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Top Tips to Boost Immunity Naturally
Health & Fitness

Top Tips to Boost Immunity Naturally

Here are five simple lifestyle changes as well as five delicious foods that can help improve your immunity.


5 min read

February 15, 2021

The immune system has two primary jobs: to protect and to repair. There are a variety of ways to improve immune system function, and Zuma Nutrition has created a brief guide on effective ways to enhance your immunity using natural methods. Here are five lifestyle changes as well as five foods that can help boost your immunity naturally. 

5 Lifestyle techniques to improve immunity

1. Exercise and Sweat

Making exercise a regular part of your routine is an excellent way to enhance your immune system and keep infections at bay. Engaging in physical activity helps your immune cells to function more efficiently. It does so by improving circulation, lowering stress levels, diminishing inflammation, and bolstering the effectiveness of antibodies.

Exercise also causes the body to sweat, and when you sweat, your body reacts much like it does when you have a fever: It raises your temperature, and as it does, your body naturally klls off pathogens. Sweating also helps with lymphatic system health, an important detoxification system of the body.

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2. Lowering the Body’s Toxic Load

We all have what is known as a “toxic load”—which, simply put, is the total amount of toxins accumulated in the body. Each one of us is exposed to various toxins on a daily basis. These come from a variety of sources such as the food we consume, the water we drink and bathe in, the air that we breathe, the products that we use, and many others.

When the toxic load in the body is high, it can be very damaging to our overall health, and as a result, our immune system becomes compromised. One of the greatest ways to keep the immune system strong is by reducing the toxic load in the body. You can achieve this by avoiding toxic exposure in the first place and by regularly detoxing the body through diet and lifestyle changes.

3. Lower Stress Levels

Experiencing high stress can take a toll on our health. In response to stress, our bodies secrete a hormone known as cortisol, which triggers a series of reactions designed to help us cope with challenging situations and ready ourselves for immediate response. As part of this stress response, you might notice your heartbeat quickens, your muscles tense up, blood pressure increases, breathing accelerates, and your senses become more acute.

While these reactions are helpful for overcoming stressful situations, if they are active for long periods of time due to high levels of stress, they begin to impair our health. High cortisol levels can significantly reduce immunity, so to keep our immune system strong, we must learn to keep our stress levels low. 

4. Make Sleep and Rest a Priority

Research suggests that insufficient sleep can heighten the risk of illness. This is because sleep plays a crucial role in our body's ability to heal and defend itself. When we sleep, our immune system is busy at work, releasing important proteins known as cytokines. These cytokines are essential, especially when we're battling infections, experiencing inflammation, or dealing with stress, as they help in the healing process. However, not getting enough sleep can lead to a decrease in these protective proteins. Additionally, the body's ability to produce infection-fighting antibodies and cells diminishes when we're sleep-deprived.

Therefore, it's vital to recognize the significance of sleep in maintaining our health and warding off diseases. Continuous lack of sleep not only jeopardizes our immediate health but also increases the likelihood of developing long-term health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. To enhance your immune system and overall health, prioritizing sufficient sleep every night is key. If you find falling asleep challenging, consider natural remedies or explore sleep apps to improve your sleep quality.

5. Spend Time in the Sun

Our sun is a crucial element for life here on Earth, significantly impacting our wellbeing and immune function. When sunlight touches our skin, it initiates the production of vitamin D, transforming cholesterol present in our skin cells. This process is powered by the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which energize the cholesterol, allowing for the creation of vitamin D.

Vitamin D has many roles in the body and is essential for our health as well as for our immunity. Vitamin D can actually modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses of the body. A vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility to infection. So, to keep your immune response functioning optimally, be sure to spend time in the sun frequently.

Foods and herbs to improve immunity

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They contain many nutrients and compounds that are beneficial to our health. Two of these compounds really stand out when it comes to immunity—anthocyanins and ellagic acid.

Anthocyanins are the pigments that are responsible for the rich color in blue and purple foods. They are powerful antioxidants, meaning they help the body eliminate harmful free radicals that we are exposed to daily. Ellagic acid is a polyphenol, a powerful anti-aging compound found in fruits and vegetables; it has the power to repair DNA through a unique mechanism that binds to endogenous DNA, thereby preventing cell mutagen by various carcinogens. Polyphenol is truly an incredible compound for boosting immunity, and it is one of the compounds that makes blueberries so good for our health. 

2. Olive Leaf

Olive leaf extract is a natural health supplement with many therapeutic benefits. In particular, it has a very positive effect on the immune system. Olive leaf is antimicrobial, so it protects the body from harmful bacteria. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants that eliminate free radicals and protect our health.

3. Burdock Root

Burdock root has long been used in traditional herbalism as an immune-boosting herb. We now know that many of its immune benefits come from its unique ability to remove toxins from the blood as well as its ability to improve liver health. This root is also a powerhouse of antioxidants.

4. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits have a long history of use for improving immune system health. This is largely due to their high vitamin C content. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and a co-factor for a family of biosynthetic and gene regulatory enzymes. Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune systems.

5. Turmeric 

Turmeric is a common culinary spice that has many incredible benefits for health. Turmeric is well-known for its ability to reduce inflammation in the body. This is primarily due to a compound in turmeric call curcumin. There have been many studies on the health benefits of curcumin, and some studies show that it actually has the ability to modulate the immune system.

The immune-modulating and anti-inflammatory benefits of this herb make it a great way to support our immune system health—it is also easy to incorporate into a variety of healthy dishes. Be sure to combine turmeric with black pepper and a healthy fat (such as olive oil, avocado, or tahini) to maximize the absorption of the curcumin compound.

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