Fall is the most common time of the year when I get an influx of calls for supporting immunity.
October is when I get calls about kids under 4, most often in daycare, experiencing constant sniffles, and parents searching for help. November is the time for older school age children's immunity to be in need of support. Increased sugar consumption around Halloween, activities ramping up, and weather changes, all play a role and require extra vigilence for these kids.
In our Naturopathic Visits we talk about different herbs and supplements, but we also spend time talking about the importance of sleep, diet and lifestyle.
A study showed that 25 tsp of sugar reduced white blood cell count reactivity by 40% AND immune function decreased for 4 or 5 hours. (Journal of Tumor, 2016). 25 tsp sounds like a lot but let's note 4 grams of sugar equals 1 tsp so this can quickly add up if not careful!
Here are some quick examples:
1 cup of apple juice has 6 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of ketchup has 1 tsp of sugar
1 granola bar could have 2 tsp of sugar
1 serving of a cereal could have 4 tsp of sugar
1 strawberry yogurt could have 3 tsp of sugar
Reducing sugars is a great first step and making sure to include whole foods like fruits and vegetables is paramount.
Good guidelines and routines for sleep are also essential for immune health.
A study as seen in the chart below experimented with the effects of sleep volume before exposing participants to the common cold.
Of the participants who maintained 7-8 hours of sleep beforehand, only 20% of them had experienced symptoms.
Compare that to those who had slept for 5 hours or less, where 50% of these people actually got the common cold after exposure.
You can read my top 5 herbs for colds and flus here.
The sun is out and we all want to enjoy being outside. With increased outings to cottages, campgrounds, hiking trails, golf courses, tennis courts, outdoor playgrounds, and swimming pools, we all need to be prepared for a multitude of events. This of course, is even more important when you have small kiddos.