Immune boosting strategies are a must during the months when kids spend a lot of time indoors. We’re sharing the top 7 ways to build your child’s immune system to keep them healthy and strong.
Keeping your family healthy in today’s world is more challenging than ever. We live in a different environment now where we are constantly bombarded with unhealthy food choices, increased toxins in the environment, electromagnetic frequencies in the air, and super stressful activity levels.
Here are the fundamental immune boosting steps that keep kids strong and healthy. And if your child does happen to get sick, following this type of lifestyle makes them more likely to recover quickly.
EXERCISE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Our immune systems are like muscles that need to be exercised, and it’s important to keep our family’s strong. By actually allowing our immune systems to fight minor illnesses that come along, we become more capable and better equipped to fight future infections. Use natural remedies whenever possible. If anyone gets sick or catches a cold, try to avoid the toxic drugs and chemicals. This helps our immune systems remain hardy and strong.
You can try many natural old-time remedies yourself at home, or look in the natural department at your local grocery or natural food stores. There are products like honey cough syrups for your cough or cold and vapor rubs, DIY chest rubs, and saline solutions for a stuffy nose.
EAT REAL FOODS
A diet rich in organic fruits, vegetables, and quality proteins is the foundation for a healthy immune system. Recent research with probiotics shows that supplementing with probiotics prevents infection and decreases the severity and duration of the cold or flu.
Studies have shown that eating a sugary snack or meal can depress the immune system for several hours, creating a window of time during which it is easier to catch a cold or the flu. If you want to add a little sweetness to the holiday, serve something healthy like dark chocolate or candy made with xylitol. Both have a beneficial impact on immune systems.
A diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and probiotics while avoiding excessive sugar can keep the immune system working at the level needed to fend off viral infections. You can also boost your family’s immune system by serving green leafy vegetables rich with vitamin D, like broccoli and kale.
INCREASE VITAMINS & MINERALS
Vitamin C can greatly enhance the immune system’s ability to fight infections of many kinds. In controlled trials Vitamin C has been shown to aid in the prevention of influenza, as well as shortening the duration and reducing the severity of infections already contracted.
Zinc plays an important role in maintaining healthy immune function. Low levels of zinc are associated with a decrease in T-cell function, a vital white blood cell that helps fight infections.
Vitamin D3 is a powerful player against viruses. Research published in 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a Vitamin D3 supplement in children decreased the rate of influenza infection by 50%, far better than the effects of vaccines or antiviral drugs. Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin that can accumulate over time, so talk to your doctor or naturopath to determine the appropriate dose for your child.
GET GOOD-QUALITY SLEEP
Maintaining a balanced sleep routine is one major way to keep our children’s immune system healthy. Children need anywhere from 9 to 14 hours of sleep each night to rejuvenate for the next day depending on their age. Consistent inadequate sleep lowers the body’s defenses needed for fighting viral infections.
Your child’s sleeping environment should be free from electronics and any source of blue light. Instead of LED nightlights, use these Himalayan Salt Lamp night lights for a warmer glow. They also help clean the air in your child’s room.
A cluttered room can affect sleep quality. Follow some of these Feng Shui tips for kids’ rooms to make sure the energy is his room is calm and clear.
BATHE IN EPSOM SALTS
Many of us – children included – are magnesium deficient. It’s mostly because our soils are depleted of many beneficial nutrients. An Espom salt bath (along with a tablespoon of dead sea salt) is a relaxing way to boost your child’s magnesium level, while also helping them settle before bed. If your child has allergies or eczema, you may notice a huge difference in his skin after a few weeks of Epsom salt baths.
CONSIDER PLANT-BASED IMMUNE BOOSTERS
Research shows elderberry extract has particular immune-modulating and antioxidant properties that neutralize the activity of viruses so they can no longer enter the cell and replicate. The berries also contain vitamins A and C, and the flavonoids quercetin, anthocyanin, and rutin, all of which boost immune function. Elderberry comes in a liquid syrup form (or you can make your own Elderberry syrup) making it a great tasting and easy option for kids.
Echinacea also has the immune stimulating polysaccharides that give it an important role in natural antiviral treatments. These polysaccharides naturally enhance the body’s resistance to infection. Echinacea can also be found in a liquid glycerin form that is a great option for kids.
Stress is a huge barrier to a robust immune system. Although children should get some daily exercise outdoors, they also need sufficient downtime and rest to avoid added stress on their bodies.
By incorporating these principles, you have a better chance at keeping everyone healthy through the school season, and all year long.