It is almost impossible to completely protect yourself from seasonal viruses. With lengthy incubation periods between the time you contract a virus and the time you detect symptoms, it is hard to pinpoint where and when you were exposed. But you can take proactive steps to strengthen your immune system, to minimize the impact of a virus and reduce the duration of symptoms.
How Your Immune System Reacts to Viruses
A virus is a microscopic particle similar to a parasite, although viruses are not classified as true living organisms because they lack a cell membrane. Viruses are made up of genetic material encompassed within a protective protein coating. Like parasites, viruses cannot self-reproduce outside of a host cell. They infect the cells of biological organisms, including fungi, plants, animals and bacteria. Viruses cause deadly diseases in humans, such as Ebola, AIDS, SAARS and the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
When you “catch” a virus, you become its host and it invades your cells to survive and replicate. The virus is invisible to your immune system when it first takes up residence in your body. To alert your immune cells to invading viruses, infected cells display MHC class I proteins on the cell’s surface, that includes bits of the viral protein.
Immune cells called cytotoxic T-cells circulate throughout your system looking for infectious pathogens. When they find cells infected with a virus, they kill the infected cells with toxic mediators. Because viruses cannot survive outside the host cell, they gradually diminish in number and your symptoms fade away.
Protecting Yourself from Viruses
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of contracting a seasonal virus:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid touching common surfaces like handrails, keypads and doorknobs.
- Use the fan above your seat on airplanes to disperse pathogens away from your respiratory tract.
- Avoid crowded spaces like busy restaurants, bars and airports.
- Do not touch your face and eyes when out in public without first washing your hands.
In addition, a nutrient-dense diet and regular exercise help support immune system health.
Nutrients that Support Immune Cells
A nutrient deficient body will have a difficult time fighting off viral infections, because your immune system needs nutrients to function at its best. Poor nutrition can prolong and worsen your symptoms, putting you at greater risk for serious consequences, including death.
The following nutrients play especially important roles in immune function:
- Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C is abundant in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, citrus fruits, broccoli, kale, spinach and many other plant-based foods.
- Vitamins A, D, E and K: Known collectively as the fat soluble vitamins, your body is able to store A, D, E and K in your fat cells. Find them in nuts, seeds, carrots, sweet potatoes, wild-caught fish and other foods.
- Folate: Your body uses folate to make white blood cells that are an important component of your immune system. Find folate in legumes and leafy green vegetables.
- Iron: Your body uses dietary iron to make hemoglobin, the protein in your red blood cells that transports oxygen to cells throughout your body. Iron is mostly found in animal proteins like beef and dark meat chicken.
- Selenium: Found in onions, garlic and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, selenium helps reduce the severity of viral symptoms.
- Zinc: This powerful mineral is necessary for buffering your immune response and controlling inflammation. Look for it in shellfish, meats and chickpeas.
Nutrition IV Therapy to Combat Viral Infections
A healthy diet goes a long way toward strengthening your immune system, but most of us don’t get all the nutrients we need from food. IV nutrition therapy is a safe and effective way to deliver high-potency vitamins directly to your bloodstream, where they can go to work to build hearty immune cells.
Specially formulated anti-viral IV cocktails give you a potent mix of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are essential to immune support. The procedure is minimally invasive and cost-efficient. Unlike oral supplements that are only partially absorbed, IV infused nutrients bypass your digestive tract so that you get all the benefits of their full potency.
Anti-Viral IV Nutrition in NYC
Nutrition therapy can’t stop seasonal viruses, but it can help you reduce the severity and duration of their symptoms. Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to combat seasonal viruses with an Anti-Vira Mega-C IV cocktail at Advanced Cryo NYC. Contact us by phone, or fill out our online form to set up your IV nutrient appointment. Give your immune system a boost today, to survive cold and flu season in NYC.