Dr. Chelsea Gordon, ND of Purity Integrative Health
Naturopathic Physician, Certified Lactation Educator
Cedar Cross Preschool Mom
We are so fortunate to have a Naturopathic Doctor in our midst! Dr. Gordon was kind enough to put together this blog post to share some of her expertise regarding cold and flu season, and enterovirus in particular as it has made its way into our community.
Sleep: When we don’t get enough sleep our T cells decrease and inflammatory cytokines increase, which puts us at an increased risk of getting sick1. Preschool aged children need between 11-12 hours of sleep per day and adults need a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep per day.
Eat: Remember to eat a colorful diet. Brighter colors increase antioxidants, which improve our immune function. You can get children excited and involved by eating all of the colors of the rainbow. A fun tool is the “Today I ate a Rainbow” chart that gets the whole family involved2.
Exercise: Regular moderate level exercise improves our immune system and helps our body fight off viral and bacterial infections. The CCD recommends Children and adolescents get at least 60 minutes of physical activity3 per day while adults need a minimum of 150 minutes per week for general health.
Wash your hands: It is important to wash your hands prior to eating, after using the restroom, touching your face or mouth and coughing and sneezing. While hand sanitizer may be an effective alternative to hand washing when we are not able to wash our hands however, there is information showing that hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soapy water is more effective than hand sanitizer. Help your kids by singing the ABC’s or another song while washing their hands. 4,5
Supplements to consider for immune support this cold and flu season include:
- Elderberry syrup – Elderberry syrup has been shown to decrease the severity and duration of influenza. 6
- N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) – NAC acts as a mucolytic, thinning mucous as well as having antiviral and antimicrobial properties. A 2010 study showed that NAC decreased replication of the influenza A virus which may be helpful with decreasing the circulation of the virus. 7
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D is important for bone health, mood health as well as immune health. Children may take 1000IU per day while adults can take a minimum of 2000IU.
- Probiotics – Probiotics are well known for digestive health and have immune boosting properties as well.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy Fall and Winter season!