Admit it, we've all secretly rolled our eyes at people we know whose superpower seems to be never getting sick, even in the face of cold and flu season. Well, guess what? You don't need an immune system of steel to be one of them. Here are five simple ways to boost your own immunity.
1. Stay hydrated. Drinking good ol' H2O is the absolute best way of flushing your body of the toxins that make you sick. How much water is enough? Instead of counting cups, let the color of your urine be your gauge. It should be as light as lemonade. If it looks more like apple juice, you're probably dehydrated.
2. Prioritize sleep. Insufficient sleep negatively impacts your hormone balance and suppresses your immune system function, decreasing your body's ability to fight viruses or bacterial infections. Aim for a good seven to eight hours of sleep a night, and I promise you'll feel more than well rested.
3. Avoid chemical crap. Another huge immunity booster is eating quality, nutrient-dense food that's free of chemical additives, including trans fats or hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, sodium nitrates, growth hormones, MSG, the preservatives BHA and BHT, antibiotics, and pesticides. Read those food labels!
4. Manage stress levels. Excessive stress can kill you, literally. Stress weakens your immune system, and by wreaking havoc on your endocrine system (aka hormones) contributes to serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Being stress-free is a challenge even for me, but a few of the ways I decompress is with exercise, meditation and by spending time outdoors as often as I can.
5. Take the right supplements. When your diet alone isn't providing you with sufficient nutrients on a daily basis, supplementation becomes important for optimal health. I recommend taking a high-quality multivitamin, an omega-3 fish-oil supplement, and probiotics, the good bacteria that help keep your gut -- and, in turn, the rest of your body -- happy and healthy.