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Support your child’s immune system naturally

Your child’s immune system undergoes a massive amount of change in the first few years of life and is sensitive to both internal and external factors.

Helping to support your child’s immune system so they are resilient and can bounce back rapidly and become stronger.

How can we do this naturally?

Through proper diet and lifestyle and targeted nutritional support. A healthy diet and lifestyle are the basis of a healthy immune system.

This is where real food, connection to people and our environment, moving our bodies daily and getting good quality sleep plays a crucial role.

Daily habits

  1. Colours – eat as many as possible every day. Fruit and vegetables that is… not skittles!!! Colourful fruit and veg are full of antioxidants that help soak up those free radicles.
  2. Get rid of simple sugars in the home – within 30 minutes of chomping down that sweet treat full of refined sugars your bodies ability to fight off viruses and bacteria is decreased by 50%. This lasts for 5 hrs. The function is carried out by the white blood cells known as macrophages.
  3. Increase antiviral foods – add some garlic, thyme ginger, oregano, green tea, walnuts, pomegranate, shitake mushrooms (plus other medicinal mushrooms).
  4. Boost your macrophages (the white blood cells that fight viral infections) with moderate exercise. Intense exercise has shown to temporarily decrease immune function.
  5. Sleep Sleep Sleep – get a good amount of quality sleep. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium are known to impact sleep. Including foods rich in calcium and magnesium may be beneficial.
  6. Stress – both physical and emotional stress lead to an increase in inflammation in the body. This means a decrease in the ability of our white blood cells to kill bacteria and viruses and an increase in inflammatory cytokines. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system (our fight or flight response) and prepares our body to fight. On the other hand stress slows down our parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for our healing. The parasympathetic nervous system calms and restores supporting long term health and resilience. Breathing exercises are a wonderful way to support and activate our parasympathetic nervous system. Other techniques such as practicing gratitude, journaling and mindfulness.
  7. Look after the good guys in your gut– the microbiota in the gut plays a significant role in regulating the immune response. Many probiotics mediate an immunoregulatory effect by supporting the mucosal and intestinal epithelial cells. Studies have shown probiotics enhance innate immunity and modulate inflammation caused by pathogens.

Want more specific help? Please make an appointment to speak with our Naturopath Melanie. She is available for consults face-to-face and via telehealth.

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