In a study led by Dr. Rafael Harpaz of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that 3% of adults in the U.S. population had a weakened immune system.
Surprisingly, the highest prevalence was among women, people in their 50s and Caucasians.
While we’ve always known that our gastrointestinal tract (GI) keeps us nourished, what we’re now beginning to understand is that good gut health keeps us healthy in myriad ways. And if we have an unhealthy GI system, it can weaken our immune system and lead to chronic illnesses including Type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Thankfully, learning how to care for the immune system is pretty easy. You just need to know the right foods, herbs, and supplements to boost your immune system.
We want to help you get and stay healthy. Keep reading to learn how to use natural methods to help you boost your immune health.
How to Tell If Your Immune System Isn’t Healthy
There are signs that can tell us if our immune systems aren’t as healthy as they should be.
An Upset Stomach
A healthy gut can easily process food and eliminate waste.
An unhealthy gut experiences gas, constipation, heartburn, diarrhea, bloating.
A Diet High in Sugar, Salt, and Fat
Processed foods contain a lot of salt, sugar, and fat. Eating a diet high in all three decreases the good bacteria in your gut.
Also, it can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and inflammation. Inflammation can cause diseases and even cancers.
Difficulty Sleeping or Constant Fatigue
Having an unhealthy gut can cause insomnia and poor sleep which can lead to chronic fatigue.
That’s because serotonin, the hormone affecting mood and sleep is produced in the gut.
Food intolerances are thought to be caused by the poor quality of bacteria in the gut.
It then becomes difficult to digest those trigger foods and nausea, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea can occur.
If left unchecked, a poor diet can also lead to chronic inflammation. That inflammation is now believed to be a leading driver of many serious conditions such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome
Thankfully, even if you are sick or are just experiences symptoms of poor gut health, there are steps you can take to reverse the damage.
How to Care for the Immune System
You should also try to eat a diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And don’t stick to buying the same foods each week. A varied plant-based diet is best.
Choose Organic Foods
One way to begin reversing the damage of poor gut health is to start eating healthier foods. Eating organic fruits, grains, and vegetables, which are grown without using bioengineered genes (GMOs), synthetic pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers is one way to start.
You should also buy organic meat, eggs, and dairy products. This means that the livestock has access to the outdoors and was given organic feed.
They were also raised without being given antibiotics, animal by-products or growth hormones.
Foods to Always Buy Organic
While it does cost more to eat organic, you can save money by not getting sick as much. If you are on a budget, here are the top 12 foods you should always buy organic:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Kale/Collard Greens
- Summer Squash
- Nectarines (imported)
- Hot Peppers
Since organic can get expensive, there are a few ways to save money without compromising your health.
Ways to Save Money While Eating Healthy
In the warmer months, most cities and small towns have farmer’s markets. They’re often cheaper than the grocery store and offer a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables.
Cooperative Groceries and Community Supported Agriculture Farms
You can join a natural foods co-op. While there’s an annual fee, you can save money throughout the year since they offer lower prices to their members.
Community-Supported agriculture (CSA) farms let you purchase shares of produce in bulk which are produced from a local farm.
Buy in Season
Check which fruits and veggies are in season. You’ll find they’re cheapest and freshest.
Do some research to find out which stores offer the best prices for organic foods. Most stores also have coupons both online and offline you can use for extra savings.
Organic Doesn’t Always Mean Healthy
Always read the backs of labels rather than the front. The front label is a marketing ploy while the back label tells the truth of how much sugar, fat, salt, and calories are in the food product.
Also, some of these products use chemicals or other types of unhealthy ingredients in their pre-packaged foods.
Herbs for the Immune System
Herbs are also helpful to boost your immunity system.
You can drink them as tea or eat them in your food.
The Best Herbs for the Immune System
Here is a list of herbs to help boost your immune system:
Garlic is also known to help improve your gut health. Be sure to add it to all your recipes for added flavor and to promote good health.
Supplements for the Immune System
Eating right may not be enough to help improve your immune system. Especially if you have a chronic illness.
Adding supplements to your diet can help you make sure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
The Best Supplements to Use
Here are some of the best supplements for your immune system:
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Folic acid
Silver is also a great supplement to take. It kills off bacteria and viruses and has a whole host of other benefits for your immune system.
If you’re looking for other ways for how to care for the immune system, try going green. Not only does it help the planet improve its health, but yours as well.
The more green products and services you invest in, the more other companies begin to follow the green trend. And that’s good for all of us.
We want to help you learn how to go and stay green. Keep coming back to read our latest tips on how to go green.