I can’t believe the Summer is almost gone! We had a blast visiting Hershey Park in PA and Scarborough Beach here in RI. The time flew by and now the kids are back to school. And all I can think about is how much the schools are a breeding ground for colds and other sicknesses. Time to start boosting their immune systems before they bring that crap home!
Best Immune Boosters for Kids
Wanna prevent or lessen the duration of sicknesses? Then check out this list of my favorite immune boosters for people of all ages. Bonus two of these are also super brain boosters that are loaded with healthy omegas, too!
1. Brain Boosting, Antioxidant Rich Cod Liver Oil
Good cod liver oil is loaded with naturally occurring antioxidants that support the healthy function of the immune system, making the body more resistant to viral and bacterial infections. Vitamins A and D top this list of antioxidants.
Aside from supplying great antioxidants, minimally processed cod liver oil is loaded with naturally occurring EPA, DHA – Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It’s these Omega 3’s that help with brain building in all children – and adults!
Our brains are constantly developing when we’re young. For many kids, feeding their brains helps them behave better, feel happier, pay better attention, and perform better in school – and out of school. 😉
Children need supplements loaded with healthy omega fatty acids. In fact, studies show they can even prevent certain mental health disorders (such as ADHD). Check out this post we did on the subject.
We think children, adults and elderly should all take cod liver oil for its many benefits every day. And, as grandma recommends, two or three times on days of high stress or if you’re sick.
All our cod liver oil supplements are raw and minimally processed. The heat and chemical processing of most cod liver oils damages many of the naturally occurring nutrients and then add synthetics back in to boost the nutrients back up to where these are. If you check the labels of other brands you will often find synthetic vitamin A and vitamin D. There are no synthetics in our supplements.
Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil is our top selling super clean cod liver oil and it comes in caps or liquid.
Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil is available in capsules or liquid. And the liquid comes in a few flavors.
Dropi Pure Icelandic Cod Liver Oil is also extra virgin and comes in capsules and liquid. Dropi liquids come in flavors or unflavored.
2. Vitamin C from Real Food
Vitamin C has been touted as a great immune booster and antioxidant for decades. But, not all vitamin C is created equal. Created is the key word there because lab synthesized vitamin C lacks the cofactors that help our bodies absorb and use it. Much of it just goes right through us without being absorbed. Yes, it is cheaper, but you literally might as well throw your money right into the toilet. You might ask “What about Emergen C? That is supposed to be like a billion mg per serving. Won’t that help?” It has to have so much because so much just goes right through you. Yes, it does help some people, but it may also be doing harm. A friend of mine ended up with kidney stones because her body was taxed with flushing all the excess synthetic C from her system. Her very young children had colds and she was trying to be proactive and started taking 5000mg of synthetic vitamin C daily (Emergen-C) to stave it off. After a couple weeks of this, she was in terrible pain from trying to pass the stones. Her PCP said it was from her body eliminating all the unabsorbed synthetic C. The cold would have been preferable!
So, here at Nourishing World, we sell only vitamin C supplements from whole food and real food sources – the kind your body can absorb properly and effectively. My personal favorite is Perfect Acerola from Perfect Supplements. It is made from 100% organic acerola cherries – nothing else. It’s a powerful antioxidant and has many beneficial nutrients along with vitamin C, like vitamin A, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and copper, along with many others. And it is so potent that all you need is 1/4 tsp in their bottle of juice or water and they can sip antioxidants all day! I put this in my morning smoothie every day!
Catie’s Vitamin C Plus is another favorite. This is a powdered supplement that can be added to drinks or smoothies, yogurt, apple sauce or any super moist food. It cannot be cooked, so don’t add it to hot foods or drinks. It tastes like fruit punch!
I take vitamin C every day not just for it’s immune boosting effects, but also because it is vital to helping our body absorb proteins. And, our bodies cannot produce vitamin C, no matter what we eat. We have to get it from outside sources, so if you don’t think you eat much vitamin C in a day, then a high quality vitamin C supplement is very important for you.
3. Non-Synthetic Vitamin D
There’s a good amount of evidence that vitamin D helps prevent SARS virus infections and prevents the worst symptoms from developing.
For starters, people with lower vitamin D levels in their body are more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections — like any SARS virus. A meta-analysis study published back in 2012 found that people who supplemented with vitamin D were less likely to develop acute respiratory tract infections. Especially if those supplementing with vitamin D already had low levels.
Vitamin D is a powerful antioxidant that boosts your immune system — specifically your natural defenses against bacteria and viruses. And it can also reduce the severity of your symptoms because it has many anti-inflammatory effects.
Every immune cell in your body has vitamin D receptors. These receptors main functions are to suppress inflammation, promote immune-balance, and support the proper function of your immune cells.
Our all time favorite non-synthetic Vitamin D supplement for kids and adults of all ages is Perfect D3 Drops. We love that each drop has 1000 IU of naturally occurring Vitamin D3. The serving size is 5 drops, but I don’t feel I need that much every day. I take cod liver oil daily, which is naturally high in Vitamin D3, but I never know if it has enough, so I like to supplement with the Perfect D3 Drops. I take a couple extra drops on days of higher stress or if I’m feeling a bit off.
4. Superfood Antioxidant Acai
Size doesn’t always matter. Acai berries, while small, are the world’s most concentrated antioxidant source! And our favorite brand, Perfect Acai has an astounding ORAC value of 50,000 per 100 g – on average much higher than the competition. This is because Perfect Acai is organic and super pure with no fillers of flow agents. Aside from being a great immune booster, acai also has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to help regulate cholesterol levels and reverse free radical damage.
Perfect Acai comes in capsule or powder form. The capsules are great for older kids and busy adults who want to get their antioxidants quickly. The powder is perfect for adding to food and smoothies for young children or quick easy breakfasts. I put this in my morning smoothie to keep my immunity up all year round.
5. Improve Gut Health and Immunity with Probiotics
Did you know that your gut houses 70% of the cells that make up our immune system? That’s right, so a healthy gut is crucial to a healthy immune system. One of the best and easiest things everyone can do for their guts is to take a really good probiotic. Probiotics can help our bodies maintain a good ratio of bacteria in our entire digestive system. All sorts of problems can occur when the ratio gets out of whack. I really can’t go into all the benefits of adding probiotics to your regimen, so to learn more about the benefits of probiotics, check out this article.
My all time favorite probiotic is Prescript Assist. This is a soil-based probiotic that is safe for people of all ages. If children cannot swallow the capsules, then they can be opened and poured into food or thick drinks. The powder won’t dissolve, so if you pour it into water or juice, it will float on top and stick to the sides of the glass. This is the probiotic I have been taking for years.
6. Boost Brain Power & Immunity with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a fantastic immune booster because of all the unique medium chain fatty acids in it, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. During digestion, these are broken down into monoglycerides and free fatty acids. The monoglycerides deter microbes from attacking our immune system. Monolaurin, from lauric acid, is believed to have the best antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial effect. Good coconut oil contains more naturally occurring lauric acid than any other food besides breast milk. And it is great for brain power at school and work.
But, not all coconut oils are as good. Make sure you get a high quality, unrefined coconut oil if you want to get all the immune and brain boosting goodness from it. We sell two excellent quality coconut oils, Perfect Coconut Oil and Blue Breeze Coconut Oil from Green Pastures. Both are organic and cold pressed. Perfect Coconut Oil comes in capsules, too for those who like the ease of swallowing capsules.
Coconut oil can be added to oatmeal or any hot cereal, smoothies, or you can even make salad dressing out of it. You can stir-fry veggies with it or use it in baking. Adding one or two tablespoons a day to your children’s diet can help boost their immune system and their brain power.
Final Thoughts on Immune Boosting for Kids
This is a list of non-synthetic supplements that can be taken daily to help boost and keep our immune systems healthy. I know from experience that taking Perfect Acai and Vitamin C daily has helped me go from getting six or more colds a year to one or none! I also take more if I feel a tiny bit under the weather to help stave off colds before they take root. The immune boosters on this list can be taken daily by people of all ages. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some and get it in yourself and your kids before they bring home something besides their latest art project.