An upper respiratory infection, also known as the common cold, is one of the most common illnesses and can be the result of more than 200 different viruses. Of course, your best defense when it comes to cold and flu season (or anytime you don't wish to get sick) is to wash your hands as often as possible. Certainly before touching your face or eating. But you can also kick your immune system into high gear, raising your defenses even further, with just a few simple techniques.
Some recent American research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that exercise causes immune-system cells to attack viruses, reducing the frequency and severity of colds and other illnesses. Scientists reported that those who worked out five times a week suffer about 50 percent fewer colds. And if they do get a cold, their symptoms are significantly milder than those who do not work out regularly.
Studies have shown that downing 75 to 100 grams of a sugar solution (about 20 teaspoons or the average amount found in two 12-ounce sodas) can suppress the body's immune responses. Simple sugars like glucose, table sugar and fructose caused a fifty-percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria and fight infection for up to five hours.
Whatever variety you choose, mushrooms are loaded with immunity strengthening B vitamins, potassium and selenium along with an antioxidant called ergothioneine known to enhance immune function. And garlic has long been heralded as an elixir of health. One clove has more than 100 sulfuric compounds—powerful enough to fight bacteria and wipe out infection.
A Wilkes University study found that having sex once or twice a week boosts bug-fighting antibodies that bind to pathogens when they first enter the body and summon the immune system to destroy them. This could be due to the exposure of more germs, which would certainly strengthen your defenses, but who cares? Biweekly sex sessions sure sound like a fun way to stay healthy.