You’ve heard about probiotics but have you heard of prebiotics? Prebiotics are soluble fibres that feed probiotics.
Benefits of probiotics
- Increase the number of good bacteria in the intestine.
- Improve the bowel of people suffering from constipation and diarrhoea.
- Reduce intestinal inflammation.
- Increase mineral absorption.
So why eat leeks? Because it contains a lot of probiotics! Leeks improve digestive health and reinforce the immune system.
Here are more foods that contain prebiotics: artichokes, chicory root, onion, garlic, banana, tomato, barley, flax seeds.
Top 3 on health products and the immune system
Vitamin D is essential to prevent colds and flu. It is a necessary vitamin that is rare in our food. We produce it by exposing our skin to the sun. With an exposition of 10-15 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week, of our hands and face to the sun, we can reach our maximal level of vitamin D but this principle does not apply during the winter and with sunscreen. So a vitamin D supplement is essential during the winter.
The intestine produces 70% of the immune cells of the body and 90% of its antibodies. Probiotics help obtain healthy intestines and intestinal flora. This flora stimulates the immune system by reinforcing its immune response.
- A capsule containing 50 billion probiotics equals, in terms of bacteria, 115 jars of yoghurt.
- A good intestinal flora prevents foreign and harmful bacteria.
- Probiotics help restore intestinal flora after taking antibiotics.
- Probiotics avoid or limit the symptoms of gastroenteritis.
- Several studies have shown a decrease in respiratory infections in children.
The quality of probiotics could be problematic. These bacteria are alive, fragile, and their conservation is difficult. Since there are many companies on the market, choose wisely or seek advice from a licensed naturopath.
Astragalus, Astragalus membranaceus
It is a root that deeply tones the immune system (increases the production of white blood cells, interferon, macrophages, lymphocytes, red blood cells). It is a nutritious plant rich in antioxidants that supports the body in its quest for balance.
In China, astragalus is traditionally used in food, especially in soups, as tonics. It is a plant that should be used in the long term to reach its full effect. The best way to use astragalus is decoction. Its taste is nice and slightly sweet. You can also buy astragali glycerine called Deep Immune of the company Sr-Francis herbs.
- Simmer 6 to 15 grams in half a litre of water or add it to a soup, as the base.
Many things can be put in place to help your child and yourself go through the cold season. The base will always be a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle but adding some vitamin D and probiotics can truly make a difference. If you believe you could use specific advice for your child, do not hesitate to contact a licensed naturopath.