Everybody knows that kids pick up germs just about everywhere they go. Their little hands touch everything, and then they seem to end up in their mouth, nose, or eyes. As we’ve learned through the novel coronavirus, touching your face gives germs a gateway into your body.
One way to protect your child from germs and potential illness or infection is to boost their immune system. If their tiny bodies become efficient germ-fighting machines with their own immunity armor, then they’re on their way to being ready to face the world.
It’s never too late to go all-in when it comes to keeping your child as healthy as can be. Here are some great ways to naturally support your little one’s immune system.
How the Immune System Works
The way your immune system works is really remarkable. There are essentially two different types of immune responses in your body and, together, they have three big tasks to do.
♦ Fight disease-causing germs. This is where they ward off viruses like the coronavirus, parasites, fungi, and bacteria.
♦ Neutralize environmental hazards. Not only does your immune system fight off toxins from the environment, but it’s also in charge of recognizing them and determining if they’re a threat or not.
♦ Fight disease-causing changes in the body. One of the really important roles your immune system has is fighting negative changes in your body’s cells. More specifically, we’re talking about cancer cells, and the healthy body’s natural immune response is to eliminate those “contaminated” cells.
Two Types of Immune Systems
The two functions of the immune system are so different and distinct that they’re considered two subsystems. These subsystems don’t really have separate identities, though they do have different jobs, and they’re always working together to ensure your health.
♦ Innate immune system. The innate immune system is your first line of defense. It’s the one that fights germs that enter the body through your skin or digestive system.
♦ Adaptive immune system. The adaptive immune system is truly remarkable. It’s your body’s way of fighting an illness you’ve already encountered in the past by creating antibodies. This is why people who get chickenpox once typically won’t get it again. Not only that, but your adaptive immune system is always changing, so it not only fights off the virus you’ve had but it can also ward off many adaptations and changes within that virus.
Boosting Your Child’s Immune System, Naturally
Of course, you want to support immune health in your child, and in yourself, for that matter. Immune health is definitely in the news and on your radar, for a good reason. The best news is that there are things you can do to support immune health and boost it. Even better news, the following list of tips for immune health is focused on natural sources so that you can feel good about all of it.
1. Healthy Eating
Healthy foods are great for your body in so many different ways. This is no secret, and it’s become even more important and over the years. A diet that’s packed with fast food, grease, sugar, and additives doesn’t give your system what it needs to thrive. This is especially true in a child’s growing body.
If your diet focuses on immune-boosting foods, then there are definitely some you can load up on. These foods are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and other key nutrients essential for immune health. Today, a lot of attention is being paid to vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc. This powerful triad is fantastic for your immune system, and healthy, plant-based foods that contain these also have a lot of other beneficial nutrients. Try eating more:
♦ Citrus fruits
♦ Bell peppers
♦ Wheat germ
♦ Sweet potatoes/yams
While plant-based foods get a lot of attention when it comes to immune health and good nutrition, they’re not the only options. You can also add more of these foods to your diet:
♦ Oily fish
♦ Dark chocolate
♦ Lean beef
♦ Pumpkin seeds
When it comes to healthy eating, a great way to maintain a healthy immune system is with supplements, like Live Conscious’ Kids Elderberry Immune Gummy. These gummies are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and powerful elderberry extract. If getting your child to eat foods that are good for them is a chore, you can take a short cut by incorporating key immunity-boosting nutrients through supplements. Designed just for kids, Live Conscious makes immune health a priority.
2. The Microbiota
Going hand-in-hand with what your kids are eating is their body’s microbiota. Having a healthy gut and a digestive system that’s got the right mix of friendly bacteria is important for health and immunity. Your body’s microbiome plays a big role in immunity, and you might see a significant decrease in immunity and illness resistance if there’s a gut imbalance. This can be a tricky area because your child might have other issues going on.
Before putting them on a probiotic, try incorporating more foods with healthy bacteria in them (like yogurt and kefir) or speak with their doctor to discuss symptoms.
3. Sleep and Rest
Being well-rested can play a huge role in the health of your immune response. The simple truth is that anyone who isn’t getting enough sleep is depriving their bodies of the rest they need to be healthy. But it goes beyond sleep.
Well-rested doesn’t just mean getting around eight hours of sleep at night. It also means having a sense of calm and peace in your life. If your child is anxious or dealing with fears on a regular and consistent basis, maybe they’re not rested enough. Their immune system is constantly in a fight or flight state as they navigate stress. Finding ways to eliminate or alleviate stress goes a long way toward immune health.
4. Handwashing and Hygiene Habit
Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to get rid of germs before they become a problem. The problem is that kids just don’t like to do it correctly – usually, they’re in a hurry to play. If you can teach your kids to handwash effectively, you’ll do a lot for their immune system.
Of course, there’s more to hygiene than just handwashing. Make sure they’re also taught how to use a tissue, sneeze into their elbow, cover coughs, and if you can get them to stop touching their faces, you’re way ahead of the game.
Interestingly, there have been a few studies that suggest that exercise helps a child’s immune system. So your parents were right all along. Turn off the TV, put down the screen, and get outside to run and play. There are so many benefits to exercise for children, and their immune system is another way they benefit from moving around. In addition, if a healthy approach to exercise involves family, kids love it and think of it as just plain fun.
Waking Up To Wellness
There are so many wonderful ways you can boost your child’s immune system naturally. The best part is that if you participate, you’ll boost your immune system, too. A healthier, happier family is the ultimate result, and it’s so worth the effort.
The first thing you can do to really make a huge difference in immune health is to focus on foods packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy. Most of these foods are plant-based, but not all of them. If this is difficult, and you think your child is still missing some key nutrients, try Live Conscious’ Kids Elderberry immune gummies for nutritional support.
If you suspect that there’s an additional imbalance, it’s best to talk to their doctor about the next steps. Your child’s doctor will probably discuss sleep and stress, as these are important for a healthy body and mind, which can lead to a strong immune system.
Teaching your child about handwashing can help remove germs before they become an issue, and it will help develop good hygiene practices that will benefit everyone in the long run.
Finally, go out and play. Physical activity and exercise are great for you and your kids. It’s also important for your child’s growth, development, and immune health. Teaching them that exercise is fun today can lead to a healthier life in the future.