How To Boost Your Immune System Naturally

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By Dr. Tanvi Tijoriwala, ND

 

When it comes to infections, having a strong immune system is key to protect us from disease-causing microorganisms. Typically, our immune system does a phenomenal job at fighting away bacteria, fungi and viruses. However, due to several reasons, our immune defenses can be weakened, causing us to get sick more often or be susceptible to certain infections. While seeking treatment when sick is important, it is also essential to take preventative measures to ensure a healthy immune response.

Here are five ways to naturally boost immunity:

 

  • Eating foods rich in Vitamin C: Did you know a red pepper has more Vitamin C than oranges? There are several such foods with a good dose of Vitamin C that can be added to one’s diet.

Vitamin C is an important co-factor in immune reactions. Researchers found that a daily intake of Vitamin C can reduce cold symptoms and reduce the duration of illness. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables such as red peppers, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, sweet potato, strawberries and broccoli. Eating a serving of fruits and vegetables a day can help us get the Vitamin C dose needed to support immune function

 

  • Practicing good hygiene: Just like prevention is better than cure, good hygiene is better than infection. Some ways to promote good hygiene and avoid infections are:

 

  • wash your hands with soap and water often during the day (especially before eating).
  • Coughing and sneezing in a tissue or in your elbow can prevent spreading the infection.
  • Carrying a sanitizer during peak cold and flu season.

 

  • Supporting the gut microbiome: The gut microbiome is the community of healthy micro-organisms in the intestines that assist our body in digesting and absorbing nutrients. They are also responsible for proper functioning of the immune system. In fact there is an entire immune system present in the gut that helps fight off infections and reduces inflammation.

Supporting the gut microbiome can begin with eating probiotic rich foods such as:

  • Khimchi
  • Sauer Kraut
  • Kombucha
  • Keffir
  • Tempeh
  • Miso

Taking a probiotic supplement is also an option if you notice you get sick very often. There are various different dosages and strains of probiotics. To ensure you are getting the right one you can consult with our naturopathic doctor.

 

  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is another vitamin that has shown to be important in boosting immunity. Vitamin D is typically made in our body after our skin absorbs the UV rays from the sun. However, as Canadians our exposure to sunlight is minimized during the winter months, causing most Canadians to be deficient in Vitamin D. Speaking to your naturopathic doctor or medical doctor about Vitamin D supplementation can be important to help boost your immune system and protect from getting sick.

 

Losing out on days of work or family time because you are constantly sick is never ideal. If you believe you get sick very often and would like a customized treatment plan to help support your immune system, you can book in with our naturopathic doctor Dr. Tanvi Tijoriwala here.

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