8 Practical Ways to Improve Your Immune System and Maximize Your Health

Last updated June 13, 2023

We all know how a strong immune system is essential for healthy living. If you have been sick, or struggling with illness or infectious disease, you may urgently need to know how to strengthen your immunity.

Strengthening your immune system may sound difficult to achieve, however, there are solid steps you can start taking today to strengthen your natural defenses against harmful diseases. In this resource, we will explore various ways to boost your immune system, such as healthy foods, supplements, and small lifestyle changes you can make to reap the healthy rewards!

Here are 8 ways to naturally boost healthy immune cells.

Definition of the Immune System 

The immune system consists of a sophisticated array of organs, cells, and proteins, that work together to guard the body against infections while preserving its own cellular integrity. It acts as an alliance of cells, organs, and molecules that search for foreign pathogens in the body.

The immune system also removes harmful or allergy-inducing substances that penetrate the body's mucous membranes. (a)

Why Is a Healthy Immune System So Important?

The immune system is your “first line of defense” against all kinds of invaders and comprises billions of cells and hundreds of mechanisms.

It recognizes bacteria, viruses, parasites, and infections to chemical pollutants in the air and water. (1)

What’s more, the immune system is intricately connected to all other organs and mechanisms in the body—everything from the lungs to the liver. It actively involves many organ systems as well, including the lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems, and helps to fight heart disease.

Your immune system begins to learn about germs we have been exposed to, and it develops crucial antibodies. Antibodies are proteins with a protective nature that attach to foreign substances such as toxins and bacteria and remove them from the body.

They then have the ability to help you fight off those same germs in the future.

Symptoms of a Weak Immune System

A common sign of weakened immunity is when a person frequently experiences infections, autoimmune disorders, illness, or antiinflammatory diseases. (b)

Additional signs of a weak immune system are:

  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Frequently suffering from a cold
  • Stomach troubles
  • Frequent infections
  • High-stress levels

Signs of a Strong Immune System

Everyone’s situation is unique, however, people with strong immunity feel less tired, have good gut health, experience good sleep, and recover quickly from illness.

Another sign of good immune health is feeling alert and aware.

Parts of the Immune System

The immune system has two major parts which consist of different proteins, cells, and organs in order to work together to protect your body

Innate Immune System

The innate immune system is the first line of defense against germs entering the body.

We are born with an innate immune system that consists of barriers that fight off harmful materials.

As the innate immune system responds in the same way to all foreign substances, it is commonly referred to as the ‘nonspecific’ immune system.

Adaptive Immune System

Adaptive immunity learns to recognize and understand pathogens which are coordinated by organs and cells.

These then work together to fight against the specific foreign substance that has entered the body by creating unique antibodies and immune cells (including white blood cells).

The antibodies created by adaptive immunity will then actively attack and destroy the infection or foreign substance.

After this process, the immune system will remember the foreign substance and be able to fight it off again in a more effective manner should it return.

What Can Harm the Immune System?

A recent EPA report found that there are over 80,000 different kinds of chemicals that the typical person can be exposed to on any given day. In addition, sadly a 2016 investigation at George Washington University found that most newborns come out of the womb with a high toxic load already. (2)

Phthalates, phenols, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, PFAS compounds, halides, heavy metals, mold toxins and more can be found everywhere, from the food you eat to the home you live in. What’s more, an accumulating toxic load that goes unchecked year after year can be especially problematic for your health as you age. (3)

The following factors can also negatively impact the immune system:

  • Bad diet
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Lack of rest and sleep
  • Older age
  • Stress
  • Chronic disease

8 Practical Things You Can Do NOW To Boost Immunity

Is there anything you can do to “even the playing field” in today’s toxic world? You bet! Read on to learn 8 simple ways to boost immunity now.

1. Get Out of the “Stress Trap”

The first thing you can do to boost immunity is eliminate stress. Being in a state of chronic stress, ongoing anxiety, panic attack, or PTSD means that your brain and body is in constant “fight or flight” mode.

In this state, your body is pumping high levels of inflammation-producing cortisol into your system 24/7. This can also lead directly to higher inflammation and lower immune function. (4)

Most importantly, when your body is under this condition, you can never truly heal.

According to the Sleep Foundation, stress can cause insomnia which makes it difficult to fall asleep even if you are prepared for bedtime and in a comfortable environment.

Reduced hours of sleep or a lack of sleep can experience severe daytime exhaustion, irritability, increased fatigue and negatively impact overall health.

The solution? Calm your stress responses and heal your emotions so that your body can move into the “relaxation response.” In a state of “rest and digest,” “healing hormones” are produced, immune health is upgraded, and your whole body operates at a higher level across the board. (5)

Some of the most effective stress-reducing techniques are:

  • Meditation
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Spending time in nature
  • Frequent exercise
  • Journalling
  • Prayer
  • Deep breathing
  • Take up a hobby

Some effective techniques that address deep trauma are EFT, EMDR, EVOX, and talk therapy. The key is to find a modality that works for you and commit to spending time practicing it a little every day!

2. Lower Sugar Intake

For most people, eating for immune health means following a simple anti-inflammatory diet rich in detoxifying organic vegetables and fruits, organic sources of lean protein, and healthy fats. It also means lowering the consumption of sugary foods such as cookies, pastries, ice cream, candy, and sugary drinks as well as sources of simple carbs like pasta, white rice, and bread.

These foods are harmful in many ways. Most importantly, they pump too much glucose into the bloodstream at once. A recent Cornell University study found that spikes in blood sugar can suppress key proteins needed for immune system function. (6)

Too much sugar also throws off gut microbiota balance which can affect not only immunity but brain health as well, according to a 2021 Harvard Medical School report. (7) On the other hand, research indicates that those who eat the “rainbow” of whole foods display more diversity in their gut microbiome, which is directly correlated with higher immune function.

A study conducted by the Academic revealed that it takes roughly 75 grams of sugar to weaken the immunity and the immune system is lowered for roughly 5 hours after the sugar intake.

This study revealed that even if someone follows a healthy lifestyle, eats well, and exercises regularly, they can still damage their immune system function through excessive sugar intake.

3. Stay Hydrated

Believe it or not, how well your immune system is able to fend off pathogens has a lot to do with how hydrated you are too.

This is true for a variety of reasons, including the simple fact that the human body consists of about 65% water. We need water for detoxification and for oxygenation of all tissues. Lack of oxygen and the subsequent backup of toxins are both major factors for inflammation and chronic disease. (8)

A great rule of thumb when it comes to staying hydrated is to not wait until you are thirsty to drink. Finding out how much you need each day is easy. Simply cut your weight in pounds in half. The number you wind up with is how many ounces per day (minimum) you should be drinking in fresh, filtered water.

4. Get Plenty of Exercise

According to the University of British Columbia, lack of movement and especially too much sitting can be an “independent risk factor” for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. (9)

Similar to hydration, exercise oxygenates the blood, helps with detoxification, improves brain and gut health, and increases immune function. (10)  Exercise also pumps “feel good hormones” throughout the body which help alleviate pain and also puts the body into the “relaxation response” (discussed in #1).

A 2012 clinical trial done in part by the University of South Carolina found that aerobic exercise training reduces total [white blood count] and neutrophil counts, in a dose-dependent manner … and is especially beneficial for those with systemic low-grade inflammation.” (11)

If you are new to exercise, begin with walking. The Centers for Disease Control Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 150 minutes of brisk “moderate intensity” movements every week. (12)

5. Follow a Healthy Diet

Healthy eating is directly linked to a healthy immune system. The body needs adequate nutrition in order for all cells to function at their best performance. Furthermore, the body needs a strong immune response to fight off harmful pathogens and reduce inflammation.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of health conditions such as certain cancers and heart disease. Fast food commonly contains high amounts of saturated fat and sugars which can contribute to high cholesterol.

Whether it is flu season or not, Vitamin C may prevent illness or shorten the length of an illness. Vitamin C-rich foods including citrus fruits, berries, melons, tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli should be incorporated into your eating habits.

Here are more suggestions for foods and ingredients to maintain a balanced diet:

  • Whole grains
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi

Fermented foods are rich in probiotics which are known as good bacteria. Good gut bacteria can help immune cells distinguish between healthy cells and harmful cells. Consistency is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. Try to establish a routine that allows you to prepare healthy meals in advance.

Consult with a healthcare provider or a dietitian for additional information about your diet, or a healthy eating plan.

Suggested reading: Worst food ingredients for your immune system

Believe it or not, how well your immune system is able to fend off pathogens has a lot to do with how hydrated you are ...

6. Get Enough Sleep

Did you know that getting enough shut-eye is essential for proper immune function as well? Waking up at night, having trouble getting to sleep, or all-out insomnia have direct connections to chronic disease.

The writers of a German meta-analysis describe the “crosstalk” between the sleep cycle and immune system mechanisms as a vital component in the proper functioning of both systems. The researchers at the University of Tübingen also emphasize the importance of sleep in improving both infection risk and outcomes. (13)

Most experts state that the average person needs between 6-9 hours of quality sleep per night. One great method is called the “10-3-2-1-0 Rule,” developed by the author, speaker, and entrepreneur Craig Ballantyne.

Here’s how it works. Ten hours before bed, stop ingesting caffeine. Three hours before bed, stop eating. Two hours before bed, stop working. One hour before bed put away all computer screens and turn off your TV. The "zero" in this equation, according to Ballantyne, indicates the number of times you will “hit the snooze button in the morning” if you follow this method! (14)

7. Help Your Organs Detox

A lot of the “immune system hacks” we have mentioned so far help to boost immunity because of how they also support organs like the liver, kidneys, and gut. These are all key players in the elimination of toxic waste that can keep immunity low.

Likewise, by specifically nourishing and supporting your “organs of detoxification,” you are helping to improve your immune function as well.

A full-body detox is a normal process in organ function where the body naturally eliminates harmful substances through the digestive system, skin, kidneys, and lungs.

A detox usually involves a specific diet to remove harmful toxins from the body. However, there is no evidence showing support for using detox diets. The ‘toxins’ include synthetic materials, processed foods, heavy metals, and pollutants.

You can follow the suggestions below to help your body detox:

  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Reduce intake of processed foods
  • Decrease your salt intake
  • Try natural body care products

8. Include Immune Boosters … Like Beta Glucans!

One of the key substances that many people take advantage of for both detox support and immune system boosting is beta glucans.

Beta glucans are polysaccharides that occur on the cell walls of some grains as well as fungi and yeasts. What makes them so amazing for boosting immune function is that they have the ability to go directly to immune system cells in the bloodstream. Research has also found that they can help other systems in the body through their antioxidant effects. (15)

Studies over the past decade or so have found that beta glucans derived from Baker’s Yeast can be the most effective. They can increase T cell counts and increase immunoglobulin levels. 

"The only relevant immune modulator" -Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association (JANA)

You CAN Help Your Immune System Work for You … Naturally

If you weren’t already convinced, no doubt you are now: a healthy immune system is absolutely vital for maintaining a vibrant, productive life on all levels. The harsh reality, however, is that in today’s world, there are a lot of hazards – both seen and unseen – that may threaten your immune system and you.

That is why it is essential that you remain proactive in supporting your immune health. Follow the steps listed above and don’t forget to include immune-boosting super-substances like beta glucans in the mix. If you do, you will feel the difference in your energy level, your health, and your life overall!


For more information about beta glucan, Better Way Health and more, visit our FAQ page. To speak to an Amazing Customer Experience Specialist, give us a call at 800.746.7640or email us at hello@betterwayhealth.com

Our Beta Glucan goes through a rigorous purification process developed by the creator: AJ Lanigan. Once this purification process takes place, only about 10% of a given “batch” meets our 85% minimum purity standard. The “scraps”, so to speak (the other 90% of the batches), are then sold off and marketed by other companies. In addition, the product has been tested time and time again to prove its efficacy. When compared to other heavily marketed immune system products, our product comes out on top every single time. These comparison studies are conducted by a disinterested third party researcher at the University of Louisville: Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka. In these studies, immune response levels are safely tested on both humans and animals. Our product is also Non-GMO and encased in a Vegan, plant-based capsule.

-Better Way Health

Better Way Health Beta Glucan is certainly one of the most renowned brands out there in the marketplace. In our world of immune system support, when you ask “What’s the best immune system supplement out there?”; well, the Better Way Health name is the most recognized.

Anyone who has spent time reviewing side-by-side comparisons of our product with, again, just about any other kind of immune compound; regardless of the source, you’re going to find that Beta Glucan 500 by Better Way Health outperforms all competitors. This has been the case for years; this is not a new phenomenon that conclusive research done by disinterested third parties in major universities and teaching hospitals all over the world agree that the potency of Glucan 500 makes it 100% the leading immune system product available.

-AJ Lanigan

The immunomodulating aspects of Beta Glucan is what makes it safer and more efficacious than the competition. Studies confirm our Beta Glucan is the most effective immune system product on the market, including even other beta glucans. The patented purification process developed by AJ Lanigan is what makes our Beta Glucan more biologically active and beneficial to consumers.

-Better Way Health

This is rather easy to answer. Our Beta Glucan has one really big advantage in that it is the most studied natural immonomodulator of them all. The biological studies number in the tens of thousands. For most other products, you may find 10 to 15 studies. If you have 10,000+ papers from all around the world, that cannot be ignored.

-Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka

We did a couple of studies and we published them comparing some individual glucans to individual immune-modulators like Echinacea. That is one example, most of the clinical studies on that plant failed because one company is using leaves, one is using roots and each has a different quality inside so you never know what you get.

With the "mixture" type products, it is even worse because some manufacturers are just trying to either increase the price by putting five things together, so it’s not 30 bucks it’s now $50. None of these manufacturers are actually doing any research on the combinations of their ingredients.

-Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka

This topic is like comparing Super Bowl Champions (Better Way Health Beta Glucan) to Recreational Sports Teams (the competition). There is practically no comparison; when you look at the average Immune System Product on the market, even an abundance of it may only be able to raise your Immune Response 2 to 3 percent. That increase, however, may be costing you thousands of dollars; thus, I would not consider that to be much of a comparison. For about 1$ a day, with our Glucan 500 product, you can get your immune response up to about 60% (double the innate human immunity): no one can compete with that efficacy.

-AJ Lanigan

Beta Glucan has been studied for over 50 years at major universities and teaching hospitals, all of which are disinterested third party researchers. There are more than 150,000 glucan studies on PubMed.gov and nearly 50,000 studies involving glucans and humans. Our Beta Glucan specifically has been featured in over 20 medical journals, including the prestigious American Journal of Immunology and the Journal of Medicinal Food.

-Better Way Health

There are more than 150,000 studies on Glucan that you can find on Medline and PubMed. Roughly, you can also find 50,000 studies on Glucans and their interaction with Humans. Throughout these studies, there has never been an adverse side effect found with our Beta Glucan.

-AJ Lanigan

Other than the thousands of studies out there, there is an excellent book by Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka from the University of Louisville entitled, Beta Glucan: Nature’s Secret. It’s about 157 pages and provides a quick, educational read for those interested in everything Beta Glucan: the history, safety, benefits, and mechanism of action of Beta Glucan. The bibliography included in the book provides dozens of other peer-reviewed articles and journals for curious consumers.

-AJ Lanigan

If somebody goes to PubMed.Gov or some kind of scientific database, there is about 150,000 hits now and about 50 new papers appear every week. The research is really booming.

-Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka

Anyone / anything with an immune system can benefit from taking Beta Glucan, including both humans and pets. Our immune system is our first line of defense and it can always use additional “soldiers.” Keep in mind that our Beta Glucan makes a person’s immune system smarter and stronger, but never causes overstimulation or harm. There are no known side effects.

-Better Way Health

“Anyone who is living can benefit from a healthier Immune System” – A.J. Lanigan

People who want proper support for their Immune System should use this product. People who simply want to maintain or regain their good health can benefit from this product as well.

Many conditions, whether environmental or physical, put significant stress on the Immune System.

Infectious Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Chemotherapy Treatment, Radiation, Allergies, Asthma, and Stress are all severely taxing on the body. This type of suppression and depression of the immune system is what puts everyone’s health person at risk. Be proactive; take a product that benefits your overall health by enhancing your body’s own natural ability to stay well and recuperate.

That’s right, anyone and everyone can benefit from the immune modulating effects of Beta-1, 3D Glucan. 

-AJ Lanigan

For people who are under heavy stress or are just working in some kind of extreme conditions, they need all the help they can get. Proactive supplementation is also recommended for Flu and Cold seasons

-Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka

For maximum immune response, take one 500mg capsule per 50 lbs. of body weight. For example, if you weigh around 150 lbs. you would need to take 3 capsules per day. All capsules should be taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. After taking your capsules, wait 30 minutes before eating or consuming other products. If you forget to take your capsules in the morning it is safe to go ahead and take your Beta Glucan during the day, although the benefits will not be as significant. Remember, these dosage instructions are for maximum immune response, any dose (i.e., 1 capsule per day) is still extremely beneficial.

-Better Way Health

Maximum dose is based on body weight: Remember, your weight in kg’s is your weight in pounds divided by 2.2. For example, a 220lb person is 100kg. The guideline for maintaining good health is 2mg/kg of body weight per day. For the 220 pound person mentioned above, who is 100kg, they should take 200mg per day and that would be extraordinarily effective Immune Support.

For people who want or need additional immune support, there is a 500mg capsule. The recommendation for this group is 20 mg/kg/day or a 500mg capsule for every 50 pounds of body weight. Thus, a 100kg person (220lb) would take 4 capsules of the 500mg per day; for a 110 pound person, two capsules of the 500mg Beta Glucan would suffice. If your weight does not calculate out to an exact dose, round up or down depending on your needs; or you can average it out by taking 1 capsule one day and 2 the next.

The point is, the product is safe and you can be flexible with dosage if you reflect the guidelines above. Even taking just 1 - 500mg capsule each day is an extremely beneficial dose.

Neutrophils and monocytes in our blood live only for a couple of days. That is why you have a need for constant, daily, glucan consumption because they die and the new cells are appearing and then you need the glucan again to boost these immune cells.

-Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka

No, there are no known side effects pertaining to our Beta Glucan. There have been numerous safe human and animal studies showing the safety of Beta Glucan. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given our Beta Glucan GRAS rating, which means Generally Recognized as Safe under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This certification is extremely hard to achieve especially when it comes to a dietary supplement.

-Better Way Health

You can absolutely take this product without worry! There have been multiple studies done on fully-healthy people looking at every health parameter you can imagine: organs, tissues, chemicals, brain function, etcetera.

No harmful effects were caused at any dosage level. Even people who were taking doses that were exponentially higher than any level we recommend, (some of the more exotic animal studies have doses that exceed 800X the recommended dosage) displayed 0 side effects whatsoever. As I am famous for saying, “unless you hit somebody in the eye with the bottle, there is no harm that can be caused by this product”

-AJ Lanigan

Beta Glucan enhances a person’s immune response in a safe way. The average person has about a 30% active immune response. When someone takes our Beta Glucan it raises that person’s immune response to 60%, and in some cases even more, if they are taking the maximum immune response dosage. This allows for your immune system to recognize cells that are both self and non-self more effectively. I’m sure you can imagine the benefits of walking around with a doubled immune response/immune system!

-Better Way Health

Beta Glucan enhances the immune system by improving the immune response when the immune system is confronted by something that does not belong. This could be a foreign body that it sees as “non-self,” something like a virus, a bacteria, a fungus form,  or a parasite.

Our Beta-1, 3D Glucan is an intensely purified, highly active form of Beta Glucan; that, when taken orally with a glass of water, attaches to specific sites on the immune cells: the CR3 receptors. By attaching or binding to these specific sites, it activates these cells. It’s like putting the cells on “high alert” to the foreign bodies that they see as non-self. This process is referred to as immune modulation, not stimulation.

Immune stimulation presumably occurs with substances like Echinacea and Colostrum. Beta Glucan modulates or activates but doesn’t over stimulate, which is key to the safety of the compound. Research shows that our Beta-1, 3D Glucan is a highly effective immune modulator. It’s easily absorbed through, what we call, the Peyer’s Patches in the Small Intestine. Once these beta glucan “micro-particles” are taken up through this area in the small intestine, they will then be absorbed through phagocytosis or “gobbled up” by the immune cells in the gut.

They’ll travel around the body and it is the immune cells themselves that will digest and secrete the perfect molecule that binds to the CR 3 receptor and activates the immune system.

-AJ Lanigan

Beta Glucan is not temperature sensitive. If it is exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures, the efficacy of the product will not be impacted. However, we do recommend keeping a close eye on your tracking information, which is sent to you via email with all orders. This way you know when your order will arrive and when you will be able to retrieve it from your mailbox or front door.

Our Beta Glucan is made in Wisconsin, USA and bottled / encapsulated in Oregon, USA.

Our highly purified Beta Glucan powder is encased in PLANTCAPS™, which is a Plant-based capsule made from pullulan – naturally fermented from tapioca.

After 50 years of research, our Beta Glucan has no known side effects, or interactions with a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) rating by the FDA. It is one of the safest, most effective dietary supplements on the market.

Many women take our Beta Glucan while breastfeeding, to help support their immune system. Babies can also benefit from mom's immune system giving the best response possible.

However, if you have any concerns whatsoever, we recommend consulting with your health care professional before use, as a precautionary measure.

Still have questions?

Our ACES Team is always there to help.

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