Surprising Ways to Improve Your Immunity February 27, 2018 13:43

Here are some ways to bolster your immune system—your body’s defense against everything from swine flu to salmonella—that you probably never thought of.

immune system

With cold and flu season here, it’s more important than ever that we all get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly to keep our immune systems in top shape. But why stop there? If you want to strengthen your body’s defenses by any means necessary, here are some less orthodox tactics:

Get lost (in the woods)

get lost in the woods

Scientists in Japan have started prescribing "forest therapy" as a way for people to relax and boost their immune health, after a study found that men who’d spent six hours hiking in a forest over the course of two days had higher levels of “natural killer cells,” which strengthen immunity and help fight cancer. The healthy effects of the hike lasted for 30 days. If a few days of arboreal wandering don’t fit your schedule, seek out whatever nature you can find, such as a park or even your own backyard. Being in nature is a natural stress reliever.and relaxation is great for your immune system.

Bang on a drum


t’s hard to say how long the effects last, but researchers from a wellness center in Pennsylvania and a medical school in California found that group drummers had higher levels of immune system boosters in their blood than people who simply listened to them bang away. You may like to join your local drum circle, but the study’s authors say that pounding out some rhythms at home on your kitchen pots and pans works just as well. 

Indulge in a little “afternoon delight”

afternoon delight

Yes, you can tell your partner that you need sex for medicinal purposes. Pop home for at least a quickie once or twice a week and you’ll boost your body’s production of immunoglobulin A, a virus- and bacteria-fighting antibody, by 30 percent. Also find time to cuddle up on the couch and watch a funny move. Laughter increases your body’s store of disease fighting T-cell antibodies.

Swig some sour milk


Kefir, a kind of milk fermented with grains, isn’t exactly sour milk, but the fermentation process gives it up to five times the disease-fighting probiotics found in yogurt. If you’d rather stick with yogurt, that’s fine; it’s also a source of iodine, which helps your thyroid gland regulate your immune system. You can also boost your iodine stores through eggs, milk and iodized table salt (just cut down on the non-iodized salt found in processed foods to compensate).