12 Ways to Strengthen the Immune System Naturally


The modern world is toxic. Particle pollution is a health hazard in many of the country’s large cities. Our water supply is polluted with fluoride, chlorine, drug residues, and hundreds of other unregulated chemicals. Typical American food is polluted with chemicals and modified ingredients. And we absorb pollutants in over-the-counter and prescription meds, vaccines, cosmetics, vinyl backpacks and jackets, dyes, containers, and so on.  Most of us touch, eat, and breath toxins all day, every day.

With so much exposure to toxins it seems like our immune systems must be hopelessly overburdened. Indeed, if we don’t make a point to avoid some of these toxins, our immune systems will be overburdened.

The number one way to maintain a strong immune system is by avoiding as much toxic exposure as possible. If you haven’t already, look around your living space and see what you can change. Stop taking the pill, pain killers, drinking tap water, and eating packaged food, using standard household cleaners. Switch out plastic toys for wooden ones. Switch out plastic containers for glass ones. Use natural cosmetics and body care products. Don’t eat factory farmed animals. Wear natural fibers as much as possible and spend time in nature breathing fresh air.

In addition to reducing toxic exposure, the immune system can be strengthened by making other lifestyle changes:
  1. Eat nutrient-dense organic foods like grassfed meats, pastured dairy, organic fruits, roots, and vegetables.
  2. Drink fresh juices. Toxins deplete certain nutrients. In today’s world, we need more nutrients than food can offer. Unheated, fresh pressed juices offer the extra nutrition we need to stay optimally healthy.
  3. Lower inflammation by eating fish, phytochemicals, by avoiding sugar and PUFAs, and keeping weight down.
  4. Consume raw and fermented foods for a healthy gut.
  5. Play in the dirtOrganisms found in nature help build a strong immune system.
  6. Exercise. Overexercising can be bad for the immune system but walking and weight lifting help keep it strong.
  7. Get sunscreen-free sunshine. Vitamin D is important for the immune system.
  8. Allow fevers to take their course. Fevers are an immune response. Allow the immune system to do its job so that it can grow and get stronger.
  9. Don’t use medicine except when absolutely necessary.
  10. Don’t use antibacterial washes and don’t be overly clean. If every bacterial danger is removed from the environment, the immune system will never have a chance to learn and fight.
  11. Lower stress. 
  12. Get adequate sleep.
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  1. Hi Peggy, these all look like good ideas! I’m curious about the sunscreen part. I try to avoid sunscreen these days because goodness knows what I’m absorbing through my skin. However, if I know I’m going to be out all day in the sun and it’s early in the season, I use the sunscreen. Do you have a rule of thumb about when to sunscreen and when not?

    • Yeah, I kind of do. In the early morning and late afternoon I generally don’t wear it. If I’m going to be out in direct sun for a long time during the day, like for a bike ride, I’ll usually wear it. It helps me not get so tan! I almost never burn but man do I tan! For the kids, I don’t put sunscreen on if they’re just out for an hour, but if it’s longer, in direct sun, I probably will. I don’t want any of us to burn, but I also DO want us to get our vitamin D!

  2. I use coconut oil as it is a mild sun screen if, I know I am going to be out in direct sun for less than an hour. Then I ususally head for the shade. I also know that licopine helps with avoiding sun burn so I add tomato paste and tomatos to my diet during this time. Great list by the way.

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