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Fungus to ward off winter sickness? Sounds far-fetched, but it's science-backed—as are these other quirky immunity boosters. Cold and flu season, conquered.
- Sip a mushroom latte - Several studies have shown that mushrooms can activate immune cells and reduce inflammation to help your body fight infection better. And you can get the benefits in just one serving. Try a latte made with powdered shrooms or eat a cooked shiitake every day.
- Try whole grains - Start your day with oats and add barley to your soup to get the beta-glucans that help boost your white blood cell activity to ward off viruses.
- Belt one out - Both singing and listening to music for 30 minutes are linked to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and when stress hormones are elevated, that can suppress your immune function.
- Cool it - A study found that those who rinsed in cold water for 30 seconds at the end of a hot shower reported more mild flu and cold symptoms than people who kept the hot on for the whole shower.
- Order sushi - Eating more salmon and tuna gets you more of those omega-3 fatty acids that ease inflammation. Add a little ginger for more anti-inflammatory goodness and wasabi to help clear out your nasal passages.
- See sick people - In one study, those who looked at photos of sick people coughing and sneezing got a big immune system boost. Researchers think it’s how our bodies react when faced with the threat of germs. It works for seeing sick folks in real life, just don’t linger too long with those spewing germs.
- Go with the flow - Researchers from UCLA found that practicing tai chi, a form of Chinese exercise, helped increase immunity. Doing this stress reliever or yoga can both bolster immune function.
- Get some vitamin N - Spending as few as 15 minutes out in nature can be a big stress reliever. When it’s too cold to be out that long, get a few plants for your desk and home and look at nature photos, which has been shown to have similar health benefits.
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