Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Fight Flu with Vitamin C

  vit c

Why flu flourishes in winter has baffled scientists for long? Finally, they have found the answer, which lies in the flu virus itself. It is more stable and stays in the air longer when air is cold and dry, the exact conditions for much of the flu season. WHO has also warned that the episodes of swine flu will surge in winter. Flu is a highly contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. The virus enters the body’s airway through mucous membranes in the nose, eyes or mouth.

Symptoms of flu are much like the common cold—body aches, cough, fatigue, headache,, hot and cold sweats.

How can I safeguard myself from flu?

• Since flu viruses are often transmitted by way of the hands, wash your hands often and with an antibacterial soap.

• Buy a new toothbrush—toothbrushes can harbour viruses and prolong the illness.

• Antibiotics are useless against viral illnesses. The only way to get rid of the flu or any of the infectious illness is to attack it head-on by strengthening the immune system.

• Vitamin C can come to your rescue to rally your immune system and if you begin taking it early enough and often you can resist flu. In fact, if you observe fruits that are good sources of vitamin C, like guava, amla and oranges are available in abundance during winter so that you can keep your immune system in good shape.

• Vitamin C is a super antioxidant and it helps protect cells from cellular damage. Since its water soluble, you don’t need to worry as the excess amount always gets flushed out. Vitamin C enables lymphocytes and other cells in our immune system to function effectively.

• Vitamin C is highly vulnerable to heat. Hence, the best way to get vitamin C naturally is to eat fruits and vegetables raw or at the most steamed.

C factor

For adults the RDA for vitamin C is 90 milligrams per day for men and 75 milligrams per day for women. The requirement of vitamin C increases when you are pregnant or breast feeding. Cigarette smoking too increases the need for vitamin C.

If you get flu drink plenty of warm liquids to keep your body hydrated, stay at home and take enough rest so that your body can recuperate from the viral infection.

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