As the summer days draw shorter and we prepare for the upcoming school year, families are starting to settle back into their daily routines. School supplies have been purchased and new shoes are laced up, but what about your family’s immune systems? Are you ready to take on another winter season of illness and germs?
We know that adding in antibiotics and over-the-counter medicine will help to fight the off invaders causing illness, but they can also damage friendly microorganisms. Go a different route this year and turn to a more natural medicine cabinet to help build back to school immunity. Here are 3 tried and true methods to boost your immune system without any prescription drugs.
Herbs do a body good
Echinacea is a great herbal supplement to help strengthen the body’s natural defenses while attacking invaders. Echinacea can be added to herbal recipes or tonics as a liquid echinacea
, or can be found in pre-made teas
Go pro with probiotics
While we try to avoid nasty, illness-causing bacteria, it’s important not to forget about the “good” bacteria like probiotics, which help build a strong immune system, according to Harvard Medical School studies. Probiotics can help repair deficiencies and increase the number of T-cells, which are an essential defense within our immune systems. Probiotics are present in many of the foods we eat every day, from yogurt and kefir to tempeh, pickles and even dark chocolate. (Yup, now you have an excuse to eat more chocolate!) Some brands like EFFi Foods also make probiotic snack bars that you can grab when you’re on the go!
Get your vitamins
Does your immune system need some new friends? Look no further than vitamins A and C. Vitamin A supports the epithelial cells that make up the membranous tissue covering internal organs and other internal surfaces of the body. When these tissues are deficient in vitamin A, they stop secreting lysozyme, an enzyme that digests detrimental bacteria. To add more to your system, take a water-soluble vitamin A supplement or use beta-carotene. Your body will convert it to vitamin A as needed.
Vitamin C is the most popular immune boosting vitamin — and with good reason. It has been well studied and its health benefits are undeniable. Bacterial infections, viruses and yeast overgrowth increase the need for vitamin C. Not all vitamin C supplements are created equally, though. Many brands contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and artificial dyes. To ensure you and your family are getting a high quality source of vitamin C, try organic brands like these Vitamin C Lollipops or Citrus Drops from Yumearth Organics.
Create healthy habits
Above all, the most effective way to maintain a healthy immune system is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Our diet along with daily stress and activity levels contribute to every aspect of our health, including our immune system. Set an example for your whole family by getting regular exercise and eating well to create healthy habits that will last a lifetime.