Every time a child gets a cold and cough coupled with fever, we tend to refer to it as Flu. However, you will be surprised to know that flu is a different ailment altogether though the symptoms may seem like cough and cold. It is caused by influenza A or B virus and flu is actually a short form of influenza. It is a more serious and severe condition than common cold and may also cause vomiting and nausea.
Usually anti-viral medications are begun as soon as this condition is diagnosed. In this feature we will discuss the vitamins that can really help to alleviate the flu and also increase the potency of anti-flu medication that you might be giving to your child.
Various Vitamins To Fight Flu
This vitamin is known to possess anti-viral properties and therefore beneficial during the flu season. However, one must be careful with its dosage as it is a fat soluble vitamin. Fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body and therefore consumption of this vitamin in high dosage for a long duration of time can lead to vitamin A toxicity.
After the consumption of this vitamin, if your child shows symptoms of headache and diarrhoea then stop the doses immediately. Carrots, sweet potatoes, cayenne pepper, lettuce, liver are some of the food items that have high level of vitamin A in them.
Vitamin C has been considered as an effective tool against cold for ages. It is a water soluble vitamin which means that it is not stored in the body but consumed immediately and the excess is flushed out through excretion. The influenza symptom of cold and cough can be greatly relieved by consuming vitamin C laden diet or supplements. The studies on this vitamin’s effectiveness on cold symptoms is somewhat inconclusive.
Some of them report that this vitamin reduces the duration of the cold whereas the others have found it to be ineffective in cases where the cough and cold has already occurred. Nevertheless this vitamin still remains kid’s best friend when it comes to flu symptoms. Oranges, citrus fruits, bell peppers, guava, broccoli and papaya are a rich sources of this vitamin. The citrus fruits can also be given to calm the nauseating sensation that comes with the flu.
Have you ever noticed that the usual flu catches on during winter and in some cases, rainy season? We all assume that the change in weather is the reason behind this malady in children. Though this is not entirely wrong but there is one more aspect to it. Low sunshine and mostly gloomy weather has been associated with the flu. A little weird, right? Well the answer is that exposure to sunshine leads to production of vitamin D in humans. And it has been observed for over decades that a dip in sunshine brings about flu.
Vitamin D has been used in the treatment of respiratory diseases for a long time now. There have been a number of studies that have shown higher resistance and shorter and less severe influenza in children who consumed higher dosages of vitamin D. This vitamin produces defensins and Cathelicidin proteins that are anti-vital. Apart from direct sunlight, you can get your doses of Vitamin D from milk, eggs, oranges and salmon.
Stop Before You Pop The Pill
Usually dietary intakes rarely cause vitamin toxicity, whereas with supplements there is a high likelihood of the same. Children must never be given these vitamins without prescription from a doctor. In order to provide them with the vitamins, play around with their diet but steer clear of the supplements and commercial pills.