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Got Another Cold? Here Are Ways To Boost Your Immune System

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Maine chapter.

It’s that time of the year where at every turn, it feels like you’re in the presence of someone who’s sick. You try to avoid it, but with class, work, and public places like grocery stores and campus, it’s nearly impossible. Here are some easy ways to boost your immune system’s response, and to help rid yourself of the nasty viruses going around. 

  1. Take a daily multivitamin. 

A daily multivitamin will not only help boost your immune system, it’ll help fill gaps in your diet of the vitamins you may be missing in your foods on a day to day basis, and may cause a boost of energy. They’re also formulated in a way that aids in easy absorption, which can ensure they’re going into your body correctly. Look for a multivitamin that has Zinc (helps reduce inflammation) and Vitamin C (will help reduce length of illness and severity), two vitamins that will help build your immune response. 

  1. Take elderberry syrup. 

Elderberry syrup is packed with immune-boosting antioxidants that can help prevent and shorten the length of viruses. The syrup includes vitamins A, B, and C, which will boost your immune system, lessen inflammation, and can even aid in bettering your stress response. 

  1. Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants: Vitamin B6, Vitamin E. 

The B6 vitamin is an excellent supporter of the biochemical reactions that occur in the immune system. If you’re already taking a multivitamin with B6 included in the ingredients list, consider eating foods high in vitamin B6, such as: chicken, tuna, salmon, chickpeas, peanuts, oats, and bananas. As for vitamin E, it’s another powerful antioxidant that contains necessary nutrients to give your immune response the upperhand. Consider eating foods such as sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, and red bell peppers

  1. Get enough sleep. 

Sleep is a major factor in either boosting or reducing your immune system – so get enough sleep! Studies have shown that due to the low cortisol (stress) levels, increased hormone and prolactin levels, sleep is necessary for immunological memory. In addition to getting enough sleep, try and stick to a regular schedule.

  1. Minimize stress. 

Although it can be seemingly impossible sometimes, it’s important to find ways to manage your stress. Whether it’s through healthy exercise, meditation, journaling, cleaning, or even just taking an hour to lay on the couch and do absolutely nothing, decreasing your stress will make you less susceptible to illness, and reduce the intensity of the illness itself. 

If you get sick…

  1. If it’s a cold or sinus infection, consider good decongestants such as Mucinex, Flonase, Sinus buster, and a neti-pot. 
  2. Drink lots of fluids. (Water, Gatorade, orange juice).
  3. Eat clean! (Eat some of the foods mentioned above packed with antioxidants to help reduce the length of the illness).
  4. Stay rested and don’t push yourself, it’ll only make it worse. 
  5. Take hot showers. 
  6. Invest in a cool-mist humidifier. 
  7. Stay home! (keep your microbes to yourself!)
Emilee Roy

U Maine '24

Hi! My name is Emilee and I am a junior biology student at the University of Maine. I love to write about various topics from personal growth/relationships to my studies, and even current events. In my free time you can find me cooking up a good meal, watching New Girl again, or listening to a philosophy podcast.