8 Natural Ways To Boost Your Child's Immune System
Children can be more prone to getting sick in the fall and winter seasons due to the stress of school work, sports, and social life. While we're not sure what work and school will look like this coming fall and winter season, we do know that school will be a little more stressful for both the students, teachers, parents compared to years past. The hassle of finding last minute child care or having to stay home with a sick kiddo who needs your attention while you try to work from home is a stressful thought in and of itself.
So here are 8 easy ways to help boost their immune system (including your own) to make sure they can have the best school year possible while working to reduce their number of sick days.
One of our top goals at Third Coast Chiropractic is to address the root cause of your problems with the use of neurologically-based chiropractic care and not just treat the symptoms. So during a time of such uncertainty with Covid-19, it's important to support our health and immune system any way we can.
The best way to do this is to continuously build habits that will support the immune system, not just when you are sick. If you have a strong immune system, your body will be less susceptible to becoming sick in the first place. This allows us to be proactive instead of simply reactive.
Neurologically-based chiropractic care has been proven to help boost your immune competence up to 400% according to a study conducted by Ronald Pero, Ph.D., chief of cancer prevention research at New York's prevention Medicine Institute. Chiropractic Patients had a 200% greater immune competence than those who did not receive chiropractic care and a 400% greater immune competence than those who had cancer or other diseases.
Another study published in the Chiropractic Research Journal, 1994; 3(1) showed that following a chiropractic adjustments, the immune cell counts increased by 48% in AIDS patients. While the other group participating in the study did not receive adjustments actually fell by 8%!
Keeping your child's spine free of nerve interference can help keep them healthy all year round. In addition to chiropractic care, I have listed below some natural ways to support your child's immune system. Incorporating these into your child's routine can help keep your kids, and you, healthy.
8 Natural Ways to Boost Your Child’s Immune System
Elderberry Syrup: Elderberry extract is one of the best general immune system boosters out there and is considered a powerhouse when it comes to health benefits. Give your child (ages 1-12) 1/2 to 1 tsp of elderberry syrup a day, more during times of illness. Check the bottle for dosing instructions. *This is also something that you can make at home. Click HERE for a great recipe.
Vitamin C: If you know nothing about immune health, you probably know that you need Vitamin C when you're not feeling well. It helps protect against infections, reduces inflammation, and the severity of illnesses. Unlike other vitamins, Vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning that your body can't store it, which is why we need it in our diet daily. To make sure that your child gets enough vitamin C, they need to eat 2-3 servings of Vitamin C rich veggies and fruits - berries, citrus, kiwi, bell peppers, dark green vegetables- every day.
Zinc: Zinc is another important immunity-boosting mineral. It helps protect against viruses and bacteria and supports tissue repair. Protein-rich food like red meat, shellfish, legumes, eggs, chicken, nuts, seeds- contain zinc.
Water: It's important to keep your child well hydrated. Try to avoid sugary drinks like juice and pop. As a general rule, adults and kids should drink a minimum of half their body weight in ounces a day. (Ex: If your child weighs 80 pounds, they should be drinking 40 ounces of water per day)
Probiotics: Did you know that 70-80% of our immune tissue is in our digestive tract? This is why our immunity is very dependent on our gut health. Probiotics are good bacteria that help in maintaining good intestinal health. Whole and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt are also good ways to get probiotics through our diet.
Vitamin D: Getting enough Vitamin D is vital for children because it strengthens the immune system and contributes to proper bone growth. We get natural Vitamin D from the sun which is why it is important to get outside every day. Because the days are shorter in the fall and winter, it is more difficult to get Vitamin D from the sun. This is part of the reason we are more susceptible to getting sick during colder times of the year. Supplementation is key during the fall and winter and this liquid supplement is a great choice to drop into your child’s beverages if they are not a fan of capsules.
Bone Broth: Bone broth is an excellent source of amino acids that help fight inflammation. It’s a great preventative measure at the start of flu season. Whether you are making your own homemade bone broth or buying from your local grocery store, be sure to choose high-quality broth from grass-fed animals.
Garlic, Ginger & Spices: Never underestimate the power of garlic, ginger, and anti-inflammatory spices. In a study these super foods were shown to boost our immune system to help to fight infections. Obviously, due to the strong flavor, you should be cautious when using all theses super foods in your child’s meal, but consider introducing them gradually and your little one might actually enjoy all of the extra flavors.
One last thing…
Our children can grow up with a healthy immune system if they:
Eat a healthy diet with a variety of whole foods
Get enough sleep
Get fresh air for at least 2-3 hours a day
You don’t have to wait for your child to get sick or wait for the cold and flu season. Use these natural immune boosters to strengthen your child’s immune system year-round!
What methods do you use to boost your child’s immune system? Please share in the comments below!