With September here, kids are now back at school. One of the best ways to prepare them for the next chapter in their lives is to send them off with a strong immune system. A healthy immune system will support them during the stress and excitement of a new school year, and also for the upcoming cold and flu season.
Children’s immune systems are still developing up until eight years of age, and many are building up resistance to germs by actually getting sick in the first place. When kids are at school or day care, they are exposed to lots of brand new pathogens, through sneezing, coughing, handholding, and lots of close interaction. That’s why many children so often bring home new infections. The best tips to protect children from germs include making sure they eat a healthy diet (including protein at breakfast every morning, instead of breakfast that contains mostly sugar and empty carbs), ensuring they wash their hands frequently, and get adequate sleep.
Supplements for children can also play an integral role in helping them build and maintain a stronger immune system. Vitamin C and zinc are well-know immune-boosters, but so are probiotics and medicinal mushrooms, all of which are safe for children.
Medicinal mushrooms are under-appreciated in the arsenal against the common cold, even though they have powerful immune modulating and enhancing properties. Choose a blend that contains extra beta-glucans, components present in mushrooms that contribute to the many amazing health benefits that mushrooms can offer. Beta glucans are simple polysaccharides (sugar/carbohydrate molecules) that boost the activity of macrophages (white blood cells that fight foreign invaders). Medicinal mushrooms promote long-term immune health by boosting “killer cell” activity, enabling long term, peak immune function.
New research suggests that most of our immunity resides in our intestinal tract. The medical community now believes that 70 — 80% of the immune system is actually located in the digestive system, serving as the front line battlefield where beneficial bacteria and immune cells target and attack harmful bacteria and pathogens. By supplementing with probiotics, the good bacteria, you can help your immune system to stay strong and alert, and improve digestive function as well.
Help your child stay healthy throughout the year by supplementing a healthy diet with probiotics, medicinal mushrooms, multi-nutrients, and fish oil. If they start coming down with a cold, supplement with child doses of vitamin C and zinc. Although getting them to take supplements may be a struggle, they will thank you in the long run with better moods, improved school performance, and of course, a stronger immunity, all of which can have long lasting benefits throughout their lives.
Dr. Isaac Eliaz, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine since the early 1980's, is a respected author, lecturer, researcher, product formulator and clinical practitioner.
Since 1991 Dr. Eliaz has maintained a busy private practice in northern California that focuses primarily on integrative, holistic protocols for cancer patients. He leads an integrative medical team at Amitabha Clinic in Sebastopol, California with focus on cancer and other chronic ailments.
To learn more, please visit www.dreliaz.org.
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