The immune system in our body is a wonderful thing, it protects us from bacteria and viruses that enter our bodies, it fights off infections and develops antibodies and remembers viruses that it fights so next time it is already prepared, it is like a highly effective army ready to fight off the ‘bad guys’ when they attack. But sometimes it needs a helping hand from immune system supplements when it does not get all the vitamin and minerals it needs in our every day diet.
Andrographis paniculata (AP), which is sometimes referred to as Indian Echinacea, even though it is unrelated to the Echinacea plant, has been shown to strengthen immune system function, by counteracting interference with the cell cycle. Viruses must interfere with the normal cycle of the cell in order to reproduce. Laboratory studies using cell lines indicate that AP can improve immune system function by stimulating production of white blood cells, interferon release and activity in the lymph system. White blood cells find and kill bacteria. Interferon kills viruses and stops their reproduction.
The lymph system is basically responsible for carrying everything around. In addition to the affects of AP which strengthen immune system responses, science and traditional use have shown that it has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. It is commonly used in Scandinavian countries to improve immune system action, prevent and treat the common cold and other viruses, including influenza. Tests on laboratory animals have shown that AP has very low toxicity, but traditional medicine notes that it may have contraceptive effects. Because of this, herbalists recommend that it should not be used to strengthen immune system responses by women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
Supplements for boost your Child’s Immune System:
Make sure your child gets enough sleep for his/her age. Kid’s bodies need down time to allow for repairs and re-energizing.
The body needs fluids to be healthy. It is important that your child gets healthy fluids. There comes an age when all they want to drink is soda and sugary drinks. It is up to you as a parent to make sure they get healthy fluids, such as water, milk, and fruit juices rich in vitamins.
Increase your child’s intake of fruits and veggies. The majority of children do not get the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. You may have to be creative. The best sources are: strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, tomato, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, mango, and bananas.
Reduce the amount of sugars and sweeteners that your child consumes. Sugar actually suppresses the immune system. Don’t be fooled. Many processed foods contain sugar. Artificial sweeteners are not healthy for your child, as well. Aspartame has been known to cause headaches and other serious reactions. Splenda can cause stomach and intestinal problems.
Exercise plays an important role in boosting your child’s immune system. Go for a walk, bike ride, or just dance around the house. Anything to get your child off the couch or off the game system is going to keep him/her healthier.
Feed your child yogurt. It has enzymes that can restore balance in your child’s digestive tract. Make sure the yogurt has active cultures. Yogurt is also good for your bones, as it is high in calcium. Be sure to choose yogurt that is all natural, rather than candy colored. These contain high amounts of sugar, which is not good for the immune system.
Good fats are necessary for a healthy immune system. Fish, such as salmon, is naturally high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Flax seed oil is another good source for Omega 3. It is easy to disguise flax seed oil. Simply put in your child’s oatmeal or other hot cereal and they will likely not even know it is there.
Make sure your child is getting the right kinds and amounts of vitamins. Vitamins B and C are important immune supplements that will help to boost your child’s immune system. Also, be sure your child is taking an all natural multivitamin to help fill in some of the vitamin deficiencies is his/her diet.
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