Are you dreading the winter months taking the kids to daycare or school, knowing that the bugs will have started circulating? It only seems a matter of time when kids pick something up and suddenly the whole family have it.
This year, after a long period of masking up and staying at home, being together again could bring its challenges. Staying well is the key. So, what can we do to support our immune system for winter wellness? Clinicians Naturopath, Jane Cronin, shares some wellness tips.
The digestive system plays an important part in immunity. When the airways detect an inhaled bug, they send messages to the gut, so it can relay warning signals to the rest of the body. Digestive health means keeping a healthy bacterial balance, as good bacteria are used to signal the body. Here are some great ways to support healthy bacteria:
- Prebiotics are the food that good bacteria like to eat to flourish. This can come from fibre found in fresh fruit and vegetables and grains.
- Fermented foods introduce healthy bugs – try live yoghurt, water kefir or kombucha.
- Avoid or limit intolerant foods.
- Clinicians Kids Immune Care provides a Lactobacillus rhamnosus CRL1505 probiotic that supports the immune system. The powder sachets can be added to water or milk and kids will love the natural banana taste.
Boost essential vitamins and minerals
Having a good range of vitamins and mineral is always important, but some are more key for immune health. Here are some of the most important ones and where to find them.
- Vitamin C is essential to make our immune cells and can be found in many of our winter fruits and vegetables like kiwifruit, capsicum, green leafy vegetables and citrus fruit.
- Vitamin A is important for maintaining all the linings of our airways so they can fight off inhaled bugs. Vitamin A is often found in orange foods like egg yolk, pumpkin, carrots, kumara and persimmons.
- Zinc is another important mineral that lives in the mucosal surfaces of the airways to fight off bugs. Low zinc also affects our sense of taste and smell, which can result in kids being disinterested in food. Great sources include seafood, fish and seaweed. However, in the winter months adding beans and lentils to soups and stews also adds a boost of zinc.
- Clinicians MultiVitamin & Mineral Boost Powder makes a tasty nutrient-rich drink, with variable dosing for all the family. Add it to water and smoothies.
If your kids do succumb to winter bugs, getting them better as quickly as possible becomes the priority. We have a number of suggestions to help ease discomfort and symptoms like stuffy noses and scratchy throats.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Sweating and keeping mucous from congestion means extra fluids are needed. Increase water and fresh juice rich in vitamin C.
- A favourite over many generations, there are many reasons why chicken soup is often suggested. The warmth of the soup can soothe the throat and help a stuffy nose. It also provides an easy source of nutrients.
- Root ginger in boiling water can help soothe the throat and help with any nausea.
- Lemon and honey drinks have the double benefit of providing some Vitamin C from the lemon while the honey can soothe throats and help relax irritated airways and coughing.
- Reduce consumption of mucous-forming foods such as dairy (milk, cheese, ice-cream, yoghurt), white sugar, processed foods and eggs but include pineapple as it is great for supporting the respiratory system and may reduce the formation of mucous.
- Saltwater gargles can help manage throat bugs.
- Clincians Prospan Bronchial Syrup helps to soothe the throat and clear the airways. It is an alcohol-free ivy leaf syrup and is suitable for all the family including babies.
- Clinicians Kids Nasal Clear is a gentle, non-stinging nasal spray that helps to clear nasal congestion in kids 3 years and over.
The new Clinicians Kids range is available in-store and online exclusively at Pharmacies and Health Stores including:
Dietary supplements are not a replacement for a balanced diet. Always read the label. Use as directed. Do not exceed the recommended daily dose. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Auckland.
This article was written by Kidspot with information supplied by Clinicians.