At this time of the year most people in the northern hemisphere are thinking more about the warmth and sunshine of the coming summer than the colds, flus and other common viruses that tend to attack us in the colder months, but for many unfortunate people, a so-called summer cold may strike at any time, and even flus are not unheard of at this time of year.
Having a healthy diet and lifestyle are the best possible ways to keep your immune system functioning normally (if you are an averagely healthy individual), but even the best defences can become vulnerable when we are feeling tired, rundown or overworked.
Every second of every day, our bodies are being bombarded by potential pathogens (disease-causing organisms or virus particles) that are present upon our skin, in our mouths, inside our bodies, in the air we breathe and the food we eat - in fact almost all around, within and upon us. Thankfully, most pathogens we encounter are not able to attack us - either because they are unable to get to the part of the body where they can cause a problem, or because our immune systems neutralize them before they do any damage or are able to reproduce to dangerous numbers.
The immune system really is an incredible thing. neurotonix In essence, your immune system 'remembers' encounters with pathogens, so under normal circumstances, any single type of cold or flu virus that you have previously had cannot make you ill again (there are a few exceptions but to cover them would take us well beyond the scope of this article).
Unfortunately, the viruses that cause colds and flus mutate rapidly. This means that their methods of attacking and entering your cells are changing all the time. It is a bit like a continual game of cat and mouse, with your body defeating one pathogen, only to be attacked by a mutated descendant a few weeks or months later.
This constant, rapid mutation of viruses is the reason why there will probably never be a single cure for the common cold, and why pharmaceutical companies and countries' medical authorities must take (a very educated and precise) gamble as to which strain of flu will be the dominant one, come the winter season, and spend months producing tonnes of vaccine in the hope of protecting the vulnerable from infection.
For most of us, colds and flus are an inconvenience that we can do without. Being ill makes us feel bad, makes us less productive and of course none of us want to pass on an illness to an elderly, frail or otherwise vulnerable person, for whom a simple cold may become more than an inconvenience.
By maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle we can keep our immune systems operating effectively, and ensure that our bodies have the energy and resources they need to fight any infections that may take hold. We can also take supplements that contain antiviral herbs such as Echinacea and Elderberry extract that help to optimize and support the immune system, as well as acting as antiviral agents.