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6 Ways to Support Your Family’s Immune Systems

This cold and flu season, here are some simple things you can do to help prevent the dreaded sniffles and shivers.

6 Ways to Support Your Family’s Immune Systems
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Kids are back to school and with their immune systems still developing, it means they’re more likely to bring viruses and other bugs home. While there is some inevitability that you will have a few sniffles during the winter months, you don’t have to spend the whole season sick in bed. There are plenty of natural and easy ways to support your family’s immune systems (and yours, too) that don’t involve taking handfuls of supplements daily or forking out tons of money. Read on for some serious, practical support.

Natural immune support

We’re all looking for ways to boost our odds of staying healthy and many parents swear by natural remedies to ward off illness and help manage symptoms.

Astragalus is an adaptogenic flowering plant that is believed to stimulate the immune system. It’s one of two active ingredients in St. Francis Herb Farm’s Deep Immune® For Kids, a mild-tasting tonic for kids two and up. The formula also includes codonopsis, an herb that boosts energy and immunity. The tincture is taken twice a day in a bit of water or juice. There is also an adult Deep Immune® formula to keep parents healthy.

Certain natural formulas can also help reduce and shorten the duration of symptoms when kids do get sick. When a cold hits, St. Francis Herb Farm has options for managing symptoms, including Elderberry Cough Syrup, which integrates wild cherry bark, honey and essential oils to ease sore throats, and Chest Rub Kids, a mix of aromatic oils that can help relieve cold symptoms with a soothing touch.

Echinacea is another herbal supplement that has been shown to reduce the duration or severity of colds, so it’s worth looking into. St. Francis Herb Farm offers two formulas: one for infants and kids that has a kid-friendly flavour and one for everyone two and up.

Be sure to always consult your healthcare practitioner before incorporating new natural health products into your family health routine.

6 Ways to Support Your Family’s Immune Systems

Eat well

Whole foods are the best way to nourish your body. This means eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, including lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Bread is fine, but look for whole-grain so your family can benefit from the fibre it provides. Don’t forget to include good sources of calcium: these can be dairy products, non-dairy alternatives and even vegetables like kale.

Take your Vitamin D

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It can be hard to get enough vitamin D through diet alone, but this vitamin is a key part of building a healthy immune system. It regulates the activity of immune cells and helps fight bacteria and viruses. Invest in a good vitamin D supplement and take it all year long, but especially in the winter when we generate less of this vitamin as a result of decreased sun exposure. St. Francis Herb Farm makes a Vitamin D3 supplement for infants and kids and a formula for anyone over the age of two. Both are made with coconut oil and antioxidant-rich, natural rosemary extract.

Stay active

When it’s cold out, it can be hard to get moving. Whether you brave the elements for a walk, skate or toboggan ride, or do a fun dance workout at home, kids should be getting an hour of physical activity each day to keep their immune systems healthy—and it’s a definite plus for adults.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential for keeping our bodies well-rested and ready to fight off infections. Incorporate a good nighttime routine to encourage better sleep, including activities such as turning off screens and bright lights an hour before bedtime, taking a warm bath, reading calming stories, cuddling in bed or doing all of these if time allows.

This article was originally published on Jan 23, 2024

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