Oh my goodness it’s that time of year again, how did that sneak up so quickly? And yet, it’s as if we were counting down the days until life would return to a more normal routine. This year, like the last, we’re focused on kid’s immune systems as they head back to school. How do we keep our kids healthy while this pandemic rages on? Masking in schools and hand sanitizing is continuing, these can help manage exposure to the virus, but in the end, for all of us, it’s what’s happening on the inside that counts. Robust healthy immune systems and bodies that are not inflamed are the key to getting through this year well.
“I spent the last school year plying my kids with vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics and guess what? They had their healthiest year ever, (improved hygiene helped too). But, full disclosure, my youngest daughter had covid in the spring and I didn’t even know she had it. Her only symptom was a headache that lasted less than a day and I had attributed it to a strained neck from gymnastics. She bounced back and had no other symptoms. FYI, I never caught it.”– Dr. Sagan
What we want you to know, is that building up your kids with; antioxidants, vitamins, probiotics, good sleep routines and healthy diets is your best defense. Here are some of our favourite nutrients for the immune system.
Nutrients For Immune Support
Zinc is used in over 250 different enzymatic processes in the body, it stimulates our white blood cells, helps with hormonal function and plays into our sense of taste and smell.
Vitamin D is important in immune health and mood. Hopefully, you got lots of sunlight this summer to build up your natural vitamin D stores. We are now heading into shorter days and this leads to less vitamin D production as well. Supplementing with Vitamin D is a must when you live in Canada. If you’ve never had your vitamin levels tested, we would recommend it this year.
Alberta Health Services will no longer cover vitamin D testing, so this is a paid for blood test, getting tested now can let you know whether you have good levels going into the winter. Testing later in the winter will let you know if you’ve been taking enough to keep your levels up. When it comes to covid-19, there have been some promising studies showing a positivecorrelation to vitamin D levels and better health outcomes.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and is well known for it’s immune boosting properties. We can work on increasing our vitamin C containing foods with things like; berries, citrus, and peppers, but mega dosing with vitamin C is our favourite way to get rid of that tickle in your throat or little sniffle before it becomes a full blown cold.
Pascoleucynimmune booster—is a homeopathic combination remedy that we have used in practice for over 15 years for the prevention of colds and flu. It works to boost immune functionagainst bacteria and viruses. It’s an easy to take, oral treatment that we recommend using once a month or at least twice during the cold and flu season. The best part is that it is safe for the whole family. Probiotics— help our immune system by building up our gut health, 70-80% of our immune tissue is in our digestive tract! Good guts equals good immunity.
Vitamin A or beta carotene– is a nutrient that has also been shown to support immune function, skin, vision and has anti-oxidant properties. There are many good food sources of this vitamin that include: spinach, carrots,sweet potatoes, turnips and red peppers. Please see a tasty recipe below to help include some of these in your diet. Cod liver oil is another traditional way to get vitamin A and some vitamin D, in the ratios that are good for absorption and is great for kids.
Did you Know? We now have chewable gummies for Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Chewable tablet probiotics for Kids. We’ve tried them all and think they taste great! These are effective for adults too.
Dr. Rebecca Sagan, ND and Dr. Hajnalka Pinter, ND