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It is essential to maintain the immune system, especially during times like these. It is not easy to treat a virus, even with medicine and technology these days. Viruses replicate by invading human cells and taking control of their cellular functions. All you can do is wait for the immune system to initiate a battle against the enemy.
Our immune system comprises different cell types such as T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells. Bone marrow, blood, skin, thymus, spleen, lymphatic system, and mucosal tissue are all part of the immune system. It is a very interconnected system that scientists are trying to figure out for many decades now. However, it is possible to support your immune system on your own.
There is no magic bullet that can improve the immune system instantly. Focusing on healthy habits, in general, will supply the basic needs of the immune system to operate correctly.
Science shows that sleep patterns play a significant role in immune function. Sleeping limited hours (4 hours per night) reduces natural killer cell activity. Moreover, people who do not sleep a lot are triggering the production of inflammatory proteins. Losing sleep can increase your risk of infection. The CDC has shown that sleeping 4 hours per night for six days, followed by 12 hours of sleep per night for seven days, reduced the production of antibodies to influenza vaccination by 50%. This is compared to subjects who had regular sleeping hours.
Eat fruits and vegetables
We have heard it infinite times that vegetables and fruits are good for health. Micronutrients are needed to aid in each stage of an immune response. The most critical are vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, iron, protein, and selenium.
High fiber diets that include fresh fruits, whole grains, and vegetables will support gut health. Live bacteria which are found in foods such as yogurt and kefir are also needed.
You can read more on essential micronutrients here.
Chronic stress can be hazardous for bodily functions, including the operation of the immune system. The increased levels of cortisol from stress can result in inflammation and decrease the number of lymphocytes that are crucial in the fight against viruses.
There are a couple of ways by which stressful triggers can be removed. Practicing meditation is one of them. Exercising and getting extra sleep can aid in reducing stress. We understand that stress is magnified in times of uncertainty, so we have compiled a list of apps that could reduce stress levels.
The immune system is crucial in fighting diseases. In pandemic times, it is especially important to keep our bodies healthy. Sleeping well and following a healthy balanced diet can reduce stress. Moreover, sleeping well was shown to result in an adequate reaction to stressful situations.
How do you keep your immune system in check?