5 Back To School Flu Prevention Tips

With kids back to school, flu season is top of mind for many parents. While you can't prevent these viruses from making their fall appearance, a healthy diet can bolster the immune system, making it better prepared to respond. The right nutrients and supplements may also help ease cold and flu symptoms for a more mild flu season, whether or not you're of back to school age.

Around Halloween, the first snowfall combined with the sugar rush of October 31 sets many of us up for a spate of colds and flu that come and go through the winter. But starting now with the proper boost to your immune system, you may just be able to avoid, or at least minimize the impact of the flu season.

Check out these tips useful now, as kids are back to school, and all flu season long!

1. Proper hygiene – Wash hands regularly with soap and hot water and use a neti pot to clean out the sinuses when needed.

Read more about hot to reduce the spread of germs

2.  Immune-boosting supplements – Vitamin C, vitamin D, probiotics, essential fatty acids and garlic are great to help build a strong and healthy immune system.

3. Limit Sugar Intake – We all know that sugar is not good for us for a number of reasons. However, did you know that glucose and vitamin C compete for uptake? The more sugar we eat, the less we are able to absorb vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the activity of our white blood cells and helps to build our immune system. Sugar also causes a rapid rise in insulin, which, over time, can contribute to a weakened immune system. And, on top of it all, sugar can suppress your immune system for up to 48 hours, which means you become more susceptible to catching a virus. 

4. Avoid Food Sensitivities – When we eat foods we are particularly sensitive to, the immune system in our digestive tract is called into action. When these foods are being consumed on a regular basis, this means our immune system is constantly active and turned on. You might think that active immunity is a good thing – and it is. However, when our immune system is busy dealing with food sensitivities in the gut, this means it is less available for dealing with other environmental allergens such as the cold and flu virus. If you are unsure about your unique food sensitivities, speak with your health care provider about your options for diagnosis and treatment.

5. Get Enough SleepOptimal sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. The repair of cells and the balancing of hormones, which are responsible for maintaining the integrity our immune system, both occur primarily at night, while sleeping.  The physical repair of body tissues occurs best between the hours of 10pm-2am – so, better to get to bed earlier than rely on sleeping in or napping.

Read more about how omega-3s can help kids sleep

*Talk to your healthcare provider about natural alternatives to preventing the flu as well as using herbal medicines, homeopathy and supplements to boost your family’s immune system naturally. 

Image: Aikawa Ke

By Louise Picot| September 16, 2014
Categories:  Care

About the Author

Louise Picot

Louise Picot

Louise Picot is a writer and regular contributor to Naturally Savvy.

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