Ask Us Anything: Can you actually boost your immune system?

There’s no short cut to a healthy army of white blood cells.
Glasses of juice, smoothies, and berries on a table.

Most of us would love to boost our immune function by drinking glass after glass of green juice. But is it an attainable feat? Pixabay

Is your head constantly spinning with outlandish, mind-burning questions? If you’ve ever wondered what the universe is made of, what would happen if you fell into a black hole, or even why not everyone can touch their toes, then you should be sure to listen and subscribe to Ask Us Anything, a brand new podcast from the editors of Popular Science. Ask Us Anything hits Apple, Anchor, Spotify, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts every Tuesday and Thursday. Each episode takes a deep dive into a single query we know you’ll want to stick around for.

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.