The immune system is a tricky co-dependent structure of white blood cells, antibodies, and organs. Some parts of the system act as literal a barrier that prevents viruses from reaching organs and removes invaders from your body. Though your immune system is effective against many disease-causing viruses, it needs time to familiarize itself with the enemy. Here are some important words to know when understanding how your immune system works:
- Antibodies: A healthy protein that can distinguish and bind with specific antigens.
- Antigens: Proteins found on the surface of pathogens.
- Pathogens: Microbes that can infect the body and cause illness.
Immune System Limitations against Coronavirus
It is important to know that a strong immune system will not prevent you from contracting the coronavirus. The new coronavirus that causes the infection is a novel pathogen that has no prevailing antibodies to support a defense. In this case, it is important to continue practicing social distancing, cough etiquette, and good hand hygiene. Conversely, developing a strong immune system while you are healthy can sustain your body as it familiarizes itself with the new virus. Taking steps now to boost your immune health is helpful to fight other infections.
Enhance Your Immunity through Food
- Vitamin A: This keeps your tissues and skin healthy by controlling the immune system and protects it against infections. Vitamin A can be found in foods such as spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, and apricots.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin has antibodies that help fight infections. Try consuming more strawberries, broccoli, oranges, grapefruit, tomato juice, and red bell peppers to get your fill of Vitamin C.
- Vitamin D: This works to maintain strong bones and is used to fight off infections. Find Vitamin D in pieces of bread, salmon, cereal, mushrooms, and fortified milk.
- Vitamin E: This vitamin is another vital antioxidant whose job is to fight cell damage.
- Zinc: This nutrient is an antioxidant that boosts the metabolism accompanied by helping to heal wounds.
While in general it is considered safe to take a multivitamin, there’s little indication to advocate that taking high doses of certain minerals and vitamins individually will lessen your chances of getting sick. The best approach to preventing illness is to eat a diet that is high in heart-healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins to provide your body with the best variety of nutrients.
Boost Your Immune System through Physical Activity
- Keep Moving: It is recommended to have 150-300 minutes each week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, and 2 sessions per week of muscle strength training however and wherever you can.
- Try Indoor Activities: For 10-15 minutes 2 or 3 times each day, walk briskly around the house or up and down the stairs and put some music on. ,
- Try Outdoor Activities: Jog or walk around your neighborhood, spend time in nature, garden, or do yard work. Being physically active is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind healthy.
- Try Muscle Strength Training: You can download a strength workout app to your smartphone and do a strength training video or online/recorded exercise class. Find ways to do simple muscle strengthening exercises around your house.
- Try Yoga: Deep breathing and mindfulness can also decrease anxiety. Avoid crowded spaces and maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet and be sure to wash your hands when you get home.