By Cindy Wechsler, APRN
Kids generally suffer from ten colds a year. The majority of their illnesses occur during the
winter season. Though we have had a pretty mild winter up to this point, winter is still upon us
for several more weeks and we are in the height of Flu season. Keeping kids healthy is always a
challenge, however, there are several measures you can take to stay ahead of the germs.
First and foremost, eliminate added sugar from your child’s diet. Consuming processed sugar
can tax the immune system by putting your white blood cells into a coma for several hours. The
white blood cells are our bodies defense against bacteria and viruses. Therefore, offer fruits to
satisfy any sweet cravings. Fruits are loaded with immune boosting vitamins and minerals as
well as keep our bodies hydrated.
Vitamin D in addition to supporting growth of bone and teeth has an impact on our immune
system as well. The main source of vitamin D is the sun. Needless to say, most people are
deficient in vitamin D during the winter season. Other sources of vitamin D include salmon,
herring and sardines, cod liver oil, tuna (light is preferable as it has less mercury), oysters,
shrimp, egg yolk (preferably pasture raised), mushrooms and fortified foods such as cow’s milk,
orange juice, cereal and oatmeal.
Drinking plenty of water to keep our bodies well hydrated is very beneficial. Water helps our
flush out waste products and toxins. We tend not to be as thirsty during the colder weather
thus we often do not realize we are dehydrated. Thirst actually happens once our bodies have
already become depleted. Drinking half your weight in ounces of water a day is generally the
rule of thumb.
Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your daily diet will provide many important vitamins,
minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that have enormous healing powers. Not only do
they support the immune system, they to detoxify our bodies, reduce inflammation and keep
us strong. Be sure to eat the color of the rainbow every day. Each color has added benefits
Exercise and sleep are important when we think about staying healthy. Our bodies repair
during sleep and exercise keeps our blood circulating.
Most germs are spread through droplets in the air that we inhale through our nose and mouth.
Xlear, a saline solution with the added benefit of xylitol and grapefruit seed extract is useful in
keeping our nasal passages free of germs. Xylitol acts as an antimicrobial, kills germs and
grapefruit seed extract has anti-inflammatory properties.
Here are some other natural remedies to have on hand:
To learn more about Cindy Wechsler, APRN or to book an appointment, call 203-916-4600.