As the temperatures drop and cold and flu season sets in, I have begun taking preventative measures to actively build up my family’s immune systems. In a larger family like ours, when one person gets sick – we all do! And who has time for that, am I right?! So it’s crucial to do what we can to avoid illness altogether. Prevention is always better that treatment. So much of healthy living is common sense that we are taught early on. Eat well, get enough sleep, drinks lots of water, exercise, minimize stress, wash your hands regularly. But what about the other things we can do to build healthy immune systems? The things that aren’t exactly common sense?
I am well-known in my circle of family and friends for being pretty “crunchy” and am often asked about our approach to natural, holistic health and wellness. I never claim to have all the answers (or any answers for that matter!) and my health and wellness education remains ongoing. But I have figured out several things that seem to work well for my family, and I’m delighted to share with you to see if they will work well for you and yours! Here is a list of 5 ways I like to naturally boost my family’s immune function all year long – but especially around this time of year!
1. Elderberry Syrup
Elderberries are rich in vitamins A, B and C, antioxidants and amino acids, all of which help fight against diseases by boosting immunity. Taking a few spoonfuls every day can not only prevent you from falling ill, but also reduce the severity and duration of illness if you do become sick. You can buy elderberry syrup pre-made or make your own at home much more cheaply. I like to use THIS recipe.
Did you know that 75% of your immune system is in your gut?! Having balanced bacteria and gut flora plays a key role in optimal immune function, but most of us don’t have healthy gut flora. Those who lead sedentary lifestyles or whose diets are high in processed, refined foods and sugars are especially at risk for poor gut health. Other than eating yogurt and sauerkraut, we don’t eat a ton of probiotic-rich foods, but we do take a high-quality daily probiotic supplement to help repair and maintain healthy gut flora. THIS is the brand we’ve been loving lately.
3. Bone Broth
Another excellent way to help heal and maintain healthy gut flora is to consume vitamin, mineral and gelatin-rich broth made from the bones of healthy animals, vegetables and spices. I use THIS recipe and have a batch cooking nearly 24/7 in my crockpot. I also like to keep some frozen to use in soups, stews, sauces or even as a tea drink. My girls constantly ask me for broth to drink – it’s very tasty and incredibly healthy!
4. Essential Oils
My family and I were introduced to doTERRA certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils about a year ago and they have become an irreplaceable staple in our daily healthcare regimen. While they have a host of different uses and beneftis, we specifically use doTERRA’s proprietary protective blend, OnGuard, which has been formulated to support healthy immune function. We rub this oil, diluted with a carrier oil, on the bottoms of our feet each night before bed.
5. Vitamin C
Recently we began regularly supplementing with around 500mg per day of a high quality foods-based vitamin C powder to boost our immune health. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. This translates to boosted immunity, cardiovascular health, healing, protection from the negative effects of stress on the body, lowered cholesterol, improved circulation and blood sugar regulation and reduced inflammation.
What are some things you and your family do to boost your own immune function to ward off illness during this time of year? I am always so interested to learn new ways of achieving optimum health for both myself and my family 🙂