Tis the season for the sniffles. If you’re one of the many of us who’s currently feeling under the weather, we’re here to help. Luckily, with a few simple measures you can start applying today, you can boost your immunity and fight off infections and cold symptoms at home. Check out some of our science-backed strategies for improving immune health below.
Hum and Tap
The thymus gland produces T cells, your major regulators of immune function. But the gland slows with age, says Elson Haas, M.D. To wake up your thymus, he advises patting the area just beneath your collar bone while humming. “The vibrations kick-start the gland and boost immunity.”
Use Vitamin E
Taking 400 IU of vitamin E daily can cut your risk of illness by 55 percent, say researchers at Tufts University in Boston. This nutrient triples your immune system’s production of antibodies — tiny proteins that stick to invading microbes and weigh them down so they’re easier for immune cells to find and destroy.
Blending one cup of frozen blueberries into a daily smoothie energizes your immune system to cut the risk of illness by 33 percent, suggests a review of 14 studies published in the journal Advances in Nutrition. Study co-author Will Hopkins, Ph.D., says the berries are rich in flavonoids that supercharge immune cells.
There you have it. Better health and proper immune function are sometimes just a few simple, natural steps away. We hope these tips will help you feel your best all season long.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.