Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Preparing for Cold and Flu Season

Well, it's October and I'm already getting emailing from friends and family who are sick - yikes!  Cold and flu season is upon us!!  And, unfortunately, all the candy consumption at Halloween only seems to escalate things.

I'm already preparing our family and working hard to strengthen our immune systems through a healthy diet and various supplements.  Every family will look a little different in terms of what works for them, but I thought I would give you all a list of some of the things that I am doing for our family.

1) Limiting sugar consumption!  I know that it is nearly impossible to keep candy away from kids during Halloween, but we will be limiting the amount of candy my son has and I am working to keep him away from other sweets in the meantime.  Eating sugar lowers your immune system functioning and makes you more susceptible to sickness, especially within the 4-8 hour time frame of consumption.

2) Incorporating bone broths in our diet.  I try to have plenty of homemade stock in the freezer ready to use.  We drink it plain, add it to soups, or cook it up in rice.  If you can find a farmer and have access to organic chicken feet, then add those to your broth.  They add a nice healing boost!

3) Consuming fermented foods (rich in probiotics).  I try to ferment foods on a regular basis to have plenty of probiotic rich foods on hand.  Probiotics are great for helping to strengthen the immune system.  One of the best to have on hand is 10 week fermented sauerkraut.  If you make this anaerobically, you will have an amazing, inexpensive source of probiotics.  If you are not able to make fermented foods at this time, considering buying some high quality probiotics.  I use Udo's for all of us.  

4) Elderberry Syrup.  I keep a big bottle of homemade elderberry syrup on hand through the winter.  We take a dose almost daily.  It's very easy to make, delicious, and a great immune builder.  You can also buy it, but it's much cheaper to make your own.  HERE is the link to my recipe.  This is very kid friendly!  It's a great chaser for fermented cod liver oil.

5) Daily fermented cod liver oil.  Fermented cod liver oil is one of the best supplements you can take in my opinion.  It is an excellent source of vitamins A and D.  Taking it fermented, preserves the maximum nutritional benefits.  You can read more about it HERE, where I order mine.  You can get it in capsules or flavored liquid.  I have had no problems having my son take his, especially when he gets a chaser of elderberry syrup.

6)  Vitamin C.  I like to have plenty of vitamin C on hand for either daily dosing, or dosing when I think sickness is coming on.   I like my supplements to come from natural sources, so I use Dr. Bob Marshall's version.  I have been using his supplements for years and I highly recommend them.

7) Bovine Colostrum.  I keep powdered colostrum on hand for times when we are either feeling sick, under stress, or going to be in crowds.  This is another good immune booster.  It comes in capsules or powder.  For children, small doses can be added to things like applesauce or yogurt.  I use Dr. Bob Marshall's colostrum.

8) Echinacea.  Echinacea is a great general bug fighter.  I always have this one hand.  For my son, I use the Herbs for Kid's version.  For my husband and myself, I have the dried root and leaf on hand to make teas and have also made my own tincture, as it is more cost efficient.  This herb can be purchased inexpensively from Mountain Rose Herbs (link on the right side of my blog).  If we are going to be in crowds or around germs, I give a dose the day before, day of, and day after.  If we are sick, I dose us for at least a week.

Herbs for Kids Sweet Echinacea 4 fl oz
Photo Credit: mynaturalmarket.com

While it would be difficult to cover every herb and supplement I have on hand, these are a few good standbys to start with this fall and winter.

What are some of your favorite standbys?

(I am an affiliate for Mountain Rose Herbs.  I only recommend companies and products that I use.  Using the link I provide helps to support the upkeep of this blog.  Thank you!)

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