Boost Your Immune System with Supplements for Kids & Adults
By Brenna Thompson, MS, RD, LD
December 15, 2016
What’s worse than catching a cold? Taking care of a child who has come down with a cold. It’s that time of year when kids share germs with their classmates at daycare and at school, and then, of course, they bring those germs home to mom and dad. We have found four supplements to help support your entire family’s immune system this winter. Since many small children can’t swallow capsules, we’re highlighting only liquid or powdered supplements, but you can rest assured that we do have capsules available for adults.
It often surprises people to learn that our intestinal tracts play a major (huge!) role in our immune system. In order for both our immune system and intestinal tract to work right, we need lots of good bacteria to protect us. Bifidobacteria are the super heros for our immune system. Studies show, when we have lots of these beneficial bacteria inside our digestive tract, we are less likely to catch a cold or the flu. If you do get sick, bifidobacteria has also been shown to help reduce the severity of the illness. We recommend mixing 1/8-¼ tsp of the NutriKey Bifido Powder into ½ cup of water 2-3x daily for small children and ½ tsp for teens and adults up to 3x per day.
Here in the Midwest, we all know that vitamin D is essential for good moods, but did you know it’s also important for your immune system? Every immune cell in your body has vitamin D receptors. If your vitamin D levels are below 50, we believe you are putting yourself at risk for more infections. The Vitamin D with K2 drops are perfect for the entire family. Infants and small children can be given 1 drop into their mouths every 2-3 days. Older kids can take 1-2 drops daily. Teens and adults should take 2-5 drops daily depending upon their vitamin D levels. We encourage having the Vitamin D test taken at least yearly.
Wellness Herbal Resistance Liquid
Perhaps you have heard that vitamin C and zinc help reduce the severity of a cold. While this is true, we know there are several herbs that can help boost your immune system and attack bacteria and viruses as well. One of these herbs is Echinacea, a relative of the daisy family. During the summer months, you have probably seen it growing all over and will most likely recognize it by its more common name, the Purple Coneflower. An easy way for kiddies to get their benefits of Echinacea is through the Wellness Herbal Resistance Liquid, which also boasts 20 additional herbs to help you fight any nasty invaders. For prevention, we recommend ½ tsp one time per day; however, if you or your child is sick, try increasing the dose to 3x per day. Unlike the bubblegum flavored medications of the past, the liquid Herbal Resistance formula tastes great! Also, because the liquid formula contains honey, it is not recommended for children under the age of 1 year old.
Despite your best efforts, sometimes you still get sick and end up with a bad cough and sore throat. In that case, let us recommend Natranix. This all-natural cough syrup is formulated without any artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, or alcohol; all of which can be found in most over the counter cough syrups. Toddlers can take 1 tsp up to 4x per day. Small children can take 2 tsp and teens to adults can take 1 Tablespoon up to 4x per day.
Here’s another important fact to be aware of, at this time of year. Research has found that sugar and sugary drinks such as juice and soda can reduce your immune function by 50% for several hours. Choose water as the drink of choice for your entire family and especially for your children.
Lastly, if your family is feeling under the weather, let us also suggest making our Chicken Wild Rice Soup. This delicious soup will help everyone stay hydrated, nourished and give them the protein and vitamin C they need to feel better fast.
For more information on children’s health, listen in to our Dishing Up Nutrition podcast on Mineral Deficiencies in Children and Adults or take our online class Foods to Build Happy, Focused Kids. Additional podcasts focused on immune system health include Strengthening Your Immune System and Smart Nutrition for Better Immune Function.