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7 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System
7 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System
May 31/2024

7 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

You wash your hands, wear a mask, order take-out and go through a ton of motions to protect yourself from illness, but layers of defense are not enough on their own. Boosting your immune system strengthens your front lines and helps to defeat any threat that gets through.

In this brief article brought to you by Southern Maryland Medical Group, we share 7 natural ways to boost your immune system. If you are concerned about your health, then speak with one of our licensed primary care doctors to clear things up and enjoy a precious peace of mind.

Natural Method #1: Maintain a Nutrient-Rich Diet

A well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients supports the immune system by providing the necessary vitamins and minerals that play a critical role in immune function. Key nutrients you should consider for immune system health include:

  • Vitamin C: Found in citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli, vitamin C boosts white blood cell production and enhances the body's ability to fight infections.
  • Vitamin D: Essential for immune function, vitamin D can be obtained from sun exposure, fatty fish, and fortified foods.
  • Zinc: Present in nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes, zinc helps with immune cell development and communication.

Your best bet is to incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your diet. Focus on colorful plates to ensure a broad spectrum of nutrients.

Natural Method #2: Get Adequate Sleep

Sleep is vital for immune function. During sleep, the body releases cytokines, proteins that aid in fighting infection and inflammation. We’re not saying you should sleep all day. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, and maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends. To help, create a restful environment by keeping your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool – and go phoneless about an hour before bedtime.

Natural Method #3: Get Active and Exercise Regularly

Regular physical activity strengthens blood circulation, allowing immune cells to move freely and perform their functions more effectively. It also reduces inflammation and stimulates the production of endorphins, which can improv e your mood and reduce stress.

Brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing for at least 150 minutes per week is suggested as moderate-intensity activities. Incorporate muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week. Most importantly, find an activity you enjoy to make regular exercise a sustainable part of your routine. Even short bursts of activity, like a 10-minute walk, can be beneficial.

Natural Method #4: Stay Hydrated

Water is essential for the entire body, including the immune system. Hydration helps maintain the health of mucous membranes, which are the body's first line of defense against pathogens. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, more if you are physically active or live in a hot climate and sweat often. Hydrating foods such as cucumbers, oranges, and watermelon can also be incorporated into your diet.

Natural Method #5: Manage Your Stress, Mindfully

Chronic stress can weaken the immune system by increasing the production of cortisol, a hormone that suppresses immune function. Practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga; Engage in hobbies and activities that you enjoy and that help you relax; And build a strong support network – and seek professional help if needed.

Natural Method #6: Strengthen Gut Health with Probiotics

A significant portion of the immune system resides in the gut. Probiotics, beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods and supplements, can enhance gut health and, in turn, boost immunity. Fermented foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, but your primary care physician can recommend probiotic supplements.

Natural Method #7: Herbal Supplements

Certain herbs have been shown to support immune health. For instance, echinacea, elderberry, and garlic have properties that can help the body combat infections. Consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplements to ensure they are appropriate for your individual health needs and conditions.

Consult a Licensed Physician

Life is a journey best lived together. Reach out to Southern Maryland Medical Group to schedule an appointment with a licensed primary care physician. Let’s get started with a discussion and then curate a program to optimize your immune system.

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Southern Maryland Medical Group has 3 convenient locations to provide professional medical care services in the Southern Maryland area. Call or schedule an appointment with one of our locations to get medical care help. 

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Camp Springs, MD

5801 Allentown Road, Suite 400 Camp Spring, MD 20746

Phone: 301-868- 0150

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-868-0243

Greenbelt, MD

7500 Greenway Center, Dr #1200 Greenbelt, MD 20770

Phone: 301-486-7580

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-486-7581

Riverdale, MD

6510 Kenilworth Ave, Ste 1400, Riverdale MD 20737

Phone: 301-618-0771

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-618-0772