With the winter coming to its end and spring coming up, it is a whole new season ahead, that is, flu and cold season. The good news is that I have compiled a list of 11 Immune Boosting tips to help you combat the flu bug away.
Try incorporating these 11 tips in your daily routine and you’ll be sure to being able to welcome the cold and flu season with a smile.
1. Enjoying a good laugh
A variety of studies have concluded that laughing activates the body’s protective T cells and induces increased antibody production. So give in to the guilty pleasure of watching your favourite sitcom, watching some stand-up comedy, or maybe reading a book that leaves you cracking with laughter.
The more you laugh, the more your immune system will thank you for it. Who knows that laughter is the best flu shot around? Bonus is the fact that laughter is contagious, so you are not only making your body stronger, but helping others too.
2. Giving good Bacteria a Go
What? Welcoming some bacteria? Yes! Contrary to popular belief, not all types of bacteria are harmful. In fact, a group of bacteria which are commonly called probiotics strengthens the GI tract and is directly related to the strength of your immune system. Probiotics are typically found in fermented food like miso, yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir and sourdough bread.
3. Loading up on Prebiotics
So we have probiotics, but what are prebiotics? Prebiotics are soluble fibers that are found in foods such as artichokes, leeks, onions, and bananas. They help probiotics to do their function and thus, helps in strengthening the GI tract and the immune system too.
4. Munching on Greens
Immune cells in your gut are ensured to be in tip top level of functioning when you munch on some green vegetables like kale, broccoli and bok choy, so load of on kale chips and have at least 1 glass of green smoothie a day to keep the doctor away.
5. Time to Relax
Stress is the number one thing that weakens your immune system. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol which then suppresses your immune cells. Any relaxing activities that calms you down and make you feel at peace and happy is a sure fire way to a healthier immune system.
6. Engaging in Human Touch
I have mentioned earlier that cortisol weakens your immune system and relaxing strengthens it. What better way to relax than indulging in human touch? Be it getting a massage from your significant other, hugging your children, holding hands with someone special, all of these will effectively decrease your cortisol levels.
Research have shown that 45 minutes of massage increases your body’s white blood cells therefore strengthening your immune response and reduces inflammation-causing cytokines but how? Touch makes your body release oxytocin, which causes the cortisol levels to go down. Experts even recommend an average of 8 hugs per day for maximum benefits from oxytocin. So don’t be shy, give out some hugs!
7. Connecting with People
The American Psychological Association recently published a research that says social isolation compromises the body’s infection fighting ability and weakens the immunity. Having and nourishing your social ties like marriage and friendship serves to strengthen your immune system. This gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘no man is an island’ indeed.
8. Getting Enough Restful Sleep
Being deprived of sleep reduces your body’s T cell count which results in your body having a reduced ability to fight off disease causing microorganisms. A solid session of 8 hours of sleep is what your body needs for it to be able to tap into its self-healing powers so ensure to invest some time in getting quality sleep.
9. Singing Your Heart Out
Who knows that your shower conciertos is an effective immune booster? Research has shown that people who sing are less likely to catch the flu and cold bug, so sing your heart out, in the home, and especially in church!
A healthy body starts with a healthy mind, physically, psychologically and spiritually. Meditating positively influences your immune response. One study has shown that people who have engaged in meditation for 8 consecutive weeks have an increased response to a flu shot. Even just 3 minutes of meditation as a part of your daily morning routine is enough to produce results. It is in moments of being still that we are truly one with God. No wonder it reflects back as the gift of better health!