A lot of people do not know the difference between the flu and cold. Both are viral infections of the upper respiratory tract. The rhino-virus causes cold, whereas influenza virus causes flu. Flu occurs unexpectedly. Cold usually develop slowly. Flu may seem like a common cold during initial state. The common symptoms are like runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. The flu virus is more virulent and usually develops faster than a cold. It is usually accompanied by high fever, fatigue, muscle aches and pains. Treating the flu and cold could be reducing the duration of the symptoms. Strengthening the immune system helps in relieving the symptoms. Our body’s main defense against incoming infections is the immune system. This structure consists of a network of cells, tissues and organs that are entrusted with the task of preventing foreign micro-organisms from proliferating and wreaking havoc in the body.

The immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade the body and cause disease. When we fall sick, this indicates that it has failed.

Certain vitamins and minerals can help to optimise the immune system functionality.

* Vitamin C – Helps in produce infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies.

* Vitamin E – Enhance production of B-cells that destroy bacteria. Also, it stimulates the production of cells that search and destroy harmful cells. It slowdown or reverse the effects associated with ageing on the immune system.

* Beta carotene – Helps in stimulating growth of infection-fighting cells and natural killer cells as well as supporating T cells.

* Manganese – possesses antioxidant properties and is the main component of an immune related enzyme.

* Selenium – A trace mineral for the proper function of the immune system

* Zinc and copper – important in the development and maintenance of immune function.

The balance of nutrients is important in sustaining the body’s immune defences. Nutrients work best in combination with each other. In addition, consumption of antioxidants, either through foods or nutrient supplements, brings benefit to our body defense.

Other than supplements, these simple tips also can keep your immune system as its best :

* Exercise – regular exercise five times a week

* Sleep – Ensure enough sleep so that the body may have sufficient rest

* Don’t smoke – Smoking suppresses immune cells

* Limit alcohol consumption – it should be no more than one drink per day

Older people and children are more susceptible to flu. Poor diet and insufficient sleep can lower the immunity and the body is more vulnerable to infections. A balanced diet should include fruits and vegetables, whole grain and small amount of lean protein.

Regular exercise helps in strengthen the immune system. In order to reduce the risks of contracting any infection. ones should limit air travel during the holiday peak season.

Flu spreads easily in a crowd of people. Avoid these places whenever possible at the peak of the flu season to reduce the chances of getting infected.



Source by Pauline Cheong

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