Your immune system keeps your body free from illness and disease. When your immune system is strong, it fights infection easily. However, when it is worn down and weak, you get sick. Here are 10 natural ways to boost your immune system.

Get enough sleep

Your body requires 6 to 10 hours of sleep every night. It is during sleep that the body renews itself, rebuilding cells and balancing hormones. If you are not getting enough sleep, not only do you feel run down and tired, but your immune system is also run down and tired.

Exercise

Studies show that moderate exercise will boost your immune system by increasing the production of macrophages, the cells that attack foreign bacteria. During exercise, and for a few hours after, the immune cells move through the blood stream faster.

Reduce stress

Stress can really affect how well your immune system operates. It can make it through one stressful situation easily, but if you are continually under large amounts of stress, it will be worn out. You cannot always remove the things causing your stress, but you can learn ways to cope better. Try meditation, prayer, taking time for yourself, maybe read a good book. All these things can help you take a break, so you can deal with stressful situations in a healthy way.

Eat a balanced diet

Because the immune system is so complex, you need a variety of foods for it to perform at its peak. Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants that help the immune cells divide and reproduce properly and protein has amino acids that are the building blocks of all cells, including immune cells.

Add lemons to your water

Lemons help your body stay at the right ph balance for healthy bacteria to thrive and harmful bacteria and viruses to die.

GTY_lemon_water_sk_150414_16x9_992

No refined sugar

Not only does sugar hurt other aspects of your body like energy levels and obesity, if you consume 100 grams of sugar (2 sodas), your immune system’s germ killing abilities are reduced by 40%. The effects start about 30 minutes after eating sugar and last up to 5 hours.

Probiotics

Probiotics are found in foods like yogurt and kefir. They help increase the activity and productivity of the immune cells found in the mucosal tissues that line the GI tract.

Garlic

Garlic is a powerful tool to boost the immune system. Its many compounds containing sulfur help infection fighting white cells grow, antibodies become more efficient, and killer cells become more active. It also has antioxidants that reduce free radicals in the blood stream.

Limit alcohol and caffeine

Caffeine will dehydrate you as well as rob your body of vitamins and minerals that are important to a healthy immune system. Alcohol is okay in small doses, but three or more drinks have the same effect on your body as sugar. It will decrease the ability of killer cells to do their job and make it hard for white blood cells to multiply.

Drink plenty of water

Water is the single most important thing your body needs. The body is mostly water and that water needs to be renewed. It helps your immune system by absorbing nutrients and flushing out toxins.