6 Simple Ways to Boost Your Family’s Immune System During Cold/Flu Season

Now that cold and flu season is upon us, you might be wondering what you can do to help your family stay as healthy as possible? Here are 6 simple, yet effective ways for the whole family to boost their immune system:

1. Avoid sugar, especially refined sugars – It is well known that sugar suppresses our immune system. In fact,  “The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours”. ( Sugar’s Damaging Effect on Your Immune System, 2009).  For overall health and wellness avoid sugar in your diet whenever possible.

2. Drink LOTS of water – Drinking water not only helps you stay well hydrated, it helps flush the body of toxins. Having an easy to fill and clean water bottle for each family member helps encourage water consumption.

3. Get adequate sleep– Quality of sleep and quantity of sleep contribute to our general health and well-being. Sleep is when our body heals and restores itself. Getting adequate sleep can actually help the body fight off infection.

4. Eat a ton of greens – Greens such as kale or spinach are loaded with nutrients and powerful antioxidants that support a healthy immune system. Fresh, raw organic greens are best. Have a picky kid who won’t touch veggies? Try sneaking some greens into a fruit smoothie!

5. Increase vitamin C intake – Right now citrus fruit is in season now and is a great source of vitamin C! Plus what kid doesn’t love a sweet, juicy orange? I think my kids ate about 3lbs of oranges today alone. We juice oranges and carrots almost daily, however my kids like to snack on orange slices as well. Another kid-friendly source of vitamin C is Emergen-C. Emergen-C is a powder mix of vitamins that you add to water. I call it juice and my kids will suck it down.

6. Be Active – Even when its cold outside, its important to get lots of active outdoor time. Bundle up and take the dog for a walk or head to your nearest sledding hill. Do something fun together as a family to get that heart rate up and blood pumping!

Here’s to a healthy start to 2013!

-Sarah

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