Cold Season

4 Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System to Fight Off Colds and Flu Symptoms

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If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that we don’t want to get sick! Fortunately, these tricks boost your immune system so you can avoid getting sidelined by a cold, flu, or virus.

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Boost antibodies with brewer’s yeast.

Take a 3-cent tablet of yeast fermentate (aka brewer’s yeast) with breakfast, and you’ll have increased your level of protective antibodies by the time you head out the door. University of Michigan Medical Center scientists say a daily 500-mg. dose of the fermented compound boosts production of an antibody (IgA) that shields against viruses, and it starts working within an hour.

Mobilize germ fighters with LOL cats.

Type “funny cat videos” into YouTube, and you’ll increase immunity-boosting hormones by up to 87 percent. American Physiological Society scientists say anticipating something hilarious triggers the release of beta-endorphins and human growth hormone, which are integral to helping fend off infections. The trick: Don’t hold back. Researchers found “mirthful laughter,” or a hearty belly laugh, was most effective at increasing immunity.

Kill viral invaders with a hot shower.

Your evening shower is one of the best ways to fend off bugs you might have come into contact with during the day, blocking them before they can replicate and overwhelm your immune system. A study in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests warming the body from head to toe for 10 minutes floods your bloodstream with virus-fighting T cells, stopping burgeoning infections before they take hold.

Reboot your immune system with a Saturday lie-in.

Nothing’s better than cozying up under a comforter for a little longer on a cold weekend morning. And in happy news, Finnish scientists say hitting the sleep “sweet spot” of between 7 and 8 hours nightly gives your immune system optimal time to recharge —something related research found means you’re three times less likely to catch a cold or virus.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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