Want to improve your heathy, energy level and maybe even live longer? Work some of these fun immune boosters into your regular schedule, and you may be able to ward off illness better in the future. Learn these basic ‘body hacks’ to get the most out of our natural defenses.
Research shows that singing is an effective immunity booster — even if you’re off-key. So sing in the shower in the morning. Sing in the car during your commute. Sing at home when you’re doing the laundry. But don’t sing at work. That would be weird.
According to a variety of studies, laughter activates protective T-cells and increases antibody production. So listen to a hilarious podcast or shock-jock while you get ready for work. Watch an episode of your favorite sitcom while you eat breakfast. Watch a stand-up DVD during dinner. Crack open a funny book before you hit the hay. The more you LOL on a daily basis, the more you help your immune system stay strong. (And the nice thing about laughter is, it’s often contagious. So you can spread the healthy benefits to others!)
The health of the GI tract plays a big role in bolstering the immune system. In fact, Amanda Bontempo, a registered dietitian at NYC’s Montefiore-Einstein Center for Cancer Care, told upwave that “the health of the GI system determines the health of the immune system.” A major key to digestive health? Probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso and sourdough bread, all of which contain so-called “good bacteria” that helps your GI tract do its thang.
- Human (or animal) touch
Getting a massage, hugging, holding hands, having sex — all lower the body’s immunity-weakening cortisol levels. Getting a 45-minute massage also bolsters pathogen-fighting white blood cells and reduces inflammatory cytokines, which have been connected to autoimmune diseases. Having sex, hugging and holding hands cause our bodies to release cortisol-lowering oxytocin, making them awesome immune-system improvers. Some experts, in fact, recommend eight hugs a day to take your oxytocin benefits to the max.
- Omega-3s – DHA & EPA
EPA Omega-3’s only natural source is marine phytoplankton. EPA is an essential fatty acid that keeps the body natural alkaline and inflammation free. If you don’t eat fatty fish 2-3/week than find a supplement to boost to your immune system.
- Moderate exercise
Exercise doesn’t just help your body fight infection: Research shows that it also decreases your risk of getting diseases such as osteoporosis and cancer. Even taking a 20-minute walk every day will strengthen your body’s disease-fighting capabilities — 10 minutes out, and 10 minutes back. That’s it!
Jordan Markuson is a Nutritionist and Promotes Healthy Lifestyles by Eating Natural Alkaline Foods to Reduce Inflammation and Promote Heart Health.