Things that Help Immune System to be Strong and Destroy Viruses
People of all ages with weakened immune systems face higher risks of infections. In addition, otherwise healthy people whose immune systems are suppressed may not be able to fight off infections as forcefully as others. Furthermore, aging weakens the immune system in the following ways:
Now, the immune system is an extremely complex system consisting for many parts. Therefore, to keep this system functioning well it is necessary to do the following:
- 1Eat well
- 2Sleep 7 to 8 hours each night
- 3Get plenty of moderate exercise
- 4Manage stress
Moreover, these things need to be practiced consistently over extended periods to get your immune system in peak form. And such an immune system may be able to destroy viruses like SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19.
How a Robust Immune System Defeats Coronavirus COVID-19
Now, a study in the journal Nature Medicine recently described how the human immune system responds to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Researchers closely followed a female patient with mild-to-moderate symptoms of the infection. They found that this healthy person’s robust immune system responded in a manner similar to someone getting influenza.
Specifically, researchers found that 7 to 9 days following onset of symptoms, there was an increase in immunoglobulin G to fight the virus. (By the way, immunoglobulin G is the most common type of antibody.) In addition, there was increase in immunoglobulin M. Most noteworthy, the increase in immunoglobulins persisted up to day 20 after symptom onset.
Meanwhile, during the 7 to 9 days period, large numbers of crucial immune cells, such as specialized helper T cells, killer T cells, and B cells were also active in the patient’s blood. This was an indication that the patient’s body had been using many different approaches effectively against the new virus.
Boosting Your Immune System
Active steps you can take to boost your immune system is to engage in aerobic workouts and eat immune boosting foods.
Aerobic workouts, such as walking, jogging, or running on a treadmill, are a powerful way to boost your immune system. They cause your body's antibodies and white blood cells to circulate more rapidly. Consequently, they may be able to detect and zero in on infections more quickly. Being active this way also lowers stress hormones, which reduces your chances of getting sick.
Now, research suggests that exercise's effects may be directly relevant to fighting viruses. Indeed, a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, surveyed 1,002 people. And, the study found that those who exercised at least five days a week had almost half the risk of coming down with a cold as those who were more sedentary. Also, if they did get one, they reported less severe symptoms. In addition, there may be a protective benefit from the sweat. In fact, research shows that simply raising your body temperature may help kill germs.
However, the key to exercise, is moderation — excessive aerobic workouts put too much stress on the body. Consequently, the workouts depress the immune system. In fact, the recommendation is 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic workouts (moderate or somewhat vigorous) most days of the week.
Aerobic Exercise has a positive effect on the immune system:
- 1Moderate to vigorous intensity exercises less than 60 minutes enhances the body’s immune response. Moreover, daily exercise enhances the immune response.
- 2Studies also suggest that regular physical activity is associated with decreased rate for influenza and pneumonia.
- 3Regular exercise has an overall anti-inflammatory influence.
Transient Nature of Aerobics Effects
A study at Appalachian State University, found that 30 minutes of brisk walking increased the circulation of natural killer cells, white blood cells and other immune system warriors. However, about three hours after exercise, these immune cells return to the tissues they came from. In other words, the immune-boosting effects of exercise are fairly short-lived. Therefore, it is important to exercise regularly.
Nutrients that Improve the Immune System
First, Beta carotene gets converted to vitamin A, which is essential for a strong immune system. Moreover, Vitamin A works by helping antibodies respond to toxins and foreign substances.
Meanwhile, good sources of Beta Carotene include carrots, kale, apricots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, spinach, broccoli, squash, and cantaloupe.
Second, Vitamin C increases blood levels of antibodies and helps to differentiate lymphocytes (white blood cells). Consequently, the body can determine what kind of protection is needed.
Now, good sources of Vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, Brussels sprouts, red and green peppers, cooked cabbage, and cauliflower.
Third, Vitamin D regulates the production of a protein that "selectively kills infectious agents, including bacteria and viruses. Also, Vitamin D alters the activity and number of white blood cells, known as T 2 killer lymphocytes. Consequently, the white blood cells can reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses.
Regrettably, Vitamin D deficiency increases in the winter because of not getting enough sun. Consequently, the immune system becomes weaker. As a result, risk of developing viral infections increases.
Moreover, research shows that vitamin D supplements may help protect against acute respiratory tract infections.
Meanwhile, good sources of Vitamin D include eggs, cheese, tofu, mushrooms, fatty fish like salmon and sardines, fortified milk, fortified juice.
Next, Zinc helps cells in your immune system grow and differentiate.
Meanwhile, good sources of zinc include beans, nuts, cereal, seafood, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, fortified cereals, seeds, wheat germ, oysters, crab, lobster, beef, pork chop, dark meat poultry, and yogurt.
By the way, Protein is a key building block for immune cells and antibodies. Also, it plays a crucial role in helping the immune system do its job.
Now, good sources of proteins include milk, eggs, nuts, fish, poultry, beef, yogurt, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and cottage cheese.
Next, Probiotics and prebiotics help boost the health of the microbiome, which in turn supports our immune system.
Meanwhile, good sources of probiotics include fermented dairy foods such as yogurt, kefir, and aged cheeses. Also fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and sourdough bread.
In addition, good sources of prebiotics include bananas, beans, whole grains, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, and artichokes.
Finally, mild dehydration can be a physical stressor to the body. Therefore, women should aim to drink 91 ounces of fluids daily, and men 125 ounces. By the way, these numbers include fluids and water-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables and soups. Moreover, instead of eating vegetables directly, you can use a blender to make vegetable soup.
Meanwhile, good ways to stay hydrated include drinking water, carbonated water, soup, or eating fruits.
Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Meanwhile, published reports suggest that, on average, it takes just over five days for COVID-19 symptoms to develop. And, 97 percent of all people who get the virus develop symptoms within 11 days.
Prevention of Coronavirus Disease
Take the following steps to reduce your risk of infection.