As cold and flu season rounds the corner, be sure to take care of your health to reduce or eliminate your risk of contracting the flu. The key is to keep your immune system strong by following these guidelines:
Try to reduce or possibly eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet. Illnesses often follow “sugar holidays” (Halloween, Christmas…) because while our children are loading up on all these fun goodies, the sugar intake paralyzes their white blood cells which are the “soldiers” of the immune system. Sugar consumption has an immediate, debilitating effect on your immune system. So pay attention to what your child is eating this fall and winter
Exercise keeps the blood circulating through the body, which enables your immune system to perform at its best for you. Make it fun by taking walks on the beach or on local mountain and nature trails to see what kinds of birds and animals can be spotted. Don’t forget to wear good walking shoes, bring some water and pack some healthy snacks!
Optimize your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency is the likely cause of seasonal flu viruses. Get outside and enjoy the sun for 15-20 minutes day without sun screen. Children need 400-1000 IU Vitamin D3 a day. Getting an optimal level of vitamin D will help you fight infections of all kinds.
Get plenty of good quality sleep! Make sure your child gets a nap in the day as well as 8-10 hours of sleep at night. Good sound sleep is one of the best immune builders!
Wash hands with pure chemical free soap. Antibacterial soaps contain toxic chemicals and lead to bacterial resistance. Purchase healthy alternatives without the toxins! Clean hands are still obtained with good warm water and soap.
Teach children to sneeze into their elbows. This keeps their hands clean and prevents the spread of germs.
Deal with stress effectively. If your child is feeling overwhelmed by stress, his or her body will not have the reserves it needs to fight infection. Help your child take the time to relax, walk, dance, talk, sing, listen to music, or whatever it takes to give them the release they need.
So parents, the bottom line here is to keep the immune system strong and healthy to ward off all this cold and flu stuff. But if your child does get tagged by the bug, talk to an Integrative Practitioner, because if a cold and flu are treated right away with things like diet, homeopathics, herbals and osteopathic treatments, the duration of the illness can be shortened substantially.