How your immune system changes as you grow older
Immune system boost # 1. Berries are the best antioxidants
Full of antioxidants, berries of all kinds are excellent for promoting healthy immune response. Put a handful with your cereal for breakfast, snack on them throughout the day, or add them to a smoothie.
The 10 healthiest berries
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Immune system boost # 2. Beat cold and flu symptoms
That old wive’s tale about catching a cold if you get wet in the rain isn’t exactly true – you’re not more likely to catch a cold but a dormant cold virus in your body may flourish in the time your body temperature is a bit lower, leading to a full-blown cold. Keeping your body at normal temperature will allow your immune system to fight off illness.
How to avoid a cold
Immune system boost # 3. Try to avoid insomnia
Like exercise, restful sleep is absolutely essential for your health. When you sleep certain protective cytokines in your body increase in levels, and inflammatory cells decline, which means that less sleep could result in a deprived immune system.
How to get a better night's sleep
Immune system boost # 4. Holiday in the sunshine
You need vitamin d for a strong immune system and sunshine is the best way to get it. Just 15 minutes of skin exposure is all that’s needed per day.
Learn more about vitamin D in our guide to vitamins and minerals
Immune system boost # 5. The health benefits of garlic
Good for scaring off vampires and with it any colds and flu or other viruses that might be going around. If you don’t like the taste, go for capsules instead, which will have the same effect.
Find out more about the health benefits of garlic
Immune system boost # 6. Stay sexy for good health
Regular sex helps boost immunity according to a study from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, USA, which found that getting frisky between the sheets boosts levels of immunoglobulin, an antibody that helps fight off colds and other viruses.
How sex makes you look and feel better
Immune system boost # 7. Aerobic exercise boosts your immune system
Researchers from the University of North Carolina, USA, found that people who were active and fit were less likely to suffer with illnesses during the winter months. What’s more, when they did have a cold or some other illness, they had fewer symptoms that were less severe.
Need to get more active, start with our guide to the basics of exercise
Immune system boost # 8. Eat yogurt instead of pills
Probiotics have been shown to stimulate white blood cells which help keep you from getting sick, but you needn’t take pills if you don’t want to. Research from the University of Vienna in Austria found that eating yogurt daily was just as effective in boosting immunity as eating probiotic pills – and yogurt is a good source of calcium too, so that’s a double benefit.
Find out more about probiotics
Immune system boost # 9. Laughter is the best medicine
Laughing gets your heart racing to nearly the same levels as when you exercise and that helps keep your body in good shape. But laughter also helps you de-stress and stress is a major factor in reducing your immune response. So watch a funny film, go to a comedy show or spend the afternoon with some kids – they tend to laugh more often than adults, and it’s contagious!
See our laughter yoga video tutorial
Immune system boost # 10. Rolled oats are a super grain
With antioxidant and anti-microbial properties, this grain is ideal for boosting your immune system. Eat porridge for breakfast, add oats to the top of a crumble for extra crunch or mix into a smoothie.
Delicious ideas for different ways with porridge
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