Perhaps the most beautiful time of the year is just around the corner. Autumn will reward us with nature adorned with all colours, falling leaves, and the smell of freshly baked cinnamon apple pie. As we try to enjoy the last bits of sun and warmth and high temperatures, our plans are disrupted every year by runny noses, nasty coughing, and headaches, which are the most common signs of autumn viruses. How to avoid catching a cold? How to fight off seasonal viruses? How the immune system works and protects us? How to prepare for autumn diseases? Today we will answer these and many other questions – get ready!
Autumn viruses: what are we dealing with?
Seasonal infections and viruses are nothing new as we are more than used to call the upcoming season a ‘flu season.’ The vast majority of seasonal diseases such as cold are linked to being viral and easy to catch from another person, who already complains about a sore throat, coughing, runny nose, and fever. The flu, for example, is an infectious disease caused by a virus attacking one’s immune system as it is compromised.
As symptoms are common for many different seasonal sicknesses, family doctors, practitioners, research performing doctors, and other professionals distinguish a fairly clear timeline suitable for most cases. According to them, cold symptoms such as a stuffy nose, discomfort, sneezing, fever, and body aches take one to three days to peak, and the next days are the worst. Even though a cold usually ends by day ten, it is contagious throughout the whole period of being sick.
Various seasonal sicknesses can affect not only our respiratory system but the whole organism: skin, muscles, internal organs, metabolism, etc. Unnoticed or untreated sicknesses can cause great discomfort as it takes significantly more time to fully recover because our bodies are already too weak at that time as we start using medication or visit the professional doctors.
Our hero – the immune system!
It is easy and quick to start this unpleasant trend of being sick; however, it takes a lot of time and effort to fight those autumn viruses off for good. It’s the immune system that does all of the hard work protecting us every day of the year and especially during the autumn. So, what exactly is the immune system?
The immune system guards our bodies against unwanted threats such as viruses, bacteria, toxins, and infections. It does not mean that you will never be sick if your immune system is indestructible - the immune system guarantees that one tiny virus that gets into your body will not grow to a massive extent and become fatal. However, it is easy to know whether one’s immune system is working as high body temperatures and swelling indicates it.
The immune system depends on billions and billions of defensive white blood cells also known as leukocytes. As they are traveling throughout our cardiovascular system they screen, firstly, our blood for threats, together with other tissues and organs. Once the leukocytes detect invaders, our immune system starts operating and releases special proteins – antibodies, which fight those unwanted and harmful substances.
There are many different threats to one’s body, so the immune system must be equally adaptable to be able to defend one’s organism in any case. The immune system usually develops a long-term immunity, which means that one store information about the attackers and will know next time how to deal with it quicker than the last time.
Vitamins to prepare for autumn diseases!
There are many ways to strengthen the immune system – it’s easy to help your organism to protect yourself and prepare for autumn viruses season once you know what you need. We may be making a big mistake if we fill our bodies with unnecessary substances as excess is as bad as scarcity. Plenty of foods are rich in various vitamins and nutrients that complement our organisms, but we often are not aware of their existence and do not know how useful they are. Let’s expand our knowledge of vitamins that benefit our immune systems!
Everyone must have heard about vitamin C as its intake is one of the greatest ways to boost one’s immune system. Our organisms do not produce or store vitamin C for long periods, so we must ensure a daily intake of vitamin C as they stimulate the generation of white blood cells.
Vitamin E helps our immune system to fight off various infections and viruses; it positively affects the immune system’s cells and makes them more productive. However, numerous studies have shown that the best results are achieved when vitamin E is taken together with vitamin C.
Vitamin B6 supports biochemical reactions, and together with other vitamins from group B, they also help turn food into energy, thus, providing our bodies with necessary nutrients. Vitamin B6 is considered to be that one significant substance that benefits many different parts of our bodies; however, as our bodies do not produce, we need to obtain it from our everyday diets and supplements.
Vitamin D is essential for an effective immune system’s response. Low levels of this vitamin are linked with frequent illnesses and infections, so seasonal cold and flu can be prevented once ensuring sufficient amounts of vitamin D in our bodies. As we can acquire vitamin D from being in the sunlight, now it is the best time to go outside, spend some time tanning, and prepare for autumn diseases in a fun and easy way!
Even though beta-glucans are not vitamins but fibers, their enhancing abilities does just that. Beta-glucans strengthen the immune system, reduces symptoms of fever, and lowers the chances of getting a sometimes-fatal seasonal infection. They also ensure the smooth functioning of our bodies and feature specific anti-inflammatory properties, thus shortening the period of being sick. As beta-glucans are a natural way to improve one’s overall health and well-being, one must include beta-gluten-rich foods into a diet.
People often say that you should think about everything in advance to achieve the best results sometime later. Although the immune system forms throughout our whole lives, today is the day to prepare for autumn viruses season! Stay tuned as more tips to survive the autumn disaster follow next week.