Want to know the secret to staying healthy year-round? It all lies in your gut. That’s right – a large portion of your immune system is powered by your gut. That’s why it’s so important to treat your gut well by eating the right foods, staying hydrated, and avoiding too much alcohol.
But how do you do that, exactly? How can you boost your immune system to prevent illness, fight off bacteria, and even promote healthier skin and hair?
We’re here to help. Here are 5 ways to boost your immune system that are easier than you think.
1. Swap out your Vitamin C.
When most people think of Vitamin C, they think of oranges. These yummy fruits are chock-full of Vitamin C, at about 50 mg in a small fruit. But did you know that bell peppers have nearly three times as much Vitamin C? Yellow bell peppers have as much as 341 mg of good-for-you Vitamin C. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower pack a healthy punch, too. Switch out your Vitamin C to ensure you’re getting a dose of micronutrients to support a healthy gut, too.
2. Increase your Vitamin E.
Vitamin E often takes a backseat to Vitamin C when it comes to immunity. Yet, this vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that can help treat illnesses including digestive problems. Research suggests that supplements when taken by those with a Vitamin E deficiency, can help improve gut health. You can increase your Vitamin E intake by filling your diet with foods like almonds, peanuts, spinach, and vegetable oils.
3. Get more high-quality sleep.
The benefits of good sleep are numerous, including more energy, better cognitive function, and increased productivity. Getting quality sleep can also improve your body’s ability to ward off infections. Studies suggest that the highest-quality sleep happens before midnight – so going to bed earlier really can have its perks. REM sleep, the deepest, most beneficial type of sleep, occurs about 90 minutes after you initially fall asleep. Aim for at least 1-2 REM cycles before midnight (putting the ideal bedtime around 10 PM).
4. Limit added sugar intake.
Limiting sugar intake can feel like a hard task in today’s pre-made food society. But the benefits of avoiding unnecessary sugar in your diet are plenty. Not only could you aid in weight loss and improve your overall health, but you could boost your immunity, too. Processing sugar in the body is a challenging task for your body. Cutting it out can help decrease inflammation as well as limit the possibility of developing health issues like diabetes.
5. Opt for plant-based half the time (or more).
Plant-based diets are “gentle” on the gut, simpler to digest, and are packed with gut-healthy nutrients. But you don’t have to go vegan to take advantage of the benefits. Try swapping out meat-heavy dishes with plant-based versions instead. Simply opting for one plant-based meal a day can help cut down on inflammation and boost your intake of healthy vitamins and minerals.
Boost your immunity and enjoy a healthier, richer diet with these tips!