Keeping kids healthy during seasonal changes
It’s that time of year again! The season is changing, the temperatures are dropping and the kids have gone back to school.
In Chinese medicine autumn is the season associated with the Metal element and the Lungs, which are the main organs involved in maintaining a healthy immune system. The lungs are titled the delicate organ because they are directly impacted by our external environment, making them susceptible to invasions such as wind and cold or common cold and flu. Since the metal element is at its peak, this is the perfect time of year to boost our immune systems in order to help prevent the onset of colds and flu, and shorten the length of any illness we may inadvertently succumb to.
It’s often our kids who are exposed to the widest variety of bacteria so it makes sense to start with ensuring their health is in top condition first.
Start with a whole foods diet rich in vegetables, high quality fats and proteins and then add in a lot of play and love.
Be sure your kids are getting adequate sleep and avoiding overindulging in sugar and dairy (bacteria thrive off sugar and dairy creates phlegm).
Wear a scarf and keep warm. As temperatures are dropping we have to protect the body from external invasion of wind and cold. It is said in Chinese medicine that wind and cold enter the body through the neck, giving rise to the common cold and many other internal disharmonies.
Deep breathing, whether through play or gentle breathing exercises, helps the lungs take in the energy they need to support the rest of our body and helps to calm the nervous system.
Supplements to support the immune system
Be sure they include immune supportive strains such as Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium — look for products with multi strains and nondairy sources of bacteria. Healthy gut flora is a cornerstone of healthy immune response.
Probiotic rich foods include kefir, yogurt, kraut, pickles and kimchi. Kids can also take a daily chewable.
The immune system needs Vitamin C to function properly. Adequate vitamin C levels can shorten the duration of illness, especially the common cold.
It is best to give children supplements with meals and to split up the dose throughout the day.
Foods rich in Vitamin C include kale, broccoli, oranges, red peppers, brussels sprouts, berries, kiwifruit and tomatoes.
It is important to be getting adequate amounts of Zinc as it is an extremely important mineral in the development and functioning of the immune system.
Foods rich in zinc include beef, lamb, beans, pumpkin seeds, spinach, mushrooms and garlic.
Deficient Vitamin D levels have been linked to increased susceptibility to infection.
Sunlight: With temperatures changing, time changes and more time spent indoors, this option becomes a little harder to obtain optimal levels.
Foods rich in Vitamin D3 include cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, raw milk and dried mushrooms that have been exposed to natural sunlight.
A delicious syrup that boosts immunity.
A gentle and effective remedy to help kick sickness.
This can be consumed or taken in a tincture.
This sweet little plant makes a wonderful bedtime tea to help kids get restful sleep so that they can recharge. Again, this can be taken as a tea before bed.
And lastly, aim to avoid over the counter medications and antibacterial soaps where possible as they suppress the immune system and lead to antibiotic resistance.
Please come in and check out our fully stocked Farmacy and the Ohana Apothecary for all your back to school needs this fall, and check in with us via social media for announcements of our next TEA (Time, Energy & Attention) party!
Jessica Cerasoli, LAC., RN (BSN) – LICENSED ACUPUNCTURIST at Elevate Wellness Center.
Misty Mcbride, LM, CPM – MIDWIFE/DOULA
Find us at 2034 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe. http://www.elevate-wellness.com
Call us at 530-541-WELL (9355) for appointments and further information.
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