With temperatures dropping—and then randomly rising and dropping once again—it’s becoming prime time for all of us to start getting sick. From sore throats and sinus infections to the flu and stomach bugs, the colder months tend to be filled with the germs that stay away during the spring and summer (just in time for when our allergies hit).
However, with the right practices, you can help prevent yourself from catching a nasty bug. A little boost to your immune system before flu season hits hard can help keep you healthy all season long, without having to disinfect everything in your path.
We chatted with the experts to find out exactly what we should do to start getting healthy now so that we’re fully prepared come winter. Whether it’s watching what we eat or making sure we laugh enough—yes, really—we put together the best tips for boosting your immune system, sans Lysol.
Click through the gallery below to load up on great immune-boosting tips.
Aim for a well-rounded diet:
Okay, while this may seem an obvious step is keeping your immune system strong and healthy, it’s definitely an important one. A well-rounded diet of whole foods is a key factor in keeping our bodies strong, healthy, and nourished.
Dr. Gabrielle Francis, naturopathic doctor who practices under The Herban Alchemist, recommends getting a variety of foods from the following groups in order to get the full spectrum of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants: fruits and veggies (of different colors), legumes, whole and unprocessed grains, clean organic animal proteins and wild fish, dairy from goat and sheep, and filtered water and herbal teas. However, some foods, in particular, tend to have some serious power, which may be worth increasing once flu season hits. “Proteins will help build antibodies against infections, while green foods will promote detoxification,” she says.
Negin Niknejad—esthetician, reiki master, herbalist, and founder of JustBe—recommends cooking veggies as opposed to eating them raw, as their mineral content enhances when the heat breaks down the plant cell walls. She also stresses how powerful garlic is in protecting against and kill germs, viruses, and bacteria and how rich in antioxidants and vitamin C apples are (not to mention, they're also in season).