Germs, seem to be everywhere this winter. I know so many people (including myself) who have been wiped out by a nasty virus or the flu and I have been determined to make sure that I do all that I can to boost my family’s immune system. I am not a medical professional, however, I thought it would be good to let you know what has helped as both of my boys have escaped the dreaded germs this season.
My neighbour when we lived down south is a holistic practitioner and I learned so much from Louise and she is my go-to person when it comes to supporting my boys’ winter defences. She was the person who put us on to probiotics back in 2013 when we had a particularly bad bout of winter bugs and germs. So when ProVen Probiotics asked if we would like to review some of their products I said yes especially as this is the range we have been using and buying for the last 4 years!
Ways to Boost your family’s Immune System
- Top up your friendly bugs. Those that reside in our intestines have been proven to have a very positive impact on our immune system. Too few and we get ill. It’s very easy to give them a boost with a quick course of probiotics which are available in both capsule and powder form. The boys have been taking the Fit for School with vitamins C & D which have been shown to reduce absenteeism from school by 30% and both of them have escaped any of the colds, virus’ and flu that has been around this winter. The husbeast and I take the once a Day for adults.
Top Tip: Always take probiotics during and after a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill off the good bugs as well as the bad ones.
- Try and get more sleep. There is a close association between immune function and sleep. Sufficient sleep, believed to be at least 7 uninterrupted hours a night, enables the immune system to recharge. Interestingly the onset of an illness of any kind also increases our need for sleep as our immune systems go into battle. As the mum of one lark and one night owl I do understand how hard it can be to get a good nights sleep (I am a perpetually exhausted pigeon), but why not try and log off an hour early for a week and see just how much better you feel. Why not take a look at #5EarlyNights on Instagram which EmilyandMore started for inspiration.
- Eat Well. We all know that we should eat 5 a day and eat a rainbow but often as busy parents it can be challenging at times. However, know exactly why I need to encourage this in my children and myself really helps. Fresh food in a rainbow of colours provides added benefits that supplements can never hope to live up to including enzymes, fibre and helping your body to absorb all these extra nutrients you are fuelling yourself with. Also, cut right down on your refined sugar intake. Studies have shown that eating sugar suppresses our immune system for up to 5hrs; plenty of time to catch that cold. I am also a fan of Manuka Honey and have been really loving Comvita’s kids’ lollies which are throat-soothing, immune-boosting lollipops with Manuka Honey and Vitamin C.
Top Tip: Xylitol is a widely available natural sugar substitute that looks and tastes great, doesn’t spike blood sugar levels and is even good for your teeth.
- Wash your hands. I am not overly concerned when it comes to mud and muck – well Mini is just noise with muck on, but I do insist on clean hands. I make sure that we wash our hands when we come in the house and also before we eat. I also carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my bag just in case.
- Moderate Excercise. it is all about balance. people who do moderate exercise are 20% less likely to get a cold, but overdoing things can leave you more susceptible. I find that we all feel much better after we have been out for a brisk walk with the dog even if it can take a lot of nagging to get the boys to participate sometimes.
Don’t worry if you do catch something as I also have a blog post full of tips on how to stop sickness spreading in your home.
This post is a paid post in collaboration with ProVen Probiotics. You can buy them online or from Boots and Holland and Barrets.