Ever wonder why as temperatures start to change, the sniffles and sneezing you thought were long gone start to rise again? Flu season is gone, but common cold arrive.
Although the reason behind why we get a cold or flu during cold months is still puzzling doctors, the top theory is that there is something in the virus that makes it become active in cold and dry weather.
“A lot of the viruses that cause the common cold are shown to cause outbreaks more frequently in the early to late spring and early to late fall,” Kittu Jindal Garg, M.D., an internal medicine specialist with the Cleveland Clinic
A key ingredient to keep our children away from doctor’s office not only during winter season but also during spring season, is a healthy functioning immune system. The immune system is responsible for fighting bacteria and viruses in addition to destroying abnormal cells. Our children’s immune system requires closer attention than our own since children are still developing and have not yet been exposed to as many organisms as we have as adults.
The food we feed our kids plays a major role as to how well their immune system functions. There is a theory that due to the lower levels of vitamin D in our bodies during winter (less sun exposure) our immune system is weakened. With a weak immune system, there is a high probability that the virus would make you sick if you encounter it.
Poor nutrition found in processed foods, fast food, lack of vegetables and fruits have been shown to result in increased infections and slow healing of the body.
Promoting a healthy immune system involves given our children nutritious food and some supplements to give it a boost.
What can you do?
Start adding more vegetables and fruits on their lunches, snacks and dinner. Also, minimize their intake of processed foods which usually come in boxes, jars, cans, freezer and drive through.
Whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean meats, seeds and nuts are loaded with nutrients needed to keep our children’s immune system strong and fight off infections. If you have picky eaters, add some vegetables and/or multi-supplement into smoothies or sneak them into ground turkey meat meals and other recipes.
In addition to whole foods, have echinacea drops on hand during cool months. I give my kids a few drops at the onset of sniffles and coughs but only temporary. Echinacea has been shown to fight off bacteria and viruses before sickness takes hold. I also start adding more garlic when cooking and prepare meals with emphasis on broccoli, tomatoes, cantaloupe, cranberries and strawberries as these are loaded with vitamin C.
It goes without saying, wash your hands! According to Dr. Garg, the cold virus can live on human skin for at least two hours.
Add a trail mixed of dark chocolate chips, cranberries and nuts to your kids’ snacks. They will not only be getting vitamin C but also protein!
Make sure dried cranberries and all dried fruit for that matter do not contain any preservatives such as sulfur dioxide and no added sugar. The only ingredient should be the fruit itself.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria which promotes good digestion, boost immune function and increases resistance to infection. Some good choices are fermented foods such as some yogurts, miso, kefir, pickles and probiotics. Look for live cultures in the refrigerated section of the store.
Remember, the key is to start adding more of these foods and supplements now to prevent illness or to lessen the severity of the cold, flu or ear infection if it comes. Making a healthier lifestyle change for you and your family will help promote better health not just in winter months but all year round!
These are the ones I give to my kids:
Any content within bluelightwave.com does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be and should not be used in place of the advice of your physician. Please read full disclaimer
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