No matter how well you take care of yourself, or how strong your immune system is, you’re bound to pick up a bug sooner or later. Staying active and eating clean are smart ways to keep your energy levels up and boost your immune system, but sometimes these things just sneak up on you. Next thing you know, you’re waking up with a sore throat and a fever, feeling like you’ve been completely drained of all energy. At this point, you have two options. You can lay in your bed, suffering in misery until it passes. Or, you can do whatever it takes to give yourself a boost and fight it off!
Believe it or not, there are quite a few things you can do to boost your immune system and your energy level when you’re feeling under the weather. Just because there’s no “cure” for the common cold doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence. Following these tips will kick your immune system into high gear, and if you act quick enough, you might even be able to stop the virus completely. Here’s your new regimen for kicking a virus in the butt!
Eat Detoxifying Foods
Our bodies are fighting off toxins every day, and as they build up in the body, they put added stress on the immune system. When you want to boost your immune system, start by detoxifying your body so it can focus on fighting off the cold. Incorporate foods that are known detoxifiers, like dandelion tea, blueberries, cilantro, and parsley.
The dandelion tea is chock full of B vitamins that can amp up your detoxifying methylation pathways and boost your energy. Add the herbs and blueberries to your morning smoothie, a salad at lunchtime, and snack on berries throughout the day. Other detoxifying foods to include are lemons, leafy greens, and garlic.
What are adaptogens? They are special herbs and plants that provide extra support for the adrenal system. They actually adapt to the needs of your body, and they can give you a boost, or calm you down, depending on what you need at the time. Sounds pretty cool, huh?
Some adaptogens to try when you’re sick are:
- Astragalus: This is an herb with antibacterial and antiviral qualities.
- Ashwagandha: This herb has been used for centuries to boost the immune system.
- Maca: This is a root that is full of Vitamin C. It’s also known to boost energy and endurance.
Load Up on Vitamins and Minerals
One of the fastest and most effective ways to boost your immune system and energy levels is to load up on vitamins and minerals. These essential nutrients support cell functions, and you can’t always get what you need from your diet, especially when your body is working overtime to fight off a virus. Dr. Rahav, a functional medicine physician at Rahav Wellness in New York City, recommends nutritional IV therapy because nutrients are absorbed quickly, right into the bloodstream. It’s much more effective than taking a supplement that has to go through the digestive tract and may or may not be absorbed by the body. Imagine what a direct shot of Vitamin C and other micronutrients could do for your immune system and energy levels!
Eat Immune Boosting Foods
Incorporating immune-boosting foods into your daily diet is always a good idea, but it’s especially important when you’re feeling under the weather. Manuka honey has a high nutritional content and antimicrobial properties, so try adding it to your tea throughout the day. Other good antiviral and immune balancers are chaga and turkey tail mushrooms. Try adding them as a powder in your smoothies for a boost.
Salt Water is Your Friend
Dissolve one teaspoon sea salt in a cup of warm water and use it as a gargle to relieve a sore throat, loosen mucus, and get rid of bacteria in the throat. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine says gargling with salt water can even help to prevent upper respiratory infections.
Break Out the Essential Oils
Essential oils have been used for centuries because of their impressive healing abilities. Try diffusing them at home and at the office for a quick and lasting boost to your immune system and your energy levels. Tee tree oil is antibacterial and antiviral. Eucalyptus is excellent for battling congestion, and it’s also antimicrobial. Frankincense and myrrh work together to provide amazing antimicrobial effects.
Drink Bone Broth
We all know about eating chicken soup when we have a cold or the flu (especially a stomach virus), and it turns out you can get the same benefits from bone broth, but they’re kicked up a notch! Bone broth contains minerals, glycine, glucosamine, and gelatin that can heal your gut from the inside out. Sickness starts in your gut, so taking good care of your digestive system is crucial not just for preventing illness, but also for recovering from one.
So, next time you feel that tickle in the back of your throat you’ll know just what to do to give your immune system a boost and keep your energy levels up. These seven tips could be your secret weapon for fighting off the next nasty virus going around at the office!
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