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We’d all love to perform certain activities or eat certain foods such that we become illness-fighting ninjas. Unfortunately, it’s not entirely how the immune system works. The human body operates under tightly regulated conditions, and the immune system is no exception.

Plus, the concept of “boosting your immune system” until it can instantly fight off any infectious agent you might come into contact with doesn’t make much sense—your body would simply be exhausted from constantly being at the ready for so many diseases. There are countless cold viruses (known as rhinoviruses) and various forms of the flu (which is a big reason why the flu vaccine isn’t always as effective as doctors hope). There’s just no way to train the body to fight all of them.

But there is a way to make your immune system as beefed up as possible so that it’s ready to take on various infectious critters that come your way. So a little ninja-like, in a way? For all of the nitty-gritty details, tune in here, and read the article that inspired this episode here.

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