3 Tips to Boost Your Immune System

How to Naturally Boost Your Immune System For Cold and Flu Season

Naturally Boost your Immune System

1) Boost your vitamin D levels by spending time outside

Some scientists have suggested that one reason that cold and flu are seasonal is that people tend to stay inside in the winter and don’t get their recommended amount of Vitamin D. Your body naturally produces Vitamin D by being exposed to natural sunlight, so staying indoors reduces the amount of Vitamin D in your system.  And since Vitamin D is crucial to your immune system, not getting enough of it can make you susceptible to the cold and flu.

But you don’t have to spend a great deal of time outside.  In fact, your body produces your daily allowance of Vitamin D in just 10-15 minutes of moderate sun exposure!  A short walk once a day can help boost your immune system!  In addition to boosting your vitamin D, there are a bunch of other reasons to take a short walk every day.

2) Drink lots of tea

Tea, particularly green tea, is filled with antioxidants, which boost the immune system by neutralizing free radicals – a type of atom that can damage your body.  Tea is loaded with catechins – a very specific type of antioxidant that prevents the breakdown of cells.  Tea is especially high in catechins because it is usually minimally processed. Green tea has the added benefits of increasing blood flow and lowering cholesterol. Also, the warmth of the tea can soothe a sore throat, reduce congestion, and fight inflammation if you already have a cold.

3) Eat these foods:

Yogurt – Probiotics in yogurt keep your intestinal lining healthy.  Probiotics are good bacteria that keep germs and other bad bacteria out of your stomach and digestive system.  Just one cup of yogurt a day can help keep your digestive track healthy.

Garlic – Garlic contains a substance called Allicin, which, has antimicrobial properties and resists germs.  According to research, it can also help prevent the common cold and reduce the symptoms once you have it. Check out our hummus recipe for an awesome, easy dish containing garlic.

Citrus – Citrus contains vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, which has antiviral and antibacterial properties.  Drinking citrus fruit juice, or better yet – eating fruits themselves can increase your body’s Vitamin C levels.  Citrus fruits are typically in-season in the winter, so you will find a great variety of fresh fruits in your grocery store.  Citrus fruits also contain fiber, so eating the fruit rather than simply drinking the juice has added benefits.

Lean meat, like beef – Meats contain a great deal of zinc, which can help your body produce white blood cells.  White blood cells fight viruses and bacteria, and keep your immune system healthy and able to fight off a cold.  You can take zinc supplements, but you can also acquire it naturally by eating lean protein in the form of beef, lamb, chicken, and pork.

Hiking Can Make you Happier


We already know that light exercise can provide significant health benefits. But there is a lot of evidence that it can also have psychological benefits as well – particularly if you are doing it outdoors. There is a strong connection between the body and mind. Surrounding yourself in a natural setting can have a profound impact on your psychological well-being and overall brain function, particularly when its paired with physical activity.

I’ve always been and outdoors person.  Ever since I was young, I have always enjoyed spending time outdoors. Being outside and disconnecting myself from technology allowed my brain to relax and function without the distractions of the modern world. Without the constant beeping of my cell phone alerting me to text messages, emails and social media alerts, my brain could actually relax. And what I’ve noticed is the longer I was able to do this, the better I felt. When I would return from hiking, I experienced that my mind was much more focused, and my thought process was a lot clearer. I’ve spoken to other hikers and outdoorsy people who have shared the same experience.

So I was not surprised to learn that there is a lot of data to back this up! Several studies have shown that spending time outdoors can have huge psychological benefits. This is particularly true if you do so in a natural setting and even truer if you are disconnected from technology.

A recent study tested individuals on creativity both before and after a 4-day nature excursion, and found that there was a significant improvement. An article published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that the act walking can improve cognitive function.

Walking, preferably in a natural setting, can:

  • Improve creative thinking
  • Improve reasoning and problem solving skills
  • Relieve stress and improve your mental state

Not to mention the countless physical health benefits!

So if you’re feeling stressed, need to solve a problem, or just want to relax – take a walk somewhere. No matter where you live – even if it’s a big city – you can find a natural setting to walk. Go to the park. Take a hike. And turn off your cell phone!