3 Ways To Boost Your Natural Immunity This Spring
The spring season is finally here, and that means warmer weather and the promise of longer days. Even though the typical cold and flu season tends to be reduced as the spring months arrive, seasonal changes can still affect how well a person can fight off infection. This is because seasonal allergies and the like can impact immune function.
Having a strong immune system is important all year round, but the importance of boosting immunity really comes into play when the seasons are changing from winter to spring. So how can you tell if your immune system is running up to par? And what are some ways to boost your natural immunity this spring? Let’s find out.
What are signs of a weak immune system?
Having a weak immune system typically means someone being immunocompromised. This technical term may sound intimidating, but it simply means that the immune system is not functioning as expected. There are a few signs that can tell you whether or not your immune system is at its best as the seasons change.
One of the biggest giveaways that you have a weakened immune system is how frequently you fall ill. Many people get sick throughout flu and cold season, but the illness is typically mild and doesn’t often return. For those with weakened immune systems, the infection will likely be worse, and they could get sick much more often than their healthier counterparts. Some symptoms experienced may also be different for those with a weakened immune system.
Other signs of a weak immune system include:
- Elevated levels of stress
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Slow-healing wounds
What are signs of a strong immune system?
Typically, if you have a strong immune system, there won’t be any signs – and that’s the point! Your body will not fall ill frequently, and you’ll feel good most of the time. Signals from your immune system will likely only occur if it is weakened.
There are some factors that come into play, however, that can tell you whether or not your immune system is running as it should. Things such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, having low levels of stress, and getting good quality sleep can all tell you that it’s likely your immune system is where it needs to be in terms of fighting off infections.
How to boost immunity in spring
Boosting your immune system its function can be done with a few simple steps or lifestyle changes. If you’ve been wondering how to boost immunity in spring, there are specific activities you can do and changes you can make that will help you stay healthy all the way through to summer.
1. Adjust your diet
Diet plays a major role in how healthy the immune system is. This is because the system requires specific nutrients for it to be able to identify pathogens properly, fight them off, and restore itself following any infections. When it comes to diet, you’ll want to choose wholefoods, including lots of fruit and vegetables, and eat mindfully.
The best spring foods that you can consume to help you stay healthy and boost your immune function are those that are in season. You’ll want to get as much nutritional value out of the foods you eat, and eating in season makes sure that you can do that.
Specific seasonal spring foods you can add into your diet to help boost your immune system include:
These foods are all high in nutrients and antioxidants that can help your body stay healthy and give your immune system the boost it needs.
2. Spend more time outside
With the weather warming up, there’s no excuse to stay inside and avoid the outdoors. Getting outside can help to boost the immune system for two reasons: It helps to promote exercise, and it gives you the chance to absorb that much-needed vitamin D you may have been lacking throughout the winter.
Vitamin D is vital to immune function because it helps to modulate the innate and acquired immune responses. Research has shown that exercise is also a great modulator when it comes to the immune response. It helps to circulate and release vital immune cells throughout the body that are designed to protect against infection.
Ideas for spring exercises you can do outside include:
- Visiting a farmer’s market (where you can get some in-season fruit and vegetables!)
3. Get better sleep
Getting good-quality sleep can be difficult, but sleep is needed for the immune system to function at its best. While you sleep, the body produced less stress hormones – those that end up hindering how well certain immune cells can attach to viruses, and in turn make it harder for the cells to rid the body of pathogens.
When it comes to the spring season, there are many reasons why a lack of good quality sleep could happen. The days are growing longer, but many people are waking up in darkness because of daylight savings time. This upsets the body’s natural inclination to wake up with the sun. Many people often push sleep lower on the priority list because spring opens the doors for so much more activity.
Warmer weather and longer days make us feel as though we need to be doing more, and that can lead sleep to suffer. But ensuring that you prioritize sleep as much as you do during the darker and more dreary months of the year will give your immune system the natural boost it needs throughout the spring season.