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5 ways to help your immune system fight off colds and flu

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Believe it or not, a strong immune system can protect you from common illnesses, like colds and flu. Here are five ways to build up your antibodies and boost your natural defenses.

  1. Add more moves to your daily routine. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise increases circulation of immune cells and helps your body identify and conquer invading bugs. A little exercise most days of the week helps you sleep better and lowers stress, which strengthens your immunity.

  2. Get your sleep. How well you sleep and how long you sleep make a difference in your body’s ability to respond to illnesses. To build good sleep habits, keep a consistent bedtime and waketime. Avoid digital devices, including the TV, at bedtime for a better night’s rest. Sunlight on your face in the morning and regular exercise also improve energy levels, mood and immune function.

  3. Reduce stress. Movement and quality sleep go a long way toward keeping stress under control. Deep breathing exercises and community engagement also ease stress and reduce tension. Immersing yourself in nature while connecting with it through your senses can also help you feel calm and relaxed.

  4. Drink plenty of water. Hydration boosts your energy level and supports your immune function. Water flowing through your system increases lymphatic drainage and detoxifies your body. Drinking plenty of water daily helps protect your immune system from the outside by keeping skin healthy and potential germs out.

  5. Eat well. Did you know the right foods can help you fuel your immune system? Onions, garlic, thyme, rosemary and turmeric contain natural compounds called phytonutrients that fight off oxidants, viruses and inflammation in your body. Try berries with oatmeal for a delicious combo that can fight off viruses and improve digestion.

Regular checkups with your healthcare provider, vaccines and boosters also play an important role in helping you keep your immune system in balance and fend off illnesses.
 
The Integrative Care team at Goshen Center for Cancer Care provides naturopathic therapies to treat the whole person, not just the disease. Lifestyle tips, nutrition guidelines and natural therapies help patients better manage common health issues, cancer-related symptoms and treatment-related side effects.

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