No one wants to get sick, and luckily our immune systems do a lot to keep us healthy. If you’re getting springtime colds, experiencing allergies, or just generally trying to stay healthy, supporting the immune system is one of the best ways to prevent illness. There are many natural ways to boost your immune system through holistic health practices.

Without an immune system, you’d likely be sick all the time. That is — if you lived very long! Your immune system is designed to defend your body against all kinds of illnesses. It doesn’t protect you perfectly 100% of the time — you likely get sick once in a while. But think of all the bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens you’re exposed to every day. The fact is, your immune system works pretty hard 24/7! Knowing this, most of us look for ways to help our immune system function better. Lucky for you, there are a lot of holistic health practices that can give it a boost.

Your Immune System is a System

Holistic health looks at your body as a complex system with physical, emotional, and spiritual components. Well, your immune system is a system in and of itself — like a huge orchestra where every instrument needs to perform well in order for the whole group to work properly together. So if you think about it, boosting your immune system from a whole-body, holistic point of view might be the best way to enable top performance.

8 Holistic Health and Wellness Practices with Immunity Boosting Benefits

Most of us would agree that taking holistic health and wellness seriously is a good idea. And hey, nobody would choose to get sick if they could avoid it. There are plenty of holistic health techniques that not only support your body as a whole but can boost your immune system too. Here are just a few.

1. Get Enough Sleep

The importance of sleep in every aspect of your health really can’t be overstated! Getting 8+ hours of sleep each night can help regulate your immune function. In fact, in a study of over 22,000 people, those who slept less than 6 hours per night or had sleep disorders were more likely to get colds and other respiratory illnesses. Try for between 7 to 9 hours of sleep most nights. Rest is a chance for the body to regenerate and can be a natural way to heal yourself every night. If you have a hard time getting enough sleep, try regulating your schedule so that you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. You might also try to make your room darker and quieter. Another tip that helps some people get to bed is to decrease the amount of light in their homes and limit screen time a few hours before bed.

2. Relax and Release Stress

Experiencing excess stress can suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick. Reducing prolonged stress may be very important to keeping your immune system up. Taking time to relax and rejuvenate is a simple and effective way to boost your immune system. There are lots of holistically healthy ways to rest and relax, such as spending time with friends and family, reading a book, spending time in nature, meditating, and more. Try out different ways to relax and see what works for you!

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating healthy, whole foods is a great way to boost your immune system naturally. Foods that aren’t processed are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can help boost your immune system. Having a healthy gut microbiome has also been shown to benefit your immune system. Foods high in fiber and probiotic-rich are good for supporting microbiome health.

  • Plenty of fruits and vegetables — The antioxidants they contain can help combat free radicals (chemical by-products that may damage your DNA and suppress your immune system).
  • Omega-3 fatty acids — These may increase your body’s ability to produce immune-regulating compounds.
  • Plenty of water — Water helps your cells eliminate waste and work more efficiently.
  • Garlic — Garlic is known to possess properties that fight viruses and bacteria.
  • Ginger — This natural anti-inflammatory food should make a regular appearance in your meals.

4. Get Enough Vitamins

A healthy diet should give you the wide variety of vitamins that your body needs, but making sure you have enough of these important vitamins is helpful for boosting your immune system.  

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can strengthen your body’s natural defenses. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, as well as strawberries, kale, spinach, and broccoli.
  • Vitamin B6: This vitamin is responsible for producing cells that regulate immune responses. Foods rich in B6 are deep green vegetables, chickpeas, and fish.  
  • Vitamin E: This antioxidant can help the body fight off infection, and is found in nuts, such as almonds. Seeds are also a source of Vitamin E, including pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Spinach and other dark leafy greens are also good sources.
  • Vitamin D3: The active form of vitamin D tempers the damaging inflammatory response of some white blood cells, while it also boosts immune cells’ production of microbe-fighting proteins.  
  • Zinc: Zinc is necessary for immune cell function and cell signaling so not having enough can lead to a weakened immune response. Zinc supplements stimulate particular immune cells and reduce oxidative stress.

5. Holistic Health Herbs

Many believe that herbs such as echinacea, elderberry, and andrographis may help reduce the severity and duration of illnesses like the flu or the common cold. Read about these herbs, and if you think they’re for you, try taking them at the first sign of symptoms!

6. Support your Microbiome for Optimal Health

Our microbiome is made up of thousands of strains of bacteria and other organisms. The good gut bacteria take our digested food and manufacture the chemicals needed for all parts of our body to operate properly. Scientists have found that the microbiome is essential in shaping the development of innate and adaptive immunity.

Muscle-testing with the Body Code™ may quickly help you determine how well your microbiome is functioning, and the “Foods, Herbs and Nutrients” portion of the Body Code™ Mind Maps (located within “Nutrition and Lifestyle”) contains detailed identification charts to help you determine any dietary changes that may be needed. These tools can greatly help you in naturally restoring your microbiome’s functionality.

Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, and natto can help support good gut bacteria.

7. Stay Active

Regular, moderate exercise has been shown to mobilize the cells of your immune system and even protect it from the effects of getting older. Try taking a hike, going to a yoga or tai chi class, taking a walk with a friend, or picking up a new hobby like cross-country skiing, rock climbing, or any other physical activity you enjoy!

8. Use Energy Healing

Energy healing can help facilitate physical and emotional balance and recovery! The Emotion Code® with the Body Code™ can help you discover and remove energy blockages. This can lead to a boost in your overall health and happiness, which naturally supports a healthy immune system function. If you feel like you could benefit from energy healing, and you’re curious about these tools, explore our Discover Healing Courses to learn more about certification.

*This article was originally published in 2020 and has been updated for accuracy.