Tips For Keeping Your Immune System Healthy and Strong

 Heinen’s Wellness Consultant, Jaclyn shares some of her favorite tips & tricks to keep your immune system healthy especially during the colder months.

Eat Plenty of Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains, Herbs and Spices 

Get more vitamin C from your fruits and veggies. Great food sources include berries, citrus, bell peppers, and dark green vegetables. Adding spices like garlic, ginger, or turmeric to your cooking, can help boost the immune system, too.

Bell Peppers

Try to avoid processed foods and limit sugar and alcohol, consuming too much of these suppresses the immune system.

Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. For an extra boost, add some fresh squeezed lemon into your water – it will provide some extra vitamin C!

Get Some Good Bacteria

It’s known that about 80% of our immune system is located in our digestive system. Keeping a healthy gut is very important to keep a strong immune system. Probiotics are good bacteria that can be found in fermented foods, such as raw sauerkraut, miso, yogurt, kefir, kimchi and kombucha, or you can take probiotics in supplement form.

Up Your Vitamin D

In the winter, our levels of the “sunshine vitamin” tend to drop even further. Unfortunately, too-low levels of vitamin D are linked not only to decreased immune function, but also seasonal affective disorder (a more intense version of the “winter blues“), and muscle and bone loss.

Try to soak up some sun outside even when it’s cold or you can get small doses of vitamin D from some foods like mushrooms, fatty fish, and egg yolks. You can even consider taking a vitamin D supplement, but always make sure to consult your physician prior to assess your current levels and needs.

Get Moving

Exercising is not only a great way to stay in shape, but it also increases our immune function and improves sleep quality. Try to get at least 30 minutes a day, even if it’s only a long walk!

Relax & Rest

Chronic stress can weaken the immune system and makes us more vulnerable to illness. It’s important to take the time to do something you enjoy, but to also slow down and try to make time for relaxing activities like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or reading a book. Chronic fatigue is also known to increase risks of illness. The body rejuvenates and strengthens when it’s at rest. If you can, try to sleep 7 to 8 hours a day, and if needed, take an afternoon nap. Your body will thank you!

Wash Your Hands

Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses — from the common cold to more serious infections. Make sure you get soap in between your fingers, on the backs of hands, and under the nails where germs like to hang out – and don’t forget the wrists!

Hands being washed with soapy water.
Looking to learn more about ways to support your immune health? Check out this post from our friend, Lauren of Healthy Mom Project.

By Heinen's Grocery Store
In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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