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The Best Foods to Fight the Flu

So it's cold and flu season and you need to maximize your immunity defense. Nutrition is the key, and there are a number of foods that can help you fight off sickness.

Eating the right foods on a regular basis will make you more impermeable to cold and flu bugs floating around. Here are some of the best flu-fighting foods you can consume.

The Top Flu-Fighting Foods

Drink down the orange juice. Orange juice contains tons of Vitamin C, and Vitamin C helps to strengthen your immune system. In addition to orange juice, you can also take advantage of the Vitamin C infused juices like pineapple, cherry, and acai berry juice.

Another beverage that help in fending off the flu is green tea. Green tea offers loads of benefits, and it can not only help to get rid of the flu or a cold, but it is also good for preventing various other diseases.

Yogurt is also a great food to eat to fight the flu. Yogurt contains live bacteria that is good for your system. These bacteria, also known as probiotics, offer a number of advantageous, including better digestive performance and increased immunity. In addition, some Yogurts are good sources of protein.

Eating whole fruits and vegetables is one of the best underlying strategies to avoid the flu. Specific fruits, such as strawberries and cranberries are said to be able to reduce the length and intensity of the flu-like sicknesses. Sweet potatoes and other orange-colored foods, such as carrots, squash, pumpkin, and cantaloupe also aid in flushing out the flu.

These are just some of the types of foods that will help you either avoid or overcome a cold or the flu. Keep eating these foods and keeping reading the Health n' Wellness blog for more information on keeping healthy during the cold season.

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Germ Exposure at Early Ages can Help Boost Immunity?

A recent study on mice has shown a correlation in kids who are exposed to germs in their early ages are more likely to have a stronger immunity and resistance to diseases. The immune system boost therefore means that kids exposed to germs are less susceptible to health complications and allergies, such as colitis and asthma. These details are according to a research carried out on March 22, 2012 by the Women's hospital located in Boston.Kids exposed to germs may have healthier, stronger immunity as they grow older

According to the contradicting hygiene hypothesis, exposure to microbes in the early life of a child significantly suppresses the immune system and therefore puts them at a greater risk of being affected by different types of diseases. The new study supports this whole idea and more so expounds on it so that you can better appreciate the relationship that exists between the immune system and the disease causing microbes. The researchers warn that the results of this research might not apply to each and every person mainly because the research was conducted using mice as the specimen.

Senior authors led this study from both the Women's Hospital and Brigham. Dr. Dennis Kasper is the director of the Channing laboratory of the Women's Hospital while Dr. Richard Blumberg is the senior manager at the Gastroenterology department at BWH. These two and their colleagues studied mice which are bred in more sterile environments without them being exposed to any germs and pathogen free mice that were raised in the normal controlled environment in the laboratory.

They then bred the two types of mice so as to develop asthma and bowel disease and then compared the two immune systems. They came to realize that the germ free mice developed more of invariant killer cells mainly in their lungs and bowel and therefore developed critical disease symptoms. In that case, the germ free mice cells accumulated and then increased morbidity in IBD models and asthma as compared to the specific pathogen free mice.

The germ free mice developed the so called iNKT cells which play a role in helping to fight infections but on the other hand can fight the body tissues. This therefore makes the germ free mice more susceptible to diseases and infections. This research also shows that exposure of germ free mice to germs did not lead to any noticeable development of the iNKT cells and more so these mice did not really develop severe symptoms that were seen in the other mice which were kept more germs free. It also proved that even by leaving the germ free mice in that state, they might not experience any kind of strange effects.

The conclusion after this study is that the best effects would only be realized if the mice were more of exposed before their adulthood. This is where the basis of having kids exposed to germs in their early days to develop immunity comes from. The germ free mice on the other hand were exposed to more germs in their early life and thus they developed immunity. The aim of the study was to show the importance of microbes and why exposure in early days in life might help to boost the immune system. The research is also intended to act as a basis for the understanding of the increase allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases mainly in the urban areas.

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15 Facts About Allergies You Probably Didn't Know

Allergies are hypersensitivity disorders of the immune system. You get an allergic reaction when your immune system reacts to substances that are normally harmless (allergen). Allergic reactions are predictable, rapid, and acquired. There are several things about allergies that you probably did not know.

1) Based on statistics from the National Institute of Health, 1 in every 2 U.S. citizens has at least one allergy.

2) The body's immune system runs on white blood cells. These white blood cells are responsible for fighting diseases and sustaining optimal conditions for the body. The white blood cells sometimes lie dormant for years and launch attacks where an attack is not called for. They can be taken to act like the small bands of Japanese soldiers who did not hear about the end of the Second World War for years and who would attack peaceful villagers in guerrilla attacks years after the war had ended.

3) Being allergic to penicillin is the scariest of all allergies. The allergy often causes fatal anaphylaxis. To many people, the most disgusting allergy is allergy to cockroaches.

4) Protein causes most food allergies. The body's immune system responds negatively to some proteins. Studies are however, showing that it is possible to distract the immune system from rejecting proteins. Parasites that will not harm the body can be injected to distract the immune system from proteins. A 2004 experiment by Trinity College, Dublin team worked.

5) The experiment by the team from Trinity College, Dublin was well received in the scientific world. Jasper Lawrence, a British entrepreneur, in 2007 visited Cameroon and acquired hookworms by walking barefoot near pit latrines. He hoped that as the body fought the hookworms, his seasonal allergies and asthma would be defeated. This too, worked.

6) Jasper Lawrence has ventured into the business of shipping parasites to different parts of the world (but not the U.S. where this is prohibited by the FDA). He sells 35 hookworm larvae for $3,000.

7) The hookworm larvae are applied to a bandage and the bandage slapped on. The hookworms will wriggle through the skin after several minutes.

8) Allergies to food cause fatalities. In the U.S., between 150 and 200 people die each year as a result of allergies to such foods as nuts, shellfish, eggs, fish, and milk.

9) Hannes Harms is in the process of coming up with edible radio-frequency ID tags. The industrial engineer who is based in London is designing tags that will be mixed with meals to record the meals' composition. You will then get warnings whenever you are about to eat meals that have ingredients you are allergic to.

10) Walking in the grass could lead to tick bites. Tick bites can cause the body's immune system to produce alpha-gal antibodies, meaning you will not be able to eat lamb, beef, and pork again.

11) 40,000 women in the U.S. are believed to be allergic to the male ejaculate. The condition is called seminal plasma hypersensitivity. This can lead to social and psychology issues as well.

12) Women who suffer from autoimmune progesterone dermatitis can get allergic rashes as a result of their own sex hormones.

13) Your dander can cause an allergic rash in cats and dogs as well as to other humans.

14) Many people in the U.S. are allergic to ragweed pollen. The ragweed pollen season has been lengthening over the years, thanks to climate change.

15) Nickel can trigger a metal allergy that will last a lifetime. Avoid nickel coated jewelry.

Do you know of any interesting facts about allergies that you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments section below.

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