If you have a healthy immune system, it will protect you by creating barriers that block pathogens to enter your body. This blog post describes a list of nutrients and foods that would boost human immunity.
As of today, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has reached over 1 million cases within 3 months. Coronavirus fears have impacted people whose systems are immunocompromised, older adults and people who have underlying clinical health conditions, but it now has impacted even younger healthy individuals.
Researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for infection and immunity documented the results of blood samples at four different time points in an otherwise 47 years old healthy woman who presented with COVID-19 and had mild to moderate symptoms requiring hospital admission. The researchers were able to isolate four different types of immune cells that were activated to fight off the virus. The researchers noted, these isolated cells could help form the foundation of a vaccine against the COVID-19.
Immune cells have the ability to fight off virus, and vaccines work because of immune memory. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the novel coronavirus at this moment. On March the 17th, The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it hopes to have a vaccine for the novel coronavirus within 18 months, but until then, countries will have to make do with what they already have. How can we best protect ourselves from the novel coronavirus? The experts told us, it is important to minimize the chance of infection by keeping social distance, taking care of your hand hygiene, and strengthening your immune system. Because when we get sick it’s decided by our immune system. By boosting our immune system, the chances are higher to protect ourselves and fight off the virus and be able to reduce mortality once we get infected.
What is the immune system anyway?
The immune system is your body’s defense system. Immune system is made up of organs, tissues, cells, and molecules that work together to generate an immune response that protects your body from microorganisms, removes toxins, and destroys tumor cells. This immune response is able to identify threats including viruses, bacteria and parasites – mount an attack, eliminate pathogens and then develop mechanisms to remember those threats within 10 days. This is the reason why when you catch a flu or other infections, your doctor prescribes a 10 day supply of antibiotic medications.
Immune responses can be classified as nonspecific and specific. Nonspecific is an inflammatory response where the specific identity of the invader isn’t needed. Specific is the specific identity of the invader initiates the response that is mediated by lymphocytes. It’s called the classic immune response.
Why do we need to boost the immune system?
If you have a healthy immune system, it will protect you by creating barriers that block pathogens to enter your body. If the pathogen enters your body, your immune system produces white blood cells, chemicals, and proteins to destroy the pathogen.
How to boost your immune system naturally!
First of all, the immune system is a SYSTEM, not a single entity, therefore it requires balance and harmony. Speaking of balance and harmony, at Fantastic Life, we see a body as it is; an interconnected whole within a larger environment and we focus on balancing hormones, gut health, and the immune system by personalizing lifestyles through nutrition/hydration, exercise/movement, sleep/relaxation, and stress/resilience based on functional medicine principles. And thus Fantastic Life is the only cohesive product available that builds a strong healthy human body – Covid or not.
Nutrition – Immune System Connection
Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. There is evidence that deficiencies of micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamin A, B6, C, and E alter immune response in animals, as measured in the test tube. The body absorbs nutrients from the foods efficiently compared with food supplements. Therefore I strongly recommend you choose whole foods over food supplements. Moreover, you need to pay attention to foods that you can and can’t digest because if your body isn’t able to metabolize food properly, you won’t be able to absorb nutrients that your body needs. Ad And this results in you having nutrient deficiencies and weakened immune systems.
Top Immunity Boosting Nutrients & Foods
Vitamin A: The body converts Beta carotene into Vitamin A and enhances the function of your immune system. It increases the immune boosting cells and natural killer cells that are required for normal T-cell metabolism and antibodies.
Sources of Vitamin A: all red, orange, yellow, and green plant foods
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that increases the production of bodies and white blood cells that fight off infection. Especially, it increases levels of the antibody interferon, which coats cell walls to block entering viruses.
Sources of Vitamin C: All will be higher in Vitamin C if uncooked; Camu camu, goji berries, strawberries, kiwi, lychee, papaya, citrus fruit, broccoli, red bell peppers, Brussel Sprouts, parsley.
Vitamin E (Tocopherols) is required for the production of immunoglobulins, the immune cell antibodies that destroy pathogens. It is an extremely important nutrient for boosting immune systems.
Sources of Vitamin E(Tocopherols): Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, Swiss chard, avocados, turnip greens, asparagus, mustard greens.
Sources of Zinc: Beef, lamb, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lentils, garbanzo beans, cashews, quinoa, turkey.Sources of Selenium: Brazil nuts, sardines, salmon, turkey, cod, chicken, lamb, beef.
Sources of Copper: Sesame seeds, cashews, soybeans, mushrooms (shitake), sunflower seeds, tempeh, garbanzo beans, lentils, walnuts, lima beans Sources of Folic Acid: Lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, navy beans, turnip greens, broccoli.
Additionally Probiotic is important for your gut health, which is a direct link to your immune system. Individuals have different ratios of gut bugs so if you aren’t sure what strains of probiotic your body needs, I recommend you get probiotic from fermented foods.
Sources of probiotic: Non-dairy: fermented meats, fermented vegetables, kimchi, kombucha, miso, natto, pickled vegetables (raw), sauerkraut, tempeh, yogurt (no added sugar, plain, active cultures) Dairy; Acidophllus milk, buttermilk, aged cheese, cottage cheese, kefir, sour cream, yogurt (no added sugar, plain, active cultures)
Stress – Immune system connection
Stress can negatively affect your immune system. It can make you more vulnerable to infection and disease. The chemical reactions triggered by stressful situations. In result, adrenal glands produce stress hormones, which are able to interfere with the immune system and can result in inflammation. Since the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, many people have lost jobs and loved ones, fear of infection and an uncertain future. When you are stressed, your body starts to produce Cortisol. Cortisol hormone works to prepare your body to run away from the treats. In order to do this, cortisol suppresses the immune system by lowering the amount of protein required for signaling other immune cells. In results, your body will reduce the number of lymphocytes, the immune cells that work to recognize and respond to harmful invaders and kill off antigens that would cause disease.
In other words - try and reduce stress, engage in stress reducing activities like meditation, yoga, exercise, listening to music, and anything else that you are accustomed to when you "destress."
There are many ways to maintain healthy Cortisol levels by eating the right food and lifestyle modifications. Key nutrients to support healthy cortisol levels are magnesium, potassium, cruciferous, and adaptogenic herbs are
Dark leafy greens
Coconut water & meat
What else can we do to help alleviate stress?
- Outdoor activities
- Connect with friends and family
- Quality sleep
- Watch funny movies and laugh out loud!
- Think happy thoughts
- Take a deep breath
- Listen music
Exercise – Immune system connection
Your body is meant to move! Any activities promote health benefits and strengthen the immune system. Studies have shown that exercise boosts white cells circulation so cells are able to fight off the virus. You don’t have to exercise heavily. Find any activities that you can do regularly and feel good afterward. It is the best way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine to boost your immune system over time.
What are the benefits of exercising regularly?
- It improves cardiovascular health
- It helps control body weight
- It lowers blood pressure levels
- It regulates cholesterol levels
- It boosts immune system
- It improves mood
- It promotes good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.
- It protects against a variety of diseases.
Exercise ideas while social distancing
Resistance training by using exercise bands and free weight. Core strength and balance training by using boso, swiss ball, and kettlebells, home yoga, biking, hiking, outdoor walking, skipping, etc.
Fantastic Life – And Human Health Connection
Fantastic Life is the world’s first hormone balancing app. Its algorithm is designed to assess each individual’s internal state of their body, which is used to recommend the right nutritious foods to consume and which one’s to avoid. Food is truly medicine and and this knowledge of food science is available at an individual level.