The body’s immune system is a finely complex and interdependent organisation of organs, networks, intricate proteins, antibodies, and white blood cells. Certain parts of the immune structure functions as literal obstacles which prevent bacteria and viruses from getting to vital organs like the heart, while others combat and exterminate alien parasites from the body.
Indeed, a lot of illness-causing germs and microorganisms are effectively tackled by the immune system, nonetheless, it takes time for the body to identify alien organisms as “enemy”. Thus, it is mandatory for the immune system to tag a disease-causing virus or bacteria as hazardous before it can fight it away from the body. Usually, this is only possible the moment the body produces certain antibodies following a state of sickness or taking a vaccine. To properly understand how the immune system works, the following words are important to know:
- Antibodies: These are healthy proteins that have the ability to detect and bind with particular antigens.
- Antigens: They are proteins that are present on the surface of pathogens.
- Pathogen: Any microbe that can infiltrate the health and cause sickness.
Whenever an antibody detects the antigen of a foreign pathogen, it tightly binds onto it. Once bonded, it serves as a beacon by sending a signal to other components of the immune system to bombard the invading pathogen.
The limitations of the immune system against COVID-19
It is crucial to understand that even a very healthy immune system can not prevent you from getting COVID-19.
The virus responsible for COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 is a novel pathogen. This means that anyone infected by it has no inherent antibodies to stage a defence. This is why it remains important to continue to practise proper cough etiquette, good hand hygiene, and social distancing.
Regardless, having a healthy immune system helps to sustain the body in the process of familiarising itself with the new pathogen in case you get sick. Making conscious and deliberate efforts to boost the immune system will also assist you in fighting other common pathogenic invaders like flu or cold viruses.
How to Boost The Immune System With Physical Activities And Exercises
Do you want to have additional physical activities in your daily routines? Then try any of these 4 methods:
- Yoga: Do you know that one of the ways to decrease anxiety is through deep breathing and mindfulness? We, therefore, recommend that you stay away from crowded places and observe minimum physical distancing of 6 feet.
- Muscle strength workout: Finding ways to carry out easy muscle-strengthening activities around your home is also beneficial. These exercises may include single-leg step-ups on the stairs, squats, push-ups against the floor, kitchen counter, or a wall etc. If you notice that you’ve been idle or seated in a single position for a long time, get up every now and then and involve in some active chores like taking out the trash or sorting out clothes in the laundry.
- Outdoor activities: This involves playing active games with friends and loved ones, going for a bike ride, spending time in nature, jogging or walking around the neighbourhood, etc. By engaging in physically active outdoor activities, you increase the health of your mind and body. Usually, people love to visit trails, parks, and open spaces just to get some fresh air, reduce stress, and establish healthy connections with others.
When you want to visit parks, ensure you visit only those that are not far from your home, and make sure you make preparations before visiting. Additionally, maintain a minimum physical distancing of 6 feet away from other people. Be sure not to use playgrounds, and wash your hands thoroughly the moment you reach home.|
- Indoor activities: Have you ever tried walking briskly around your house while listening to some jamming music? Well, if you aren’t open to outdoor activities, you can walk up and down the stairs 2 to 3 times per day, for 10-15 minutes each. Other indoor activities to try are making use of home cardio equipment, making an exercise video, jumping rope, or dancing to your favourite songs.
It is important to expound that physical activities with moderate intensity contribute to a healthy immune system. However, high-volume, high-intensity exercises can reduce the functionality of the immune system, especially if you are new to it. Therefore, always keep in mind to balance your training program.
The Use of Food to Enhance the Immune System
The importance of nutrition to the critical development of the immune system can not be undermined. Quality nutrition can without doubts be the source of a healthy mind and body, while poor nutrition will indubitably decrease the functions of the immune system. Hence, one of the best ways to maintain a healthy immune system that can effectively resist infections is by having balanced nutrition regularly. You can keep your body healthy by taking moderate quantities of a combination of the following 5 essential nutrients.
- Zinc: It is an important antioxidant that enhances metabolism, as well as healing the process of wounds. Examples of foods that contain high levels of zinc are nuts/seeds, beans/legumes, shellfish, and meat.
- Vitamin E: This is an essential antioxidant that helps to combat cell damage. Vitamin E can be found in plant-based foods such as peanut butter and nuts.
- Vitamin A: the primary function of Vitamin A is to assist in the regulation of the immune system, and keep the skin and other tissues to be healthy so as to prevent infections. Foods such as spinach, apricots, carrots, and sweet potatoes are good sources of Vitamin A.
- Vitamin D: It helps to ward off infections, in addition to maintaining healthy, strong bones. You can get Vitamin D in bread, cereals, fortified milk, mushrooms and salmon.
- Vitamin C: They contain antibodies which are useful in fighting infections and bacteria. To get plenty of Vitamin C, add the following foods to your diet: tomato juice, red bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, grapefruit, and oranges.
In conclusion, although it may be impossible to completely avoid getting sick, a strong and healthy immune system will, however, be a solid first line of defence. It’s high time you stopped skipping meals and eating less healthy snacks. Also, be sure to book an appointment for PCR test in London if you have any symptoms of coronavirus.