Recurrent infections in children

Did you ever consider strengthening your child’s immune system to prevent the infections that will inevitably come with the next winter? Here are a few basic principles to give your child an unbeatable immune system.

The foundation of a good immune system

Air quality
Far from being futile, pure air is the first natural health factor. Without pure air, we develop breathing problems and diseases. Pure air means, of course, air without cigarette smoke but it also means ventilated air. It is necessary to renew indoor air in your house and classroom, even during the winter. There are more and more air exchangers but not all of the apartments are equipped with one yet.

  • Open your windows every day; let some fresh air come in for 5 minutes.
  • Purify ambient air with an essential oil diffuser: use eucalyptus radiata, which disinfects with its antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Water quality
Have you ever noticed that tap water smells like bleach? Although water is clear, all waters are not equal. Water is essential to several biochemical transformations in our body. Currently, our municipalities evaluate the presence of bacteria to determine whether the water is drinkable or not. Its pH and mineral concentration are not evaluated.

  • Opt for filtered water, there are several filtration systems (Brita, Santevia); choose wisely.
  • Drink water at room temperature or your body will have to spend unnecessary energy to heat the liquid.
  • Encourage your children to drink water instead of juice.
  • Offer water before breakfast, it helps the body rehydrate.

Physical activity and rest
Nobody is against virtue, everyone agrees that you must move in order to be healthy. Sports help the immune system by improving blood circulation. Cells and other substances of the immune system (white blood cells) can then circulate more easily in the body. Let’s not neglect rests either, as it is essential to a good immune system. Nothing beats a good night’s rest to recharge your batteries.

  • Move, dance with your children and go play outside.
  • Make sure that your child has quiet moments before going to bed as well as enough sleeping time.
Eating well to strengthen your immune system
  • Avoid sugar as much as you can; sugar weakens your immune system. Do not forget the hidden sugar in juices and morning cereals.
  • Make sure that your child has sources of good fats: olive oil, coco butter, seeds and nuts for breakfast.
  • Plan 2 and even 3 meals of fish per week. Children love sardines; it is an excellent last-minute plan.
  • Prefer vegetables in all its forms: soup, puree, steamed, sautéed.
  • Use mushrooms: shiitakes, oyster, strong immune system tonic.
  • Add garlic, onions and green onions to many recipes. Onion puree is delicious and has a sweet taste.
  • Make sure to get proteins in every meal. Proteins allow the body to produce antibodies. Eggs, ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, fish, tofu, tempeh, legumes and meats are excellent sources of proteins.
  • Add sprouts and shoots to your meals (alfalfa, sunflower sprouts)
  • Offer kefir for breakfast or as a snack to your children; it is a fermented yogurt in which there are many healthy bacteria for your intestine health.

Eat leeks!
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
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.

Probiotic capsules

  • 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.

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