As we brace ourselves for the cold of winter, many parents are reminded of previous years homebound with sick little ones. How can we stay healthy this year? Here are just a few tips to keep your immune system strong!
Vitamin C intake - Often known as an immune building agent, Vitamin C can help with inflammation and immune agents, but it also does so much else for our body. The water-soluble vitamin helps to absorb the essential mineral iron from our foods as well as serves as an antioxidant. Citrus fruits are great sources of Vitamin C- though opt for the fresh fruits as opposed to the juice that often lacks true fruit and adds on the sugar. Other great sources of Vitamin C to include in your diet are dark leafy green vegetables, broccoli, red peppers, tomatoes, and melons. Vitamin C is rarely seen at toxic levels due to its water-soluble nature but it is still advised to consult your health care professional before taking supplemental form.
Sleep! Sleep is usually the first thing to go as we race through our days and we usually pay the price. Adequate sleep increases the production of certain cytokines that can help reduce infection and inflammation. So how much? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics…
|Under a year||2-16 hours (includes naps)|
|1-2 years old||11-14 hours (includes naps)|
|3-5 years old||10-13 hours|
|6-12 years old||9-12 hours|
|13-18 years Old||8-10 hours|
Hand washing - Can we say that again? People often find it comical to hear me ask my boys if they have washed their hands only to hear “yes we know mom, it’s still flu and pneumonia season!”. It can’t be said enough, but if you want some interesting visuals to back up your nagging check out this simple study published in Parents Magazine.
Chicken Noodle Soup - Yes, there are some studies that show their could be more than the positive memory of warm soup and blankets as a youngster to comfort a cold. It is thought that Chicken Noodle soup can break up mucus production and lend a helping hand to the hard fighting White Blood cells. Throw in a squeeze of lemon juice and increase the vitamin C also!