cut Out Sugar
Your infection-fighting white blood cells fend off bacteria and viruses, but can be inhibited by a sugary diet. Try to reduce the sodas and sweets!
Photo: Science Daily
#4 Drink Water
Unfortunately a lot of us forget to get our recommended daily amount of water. This is a big no-no because H2O is pretty great for keeping our cells fighting fit to defend against bad bacteria. Sip throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Photo: Las Vegas Man
#5 Change Your Toothbrush
Did you know, that thing that goes in your mouth every day might be harbouring all manner of nasty bugs? Ew, right! For your dental hygiene’s sake as well as your body, keep your toothbrush clean, uncovered and change it regularly.
Photo: DIY Network
#6 Pop a Vitamin C
Probably the most popular supplement out there, most of us could probably do with a vit C boost if we struggle to eat enough fruit. It’s an elixir for our immune systems so make sure you have enough in your diet.
#7 Get Plenty of Vitamin D
Eat fatty fish like salmon, egg yolks and beef liver to up your vitamin D, try good old fashioned cod liver oil or other supplements. Of course, you could get your requirement from the sun, but if you live somewhere that rains a lot…
So this one might seem a bit out there, but bear with us. Hanging out and laughing with friends counters loneliness, depression and various other negative factors that can impact our health and, in turn, lower our immune system defences. So go on, have fun with your mates!
Photo: Rockwell Nutrition
#9 Keep Fingers Away
Throughout your day your hands touch an incredible amount of things. Not everything they come into contact with is very pleasant, so keep them away from mouths and eyes! Keep an antibacterial gel handy if needs be.
Photo: Ars Technica
#10 Eat More Fruit and Veggies
You might have hated fruit and veg as a kid, and maybe you still do, but trust us when we say they’re damn good for you! Get your 5-a-day (or is it 10-a-day now?) and provide your body with the ingredients for a good immune system, like iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, selenium, copper, folic acid and vitamins A, C, D, E, B6 & B12. Phew!
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AKA bacteria food, prebiotics help nourish our good microbial friends. Good whole food sources include asparagus, quinoa, chia seeds and apples. Aim to get 2-3 servings a day of these foods.
Photo: Natural Blaze
#12 Green Tea
By boosting the production of antibodies, green tea can help fight those pesky pathogens and ease the symptoms of a cold if you do get sick.
Photo: Serious Eats
It’s pretty much common knowledge that honey is an awesome natural cough remedy! Add it to a drink or just take a spoon au naturel. Thank. You. Bees!
Rich in minerals like zinc, which help to produce white blood cells in your body, oysters are an unlikely immune system boosting food. They also contain the antioxidant selenium and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Photo: In a Half Shell