Learning how to boost your immune system quickly can be beneficial for anyone who doesn't have time in her life to be sick (we're all raising our hands, right?). You know those moments: Your coworker can't stop coughing, there's an illness spreading through your grandson's class at school, or you take a ride on the city bus filled with sniffling, wheezing strangers. It's enough to make you say ewww — and to get you looking for quick tricks to strengthen your immune system naturally and quickly. You've come to the right place!
When time is of the essence, you need immune-boosters that work quickly and that won't cause major interruption to your already busy day. That's why we sought out some of the fastest — and weirdest — methods that are scientifically proven to help you increase your body's natural immunities so that you can ward off sickness in the long run. For instance, did you know that chomping on a certain spice can help boost your body's illness-fighting powers? And belt a good old-fashioned tune during your morning shower can pay off too. (Yes, really!)
When it comes to keeping your body healthy, why not have a little fun with it? Especially when you know the tips really work, according to science. Here are some of the stranger yet effective ways to keep yourself strong this fall and winter.
Regularly singing raises blood levels of Immunoglobulin A (IgA) — an antibody that provides one of your first lines of defense against invading viruses, research shows.
Three cups of antioxidant-rich black tea daily stimulates your immune system to produce four times more interferons, proteins that destroy viral invaders, say Harvard scientists.
Lovemaking also revs up your immune system. Research shows having sex once a week ups levels of infection-fighting antibodies in saliva 30 percent.
According to studies, astragalus root activates the immune system cells that patrol the bloodstream looking for invaders, cutting your risk of infection by as much as half. The study-proven daily dose: 2 ml. of astragalus tincture (mixed with water) during cold and flu season.
A recent laboratory study found that this flavorful herb is packed with 70 different sulfur compounds — raw materials needed to build fast, powerful, virus-killing white blood cells. In fact, Japanese research suggests that eating just one or two cloves daily can boost your immune system strength 40 percent.
USDA data indicates that berries, citrus, spinach, peppers and other colorful produce contain at least double the infection-fighting antioxidants of pale produce like celery and cauliflower.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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