5 Surprising Ways to Boost Your Immune System

drums

Immunity is a complex concept of sorts. In sum, it’s your body’s ability to fight off sickness and disease, but there is no easy protocol to go about it and no single pill or homeopathic elixir holds the answer. There are simply too many factors contributing to it – it comes down to your lifestyle and too many pitfalls. With cold and flu season on the horizon, it is important to approach your well being from all angles – get enough sleep, eat healthy and exercise regularly so that you keep your immune system in check. But if you are looking for more ways than that to stay strong – here are 5 surprising ways to boost your immunity.

These suggestions may seem simple, but they are scientifically backed and can mean the difference between winter flu or winter bliss. Check them out!

1. Relaxation

Easier said than done, I get it. However, if you go about it deliberately, you may find yourself relaxed without even expecting it, simply by putting yourself if a situation that demands relaxation. Go on a walk in the woods, surrounding yourself with nature. You will inevitably calm down. In one study conducted in Japan involving 280 people, scientists found that being among plants produced “lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate and lower blood pressure. In another study, scientists found that visiting parks and forests rose levels of natural killer cells (cells that attack tumor cells) by 50 percent. Yet another study showed that a forest bathing trip had increased anti-cancer proteins in females.

2. Drums

This seems off the radar, but it’s true: banging drums boosts immunity. Drum circles have been part of healing rituals in many cultures around the world. And it’s no longer folklore, as a study has shown that drumming modulates specific neuroendocrine and neuro-immune parameters in a direction opposite to that expected with the classic stress response.

3. Laughter

Like you need to be convinced to have a good time, but boosting your immunity while you’re at it is quite the incentive. Laughing has a positive effect on regulating components of the immune system, such as increasing antibodies and activating the body’s protective cells, such as T-cells and nature killer cells.

4. Kefir

Kefir is basically sour milk, but not the kind that has gone bad. Kefir is milk that has fermented and is full of healthy microorganisms that act as probiotics, or healthy bacteria. Kefir has shown to have a positive immune response.

5. Sex

Did you know sex is a cure for a cold? Psychologists found that people who have sex once or twice a week get a boost in their immune systems. Immune system functionality is determined by measuring levels of the antigen immunoglobulin A, which is found in saliva and mucosal linings. It is one of the best defenses against colds and flu. Sex increase immunoglobulin A levels in the body and thus makes for a great immune-boosting activity. Who’s complaining about that?

Related on Organic Authority

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Photo Credit: See-Ming Lee

Aylin Erman
Aylin Erman

Aylin is founder of GlowKitchen, a food blog with an emphasis on vegan and gluten-free fare. Aylin has been living in Istanbul, where she is founder and CEO of a cold-pressed juice and healthy foods company JÜS (www.jusistanbul.com).