What are viruses?
Even though viruses remain a significant threat to human life, they are extraordinarily simple, made with little more than strands of nucleic acids and a protective coat of protein. However, once they access a host cell, the virus spills its nucleic acids into the cell, causing the cellular machinery to work and assemble hundreds of new viruses to infect more cells. Essentially, your own body is turned into a manufacturing plant that serves to make more of that same virus. This mechanism allows viruses to invade large numbers of normal cells quickly and cause disease.
The body’s natural defense against viruses
The human body has robust and overlapping defenses against viruses. First, the body has skin and mucous membranes, which act as a barrier that prevents viruses from getting inside. If viruses do get inside, the blood and lymphatic system contain white blood cells that readily engulf viruses to kill them. There is also the immune system, which acts as a central command center to direct the defenses that eliminate viruses and infected cells in the body.
Improving the body’s defenses against viral infections
To effectively fight viral infections naturally, you need to work with the body’s defenses. The body is very capable of defending itself against a majority of viruses, but certain supplements and healthy behaviors can amplify the body’s ability to protect itself from viruses.
Natural remedies that help in the fight against viruses
Some vitamins, minerals and certain substances are recommended for fighting or preventing viral infections because they stimulate the immune system or have virus-killing properties.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C boosts the immune system, and it can be consumed quickly during infections. Supplementation is highly recommended to prevent and reduce the duration of viral infections.
- Zinc: This mineral boosts the effects of vitamin C in the body. A zinc deficiency has pronounced, depressing effects on the immune system.
- Elderberry: Because products in the elderberry plant reduce many viruses’ ability to enter the body and infect a cell, elderberry has been used for centuries around the world to help people fight infections caused by viruses. It is one of the best immune system boosters.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D levels have a direct relationship with the immune system’s status; a deficiency is often evident in individuals with the flu. For the immune system to function best, regularly consume Vitamin D.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin is known to improve the pathogen-killing properties of certain white blood cells and increases their numbers.
- Garlic: Elements in garlic possess persistent anti-viral activity.
- Ginseng: Ginseng contains compounds that reduce viral activity and stimulate the immune system.
Simple health behaviors have a profound impact when fighting off viral infections
Adopting certain health behaviors can help the body fight viral infections more effectively.
- Proper sleep: Clinical trials show there is an inverse relationship between the amount of sleep and the degree in which the immune system will respond. Making sure you are well-rested can go a long way in the battle against viral infection.
- Moderate exercise: It is known that exercise improves immune function and can help reduce the risk of viral infections, especially those impacting the respiratory system.
- Regular use of probiotics: The intake of probiotics is proven to boost immune defenses against viral diseases.
Unlike diseases caused by bacteria and fungi, most medicines show little or no effect in addressing viral infections, the best they can usually do is help with symptoms. You can reduce the duration and even prevent viral infections by taking supplements and sticking to healthy lifestyle practices.
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