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The immune system protects our bodies from all foreign microorganisms like viruses and bacteria that cause disease. When your immune system is working too hard or not hard enough, a host of various health conditions can develop, including infections, asthma and allergies, immune deficiency diseases and autoimmune diseases, often before you even notice them. Fortunately, there are an abundance of natural remedies that can help give a boost to your immune system.
Take strep throat as one example. In some situations, it can become a pretty serious condition and there are many people who are not willing to use pharmaceuticals drugs for various reasons. The good part is that there are various natural remedies and cures to treat strep throat with almost no harmful side effects.
Increasing your intake of fluids and vitamin C, managing stress and adding herbs and natural foods and spices like ginger, peppermint, garlic, turmeric and cayenne pepper to your diet can all help alleviate sore throat symptoms. Interestingly, all of these natural remedies also boost the immune system, and, indeed, that’s a key part of why they’re so effective a treating condition like strep throat.
Foreign elements in the body like viruses and bacteria trigger infection and inflammation. The immune system must then combat that infection and inflammation in order to the defeat the foreign invader. By preventing those infections and inflammations from occurring in the first place, the immune system remains strong so that it can defeat these elements before they even take hold and start wreaking havoc on the body. Natural Remedies to Fight Inflammation and Infection
Like every other system of your body, your immune system requires nourishment. There’s a reason that people in undeveloped and malnourished countries are susceptible to devastating illnesses. It’s that their immune systems lack the proper, regular nourishment to combat the constant onslaught of disease-harboring microorganisms in their environment. Unsanitary conditions only feed these microorganisms while poor diet and physical fitness make the people they prey on more vulnerable.
Simple nutrients, or a lack thereof, can make all the difference in a person’s ability to keep infections and inflammation at bay, so that his or her immune system can focus its attention on fighting the elements causing those reactions. These micronutrients that support optimal immune function include:
– folic acid
– vitamins A, B6, C, E
The best dietary sources of these micronutrients are natural, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains and lean meats. Where your daily diet is lacking in any of these vital nutrients, you can find dietary supplements to fill those needs. When it comes to dietary supplements, however, be aware that balance and harmony are the goals, not maximum saturation. In other words, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, even micronutrients. Rather than mega doses of single, individual micronutrients, take a multivitamin and mineral supplement instead that provides a daily balanced boost of all the necessary micronutrients.
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as are found in fatty fish, nuts, seeds, beans and avocados, can help boost the immune system and reduce dysfunction by preventing inflammation. Vitamin C, such as is found in citrus fruits and green and red vegetables, contains antioxidants that counteract histamine, which also contributes to inflammation.
Polyphenols help boost the immune system’s ability to combat infection. In 2010, a study in “American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy” found that dietary polyphenols inhibited mucous secretion in the respiratory system while keeping ciliary activity in the nasal cavities operating normally. Common dietary polyphenols include gingerol, found in ginger, EGCG, found in green tea, curcumin, found in curry, and quercetin, found in a number of fruits, vegetables and other foods, including onions, leafy greens and red wine.
Lifestyle Remedies to Boost Immune Function
Stress is a known factor in immune dysfunction, though its role has yet to be quantified. Yet, everyone realizes that when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to get sick and stay sick. The same is true with depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. Managing stress and nurturing your emotional well-being are therefore significant steps you can take to boost your immune system. As Harvard Health points out, adopting healthy-living strategies can promote the internal balance and harmony the immune system requires to function optimally.
Natural remedies for managing stress and nurturing emotional well-being include: * avoiding smoking
* regular exercise
* maintaining a healthy weight
* controlling blood pressure
* proper hygiene
* adequate sleep
Combining Natural Remedies
By boosting your immune system naturally, you can effectively help to combat nearly any inflammation or infection. Even rare or private conditions like bacterial vaginosis can be treated with common home remedies like yogurt, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, garlic and oregano. Interestingly, treating your own BV might also reduce your stress level and uplift your mood, both of which will then help to further boost your immune system. Add in proper hygiene, adequate restful sleep and daily exercise to help maintain this healthy state and you’ve given your immune system that maximum support it needs to support you in maintaining optimal health.
Lastly, be aware that no natural remedies can replace regular examinations by a doctor. By including your doctor in your overall personal health and wellness program, you can ensure that the natural remedies you’re taking to boost your immune system are indeed having the desired effects. Regular medical screenings can also help alert you to other possible actions you may want to take to give your immune system specific support for new circumstances arising in your body.