Little ones recurrently unwell? Feel like they just get over a bug and then they’re sick again?
Knowledge is power, so when you understand how the immune system works, what compromises and optimises it, then you have more control over your health.
THE FIRST ARM OF OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IS HOUSED IN THE GUT. THE GOOD BACTERIA LOCATED IN THE GUT AND ALL MUCUS MEMBRANES ARE OUR ARMY. IT IS THIS ARMY THAT PROTECT US FROM GETTING UNWELL.
The Gut is said to be the root of all illness, in fact 85 % of our immunity is housed here as good bacteria, therefore if our gut is not functioning optimally then neither is our immunity!!
Our digestive lining is covered with billions and billions of friendly bacteria, these bacteria grab hold of toxins, bacteria, viruses etc and excrete them in the form of our stools! Gut bacteria is depleted by stress, antibiotics, chemicals (i.e. cleaning products, chlorine, fly sprays etc) and processed food/drinks. When our good bacteria is weakened our ‘army’ becomes weak too…our body then struggles to protect us from invaders. The flow on effect is that these bad bacteria and viruses can then take over our bodies and make us sick.
So how do we strengthen our kids immune system (and our own) to be resilient to illness or recover from it???
1. Eat whole foods from nature, avoiding processed or packaged food wherever possible (these foods damage our bodies rather than nourish it). Eat real nutrient dense food that our body can use for fuel. i.e veggies, greens, fruit, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat and wholegrains (non glutenous are best i.e. Millet, Rice, Buckwheat, Corn on the cob)
2. Double your Greens……Green leafy vegetables are an absolute super food when it comes to immunity. They feed the good bacteria. Greens feed our army making them strong! Try to include greens at every meal. The easiest way to get greens into kids is through smoothies, so add a green smoothie in every day and notice the benefits. (See previous posts on how to get your kids to eat their greens)
- 1 lemon (optional)
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 teaspoon of spirulina
- 3 dates
- 2 bananas
- 750mls of water
- 1 handful of ice
- Blend and Serve
- Makes 4 smoothies
3. Eat mushrooms. Mushrooms have profound medicinal properties, they alert our immune system to invasion from parasites, bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells (cancer). Eat raw or cooked either one is fine, just get them in!!!
4. Bone broths are traditional broths/soups made from slow cooking bones/joints etc of animal bones (chicken, fish, beef, lamb) This process extracts minerals, collagen and gelation from the joints and bones into the broth. Mineral salt is also added. Bone broths help to heal our gut lining so good bacteria can grow and thrive in our digestive tract. Broths also help to heal leaky gut syndrome, stopping toxins leaching into our blood stream (causing allergies and autoimmune conditions)
5. Have fermented food daily….now that the gut lining is strengthened with the broth and you have nutrient dense whole foods in place, introduce fermented foods such as coconut kefir, coconut yogurt, kombucha and sauerkraut. These foods bring the good bacteria (our army) back in to repopulate the digestive tract so it can once again function optimally and protect our bodies. Remember the more good bacteria you have the stronger your Army/immune system will be.
6. Take good quality supplements. It is important to have a good multivitamin to bridge the gap between the nutrition coming in and the actual nutrition required by our bodies. Also take a course of probiotics to really strengthen the good bacteria. Cod-liver oil for vitamin D and A as they are essential for immunity (make sure it is tested and proven to be clear of mercury) and Organic Flaxseed oil . Taking vitamin C is also very helpful at really knocking down those horrible bugs once they have entered our blood stream.
- If your child is sick its important to support their bodies with fluids and cooling measures and rest.
- Allow them time to recuperate, don’t send them back to school/kindy straight away, let them have a day or two to regain their strength otherwise their immunity will again be faced with an onslaught of bugs when its at its lowest.
- Rest and nourishing food is essential to rebuilding our bodies to optimal wellness.
Good luck for the rest of winter and let me know how you get on
x x x x
IMMUNE BOOSTING POACHED CHICKEN STOCK
- 1 Whole Organic Chicken
- 6 stalks of celery chopped
- 1 onion quartered
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
- A few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, or other herbs (remove after cooking)
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- Place Chicken in large pot, add all ingredients. Cover with filtered water (around 4 – 5 litres) Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer for about and hour and 20 mins.
- Remove chicken, allow to cool and shred meat.
- Place shredded meat back with soup .
- Eat soup at least regularly when unwell and several times a week when well to keep immunity high
Registered Nurse | Nutritionist | Health Coach
Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition Ltd