Fall and winter are beautiful seasons, who doesn’t like to wear cozy clothes and enjoy the warmth of home? Unfortunately, drastic temperature changes, the absence of adequate ventilation, and a weak immune system put our bodies to the test, and in particular, our children’s.
However, there are many ways to boost immune system and prepare the body in a natural way. Every day we are surrounded by bacteria and viruses threating our health, and that’s OK is part of how the body creates defends against pathogens, the real problem is when the immune system is weak and cannot respond properly to those threats.
There are simple steps to get the body ready for this season. NATURE HAS EVERYTHING TO HEAL, fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, etc., It is just matter of eating the correct food, real food, wholefood. It’s just a matter of replacing bad habits with good ones.
- AVOID REFINED SUGAR. The first one and most important of all, we all know the effect of excess sugar consumption in health, either in food or drinks, too much sugar curbs immune system cells (white blood cells). Just drinking 2 and half 12-ounce sodas can reduce the germ-killing availability of white blood cells by 40 percent, the effect begin within 15 minutes and can last for a couple of hours.
- PROBIOTICS. Recently studies have shown that our health’s gut has an effect in all areas of our health. A good way to improve our kids’ gut health is giving them probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that destroy bad bacteria. There are foods with different levels of probiotics, but an excellent source are fermented foods. Some foods with probiotics are yogurt, sourdough bread, some cheeses (Gouda, Swiss, Cheddar and Parmesan), peas, cottage cheese. For yogurt and cottage cheese, make sure it contains “live cultures” as Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium bifidum. Fermented pickles or Sauerkraut, please read labels, always. Jus to be sure it doesn’t contain vinegar, it has to be either pickles or cabbage, salt and water only. Y no deben de someterse al calor, ya que se perderían los probióticos.
- PREBIOTICS. Sounds similar but they are different. Prebiotics are the food for probiotics. If you want to have a health colony of bacteria in your gut, it has to be fed with prebiotics as bananas, barley, apples, flaxseed, onions, asparagus, etc.
- BONE BROTH. Contains important minerals as calcium, magnesium and potassium and improves our immune system. Bone broth can be made using bones and connective tissue from pork, beef, turkey, lamb, chicken, fish, etc. it has shown to protect and heal the mucosal lining of the digestive tract.
- GARLIC, ONION, GINGER. The Allicin, is a sulfur compound produced when garlic is crushed and chopped, reduces inflammation and increases efficiency of antibody production. Onion has high content of antioxidants and sulfur compounds as well. Ginger contains gingerol responsible of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria.
- Excellent source of Vitamin E, and anti-oxidant that protects immune system.
- OILY FISH. Omega 3 has shown to boost immune system by increasing activity of phagocytes, cells that combat harmful bacteria
- Contain anti-oxidants that boost immune system.
- Contain beta-carotene which is converted into Vitamin A protecting skin, our first line of defense from bacteria, viruses and germs.
- OATS AND BARLEY. Both are high in soluble fibre called beta-glucan which has anti-microbial and antioxidant qualities.