Photo by Александар Цветановић from Pexels When bacteria, viruses, or parasites find their way into your body, you depend on your immune system to fight them off. Without a strong immune system, you’re much more likely to get sick with a cold, flu, or even something more serious. Though there’s nothing you can personally do to fight off an infection or virus, your immune system can always use a little help. So, we’re going to go over five of the best ways that you can naturally boost your immunity. 1. Load Up On Fruits & Vegetables According to the Cleveland Clinic, both fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals that directly boost your immune system’s ability to fight off toxins. While all fruits and vegetables are healthy in moderation, some are better than others when it comes to immunity. ● Citrus fruits (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc.) ● Berries (acai, elderberry, blueberry, etc.) ● Dark leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collard, etc.) Now, you don’t have to eat fruits and vegetables with every meal, but you should be getting at least five servings every day. 2. Exercise for 30 Minutes a Day or More Exercise is great for improving your overall health. But, according to MedlinePlus, exercise can also help white blood cells to better travel through your body and target infections as they come upon them. Yet, exercise is also really effective at reducing the body’s level of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. With less cortisol pumping through your body, your immune system is given some time to cool off and less likely to develop sicknesses like the cold and flu. The good news is, you only need about 30 minutes of exercise per day in order to see the effects that it may have on your immune system. 3. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep When you’re asleep, your body and brain take the time to repair themselves. According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep is also the prime time for your body to release cytokines, which help your body to fight off infections. When you’re not getting enough sleep every night, your body is no longer producing adequate levels of cytokines. In short, this means your body has fewer defenses if an infection or virus finds its way into your system. 4. Maintain Proper Hygiene Now, washing your hands after you use the restroom and keeping yourself clean won’t entirely prevent you from developing an illness. But, basic hygiene can rid your body of any potential germs that are lingering on the surface of your skin. Make sure you’re washing your hands frequently, especially after using the restroom and before making or consuming food. Also, clean up any wounds that develop on your body’s surface to prevent an infection from sneaking in. 5. Cope With Your Stress When adrenaline and cortisol are at high levels within your body, your body’s immune system doesn’t work as efficiently. The only way to get around this effect is by identifying your stressors and handling them appropriately. Some of the healthiest ways to handle your stress include meditation, breathing exercises, physical activity, doing hobbies you enjoy, or even just squeezing a stress ball. Just make sure that you’re not developing a coping style that can be harmful to your health and immunity, like smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. Final Thoughts There’s only so much you can do to prevent your body from developing infections and viruses, but there are minor changes you can make in your life today in order to make this more of a reality. Plus, the changes we reviewed will also positively impact your life for the better!