5 Best Immune Boosters for Kids

Boost their immune system and avoid the back to school bugs.

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.

Vitamin C from Real Food

Picture of Catie's Vitamin C Plus and Pure Radiance C supplements on a background of fresh berries.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 the Catie’s Vitamin C Plus. 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, so you can mix it into your kids water bottles for school to keep their immunity high all day. If they don’t like the taste of this one, my next favorite is Pure Synergy Vitamin C. This is a super concentrated real food vitamin C supplement. The serving size is just 1/4 tsp or one capsule. Again the powder can be added to many foods. 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.

Medicinal Grade Manuka Honey

A picture of 100% Raw Wedderspoon Manuka Honey on a background of bees in honeycomb.While regular honey has some immune boosting properties, medicinal grade Manuka honey kicks it up a few notches. This is super easy to get children to take because it is sweet and tasty. It can be mixed into warm liquids (under 96° F), spread on crackers or bread, or mixed with your favorite nut butter. Again, avoid mixing it with hot foods or drinks. It is a fantastic supplement to have on hand for immune boosting and so much more. It is also great for the digestive tract and is a fantastic natural anti-inflammatory. And, Manuka honey is antibacterial and antimicrobial, so it is great to use on wounds and burns. I used a combination of this and emu oil on my stitches and resulting wounds after my ACL/MCL knee surgery. Both my doctor and physical therapist were amazed at how well I healed. And two years later I have only very faint scars.

Our favorite brand is Wedderspoon Manuka Honey because it is raw. Therefore it contains all the beneficial enzymes that many other brands cook out. You can read more about this fantastic supplement here. When my daughter has a mild cold, I send her to school with a couple of the Honey On The Go packets to take while at school to help keep her body fighting that cold all day

Superfood Antioxidant Acai

A picture of Perfect Acai powder on a background of acai berries in baskets.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 50 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.

Improve Gut Health with Probiotics

Eat Dirt? Absolutely.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.

Boost Brain Power & Immunity with Coconut Oil

Picture of Perfect Coconut Oil on a background of coconuts.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 real food 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 once or fewer. I also take more if I feel a tiny bit under the weather to help stave off colds before they take root. We have other great immune boosters, like cod liver oil, but that is much harder to get kids to take. 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.

 

Bust Holiday Stress

supplements_for_stress

By Ali Wetherbee

The holidays can be fun and magical and ever-so-memorable — but this busy time of year can also really stress your mind and body. From holiday shopping to fighting traffic, from being cooped up indoors with germs to being cooped up with the in-laws, there are countless hits to our time, our finances, our health, our peace and sanity. We don’t eat as well and don’t have time to exercise. All of this leaves us especially vulnerable to all those colds and flus going around. So before you wind up in bed with a box of tissues and a hot water bottle, try these ideas. 

In Your Medicine Cabinet:

Instead of toxic, chemical-laden medicines, stock your medicine cabinet with organic vitamins and herbs and homeopathic formulas. Take these daily, but especially when you are under unusual stress or already sick.

Start with Vitamin C

Whole Food Vitamin C belongs in every family’s medicine cabinet. Take it daily to keep your immune system functioning optimally, and begin taking it more frequently or in higher doses as soon as you feel something coming on. Vitamin C, when taken daily, can shorten the duration of the common cold. Taking one or two extra doses when symptoms first appear can thwart a cold before it really gets started! It also prevents and reverses free radical damage caused by oxidative stress, UV rays, and environmental toxins. Vitamin C is necessary for serotonin production, so this is a must-have for anyone suffering from depression or seasonal affective disorder.

Try:

Adapt Better to Stress

Take adaptogens during intense periods of stress. Adaptogenic herbs help you adapt to physical and mental stress and keep the body in balance. They may be particularly useful if you are experiencing anxiety, fatigue, or depression as a result of stress or tension. Stress increases cortisol levels, which may lead to chronic inflammatory conditions, weight gain, fatigue, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, and illness. Adaptogens such as rhodiola and cordyceps lower high cortisol levels, minimizing the harmful effects of stress on the body.

Try:

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Stress can disrupt your sleep/wake cycles, making it hard to fall asleep and sleep through the night. This leaves you even more prone to feeling stressed, and you wind up stuck in a vicious cycle. These all-natural formulas can ensure you get an adequate amount of sleep, whether you are up late wrapping gifts or at your company Christmas party past bedtime. Healthy sleep is critical to a healthy immune system, and those who get poor-quality or insufficient sleep are more likely to succomb to colds, flu, and viruses.

Try:

Support Your Immune System with Antioxidnts

Take supplements loaded with antioxidants to keep your immune system in tip top shape. This is an excellent way to boost your body’s resistance to illness during this stressful time of year. Inadequate sleep, poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, increased exposure to germs, aging, and chronic health conditions can all leave you much more susceptible to illness, but these supplements strengthen the immune system, naturally.

Try:

Treat Your Cold Naturally

If illness hits despite your best efforts, you will be glad to have a medicine cabinet stocked with healing herbs, vitamins, and supplements! Keep these items on hand for when you start to feel stuffy or achy. Sovereign Silver is a colloidal silver supplement that my family goes to whenever any of us has a cold. It can be taken every 2 hours or so to help kick the cold out before it gets a firm hold. Calm Balm is an all-natural alternative to petroleum-based chest rubs, and is great for colds, aches, and pains. Wedderspoon Manuka Honey Nuggets help soothe sore throats with organic antibacterial ingredients.

Try:

‘Tis the Season to Stay Healthy!

Keeping healthy and fighting stress is not just a physical process. Every choice we make and each action we take can leave us more stressed or more relaxed, sicker or healthier. Try these tips to stay on track toward a healthier holiday season:

Learn to Say No

You do not need to attend every party or gathering you are invited to! Pick your favorites and skip the rest. The same goes for gift swaps among friends or at the office. Feel free to opt out of those that bring you more stress than pleasure.

Designate one day a week as a “day off” and avoid errands, shopping, planning, ordering, and organizing for the entire day. Instead, read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, or do something else relaxing. If an entire day seems unrealistic, aim for at least one stress-free evening a week. 

Focus on the Important Things in Life

Spend time with your family. Your kids or grandkids won’t remember every present under the tree or how perfectly the gifts were wrapped, but they will remember the days spent baking cookies, playing games, building snowmen, and cuddling by the fire. Take time out each day to do something that builds memories.

Be grateful. At the end of the day, instead of thinking about all the things you didn’t get done, spend some time thinking about all the things you are thankful for. Keep a Gratitude Jar with scraps of paper for family members to write down each happy moment or blessing, and read through the papers every night at dinner. Bake cookies for someone who has helped you out sometime this year. Bring gifts or food to those who are less fortunate.

Get Plenty of Fresh Air and Exercise

Go for a jog before work or take an evening walk with the family to see neighborhood light displays. Enjoy winter sports such as sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Build a snow fort with the kids or have an improptu dance party. It’s fine to do your workout indoors if the cold is too harsh for you, but also bundle up in a blanket and sit on your front stoop for a few minutes with a hot cup of tea and breathe in the fresh air.

Nourish Your Soul

Engage in soul-friendly practices. While you’re sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic, take some deep breaths and relax your shoulders. When someone cuts you in line at the store or pushes you aside to grab the very last can of cranberry sauce, take some time to think loving, forgiving thoughts about this rude person. Be present and live in the moment instead of spending the entire holiday season tallying your mental lists. Practice yoga, mindfulness, or meditation. All of these things will reduce your stress load and leave you stronger, healthier, and happier.

Beyond Bulletproof: This coffee or tea is a low carb, filling snack or meal.

Beyond_bulletproof_coffee

By now, we’ve all heard about bulletproof coffee. It is also know as fat coffee, rocket fuel or buttered coffee, or even yak tea. Essentially, you add a couple tablespoons of good, cultured grass-fed butter (or other high quality oil or fat) to pump up your morning cup o’ joe. Adding processed sugar or pasteurized cream is frowned upon. People who have tried buttered coffee swear it tastes good, and gives them more energy and a better ability to focus. Dr. Oz even recommended buttered coffee for improved energy and to fight burnout. For a basic recipe click here.

Lately, I’ve been trying to drastically cut carbs, and have started drinking a few different varieties of fat coffee or yak tea in lieu of lunch. I find it really works to stave off hunger and keeps me energized for the rest of my work day. I add a scoop of Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen for protein, and a couple different kinds of healthy fat plus a good fiber source to keep me full. Adding ground chia seeds adds great fiber. Cacao powder and turmeric add nice flavors and tons of healthy antioxidants and other health benefits. Below are my favorite beyond bulletproof recipes. The basic recipe is coffee or tea, protein powder, a fiber source, and two servings of healthy fats.

Chocolate Sunbutter Fat CoffeePeanut_butter_coffee_recipe

This recipe uses collagen for the protein and sunflower seed butter, coconut milk cream, and coconut oil for the healthy fats. I really like adding unrefined, organic, Perfect coconut oil because it’s loaded with medium chain triglycerides. MCT’s are used as energy rather than getting stored as fat and are important for brain health.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz organic fair trade coffee or tea
2 Tbs unsweetened coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
1 Tbs unsweetened cacao powder
1 Tbs unsweetened sunflower butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1 Tbs Perfect MCT Oil
2 Tbs organic chia seeds
10 drops stevia (or non-sugar sweetener of your choice)
5 ice cubes (optional for anyone who likes frozen coffee drinks)

Directions
Place coffee in a blender, then add coconut milk and nut butter. Blend on high a few seconds until well mixed. Add all other ingredients and blend on high until well mixed. Pour into a mug or glass and enjoy.

Mint Chocolate Mocha Mealmint_chocolate_butered_coffee_recipe

This recipe has a refreshing minty lift for those days you are dragging. Always add coconut milk or other cool ingredients to coffee first to cool it down a smidge before adding other ingredients. Some supplements lose nutritional benefits if heated too much.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz organic fair trade coffee or tea
2 Tbs organic coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
1 Tbs organic fair trade cacao powder
1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil
2 Tbs organic chia seeds
10 drops stevia or unprocessed sweetener of your choice
2 – 4 drops peppermint essential oil
5 ice cubes (optional if you like frozen coffee drinks)

Directions
Add coffee and coconut milk to a blender. Combine a couple seconds. Add all other ingredients and blend on high until well combined. Pour and enjoy!

Turmeric Fat Yak Teabutter_tea_recipe

This recipe adds flavorful turmeric for a fantastic nutritional boost to your buttered beverage.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz green tea or organic fair trade coffee
1 Tbs grass fed butter
1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
1 tsp Gaia Turmeric Boost
1 Tbs organic chia seeds
10 drops stevia or non-sugar sweetener of your choice

Directions
Blend green tea, butter and coconut oil for a few seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well combined. The butter in this will make it nice and frothy. Enjoy!

Beyond Bulletproof: Easy Coffee & Tea Meals or Snacks

So, to recap, to turn your buttered coffee or tea into a meal, you need to add a few ingredients to your brew.

  1. A good source of protein which helps power you through the next bunch of hours. I like Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen best because it is virtually flavorless and adds 10 grams of protein in every 11 gram scoop.
  2. Add two servings of healthy fat. My favorites are 1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil, 1 Tbs Perfect MCT Oil, 1 Tbs grass-fed butter, 2 Tbs nut or sunflower butter and 1/4 cup coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream.
  3. Adding a good source of whole food, fiber – not grains – helps us feel full longer and is beneficial for digestion, the heart, balancing blood sugar levels and more.

Don’t have a blender handy? Shake it up instead.

You can make many beyond bulletproof coffee recipes in a shaker, leave out nut butters, and melt the oils in your hot beverage, then shake up all the ingredients. Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen comes in handy single serve packets for easy travel to work or anywhere. Or, you can combine all but the coffee in your shaker before you go to work. Add the hot beverage and enjoy!

Do you have any great beyond bulletproof Coffee suggestions? Let us know your favorites!

 

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil

Get psyched about raw, nutrient-rich cod liver oil from the clean waters off Norway.

What is Cod Liver Oil?

Cod Liver Oil is a popular dietary supplement whose touted benefits are supported by centuries of documented clinical research. It is historically remembered as the vitamin D source used to prevent rickets in children, attaining popularity for both medical research and general consumption in the early 1900s due to the esteemed works of Dr. Weston A. Price.

What does Cod Liver Oil Do?

Cod Liver Oil is an excellent source of vitamins A and D, nutrients that are difficult to get in sufficient amounts through modern diets. It also provides heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids with a good-sized portion of the daily recommended allowance of EPA/DHA. Multiple research studies have shown that this combination of vitamins from a 100% natural source, such as cod liver oil, has a significantly positive effect on overall health and wellness. What’s more is its potential to both prevent and treat a large variety of illnesses and diseases.

Who can benefit from using Cod Liver Oil?

Everyone! Cod Liver Oil is routinely recommend by all kinds of doctors and specialists as a daily nutritional supplement for its preventative and restorative health benefits. Its high Vitamin D level is essential for strong teeth and bones. Vitamin D also plays a role in nervous system and brain development, helping to prevent learning disorders in children. It is widely recognized as an immune-boosting antioxidant. Vitamin A promotes growth, vision, the immune system and reproduction. The Omega 3s, EPA and DHA, are also vital to brain function, the nervous system, cell membranes and much more. Raw cod liver oil contains numerous other nutrients as well, all working together to benefit people of all ages. Many people and doctors have praised cod liver oil for helping with the following:

  • Joint Pain
  • Heart Disease
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Mood Disorders
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Tooth Decay
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Hormonal Acne
  • Eye Issues

Which Cod Liver Oil do we think is the best?

So now that you have a little history of what cod liver oil is and why it’s good for you, which cod liver oil should you choose? We love Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil for the following reasons.Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil and Softgels come from the cool, clean waters up near Norway.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil

1) Time Tested Process

As many as 1300 years ago, the Scandinavian Vikings relied on fresh cod liver oil to get them through the cold, dark winter months. The oil was cherished for its strength and healing powers. Cod liver oil was used to ease sore muscles and joints, alleviate rheumatism, and cure illnesses such as gout and rickets. Later, cod liver oil became common for fighting the effects of malnutrition. Today, cod liver oil is a staple of the Paleo diet, the Weston A. Price diet and other healing, whole food diets.

Rosita uses an all-natural, secret method passed down by the Ancient Norse people to extract the oil from the cod livers. It starts with artisan fishers in Norway who use sustainable methods, line catching the fish and carefully harvesting them on their small, open boats. The time-tested process is heat free and uses no freezing, chemicals, solvents, bleaching, or decomposition. The process is done under low light conditions free of oxygen. The final cod liver oil retains all the vitamins, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients that give high-quality cod liver oil its numerous benefits.

2) Comes From Fish Caught in Super Clean Water

Rosita fishers catch cod in the crisp, clean arctic waters around Norway. A cleaner living environment makes for less toxic fish and, therefore, less chance for toxicity in the final cod liver oil.

3) Raw Cod Liver Oil is More Nutritious

Most of the Cod Liver Oil supplements manufactured for the market today are molecularly distilled. This is a chemical process involving high heat which basically denatures a high percentage of nutrient value of the cod liver oil. It is the most cost-effective and fastest way to process cod livers, therefore many companies switched to this process, but at the cost of the nutrient value of the finished product. The ancient process noted above leaves Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil raw, thereby it retains ALL the healthy, beneficial nutrients.

4) No Synthetics Ever Added!

Cod Liver Oil manufacturers realized that their money-saving process was effecting the nutrient value of their fish oil. To combat the reduction in potency and replace the vitamins and heat-sensitive Omega 3 fatty acids, these inferior oils are refortified with synthetic versions of certain nutrients. Rosita only adds minimal amounts of natural antioxidants to slow the oxidation process and keep it fresh once the bottle is opened. The only ingredients are raw, wild-caught cod liver oil, and tiny amounts of rosemary and natural vitamin E oil.

5) Top Cod Liver Oil Brand Recommended by both Chris Kresser and the Weston A. Price Foundation

Rosita is Paleo health guru Chris Kresser’s number one pick for cod liver oil. The Weston A. Price Foundation also recommends Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil as a top high-vitamin cod liver oil supplement.

Now, two convenient forms to take it!

Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil now comes in either the traditional liquid oil form or new softgels. The new Rosita softgels are the same great Rosita Cod Liver Oil, but encased in 100% fish gelatin capsules.

 

 

Avoid Feeling Low When Stress is High

 

Shopping, parties, family time: How do you fit it all in? Follow these tips to stay healthy when exposure to germs & stress is high.

By Ali Wetherbee

The holidays can be fun and magical and ever-so-memorable — but this busy time of year can also really stress your mind and body. From holiday shopping to fighting traffic, from being cooped up indoors with germs to being cooped up with the in-laws, there are countless hits to our time, our finances, our health, our peace and sanity. We don’t eat as well and don’t have time to exercise. All of this leaves us especially vulnerable to all those colds and flus going around. So before you wind up in bed with a box of tissues and a hot water bottle, try these ideas. 

In Your Medicine Cabinet:

Instead of toxic, chemical-laden medicines, stock your medicine cabinet with organic vitamins and herbs and homeopathic formulas. Take these daily, but especially when you are under unusual stress or already sick.

Start with Vitamin CGet your daily vitamin C from real food supplements.

Whole Food Vitamin C belongs in every family’s medicine cabinet. Take it daily to keep your immune system functioning optimally, and begin taking it more frequently or in higher doses as soon as you feel something coming on. Vitamin C, when taken daily, can shorten the duration of the common cold. Taking one or two extra doses daily when symptoms first appear can thwart a cold before it really gets started! It also prevents and reverses free radical damage caused by oxidative stress, UV rays, and environmental toxins. Vitamin C is necessary for serotonin production, so this is a must-have for anyone suffering from depression or seasonal affective disorder.

Try:

Adapt Better to Stress

Take adaptogens during intense periods of stress. Adaptogenic herbs help you adapt to physical and mental stress and keep the body in balance. They may be particularly useful if you are experiencing anxiety, fatigue, or depression as a result of stress or tension. Stress increases cortisol levels, which may lead to chronic inflammatory conditions, weight gain, fatigue, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, and illness. Adaptogens such as rhodiola and cordyceps lower high cortisol levels, minimizing the harmful effects of stress on the body.

Try:

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Stress can disrupt your sleep/wake cycles, making it hard to fall asleep and sleep through the night. This leaves you even more prone to feeling stressed, and you wind up stuck in a vicious cycle. These all-natural formulas can ensure you get an adequate amount of sleep, whether you are up late wrapping gifts or at your company Christmas party past bedtime. Healthy sleep is critical to a healthy immune system, and those who get poor-quality or insufficient sleep are more likely to succumb to colds, flu, and viruses.

Try:

Support Your Immune System

Take an immune support formula to keep your immune system in tip top shape. These are an excellent way to boost your body’s resistance to illness during this stressful time of year. Inadequate sleep, poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, increased exposure to germs, aging, and chronic health conditions can all leave you much more susceptible to illness, but these supplements strengthen the immune system, naturally.

Try:

Treat Your Cold Naturally

If illness hits despite your best efforts, you will be glad to have a medicine cabinet stocked with healing herbs, vitamins, and supplements! Keep these items on hand for when you start to feel stuffy or achy. Calm Balm is an all-natural alternative to petroleum-based chest rubs, and is great for colds, aches, and pains. Manuka Honey Nuggets help soothe sore throats with organic antibacterial ingredients.

Try:

‘Tis the Season to Stay Healthy!

Keeping healthy and fighting stress is not just a physical process. Every choice we make and each action we take can leave us more stressed or more relaxed, sicker or healthier. Try these tips to stay on track toward a healthier holiday season:

Learn to Say No

You do not need to attend every party or gathering you are invited to! Pick your favorites and skip the rest. The same goes for gift swaps among friends or at the office. Feel free to opt out of those that bring you more stress than pleasure.

Designate one day a week as a “day off” and avoid errands, shopping, planning, ordering, and organizing for the entire day. Instead, read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, or do something else relaxing. If an entire day seems unrealistic, aim for at least one stress-free evening a week. 

Focus on the Important Things in Life

Spend time with your family. Your kids or grandkids won’t remember every present under the tree or how perfectly the gifts were wrapped, but they will remember the days spent baking cookies, playing games, building snowmen, and cuddling by the fire. Take time out each day to do something that builds memories.

Be grateful. At the end of the day, instead of thinking about all the things you didn’t get done, spend some time thinking about all the things you are thankful for. Keep a Gratitude Jar with scraps of paper for family members to write down each happy moment or blessing, and read through the papers every night at dinner. Bake cookies for someone who has helped you out sometime this year. Bring gifts or food to those who are less fortunate.

naturally_healthy_holidayGet Plenty of Fresh Air and Exercise

Go for a jog before work or take an evening walk with the family to see neighborhood light displays. Enjoy winter sports such as sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Build a snow fort with the kids or have an impromptu dance party. It’s fine to do your workout indoors if the cold is too harsh for you, but also bundle up in a blanket and sit on your front stoop for a few minutes with a hot cup of tea and breathe in the fresh air.

Nourish Your Soul

Engage in soul-friendly practices. While you’re sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic, take some deep breaths and relax your shoulders. When someone cuts you in line at the store or pushes you aside to grab the very last can of cranberry sauce, take some time to think loving, forgiving thoughts about this rude person. Be present and live in the moment instead of spending the entire holiday season tallying your mental lists. Practice yoga, mindfulness, or meditation. All of these things will reduce your stress load and leave you stronger, healthier, and happier.

Six Supplements to Fight the Flu

Make a healthy lifestyle part of your flu fighting strategy.

Two weeks ago we posted a blog about all the potential risks associated with getting an annual flu vaccine. This week we’ll give advice on what you can do to boost your immune system and help avoid flus and colds. Remember, we are not suggesting you go buy everything listed below to start taking it all every day. But, by adding a few to your daily diet, you may find the combination that works for you to prevent or drastically shorten duration of illness.

Don’t Encourage Illness

You’re probably thinking “Well, duh!”. But, there are many things we all do in a day that encourage illness. Eating foods that have been grown in toxins, dealing with stress, and not getting enough sleep are just a few. All of this adds up, so the less we do in a day, the better it is for our bodies. So we need to do the opposite – encourage wellness. Focus on doing the things that make and keep us well and do more of those. A healthy diet, preferably organic, and regular exercise are excellent ways to encourage wellness. The following supplements also encourage wellness in our bodies, in many ways. But, for the purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on their immune boosting and virus busting properties.

Real Vitamin C

Get your daily vitamin C from real food supplements.I know, this one is a no-brainer. Everyone knows Vitamin C helps boost your immune system because it is loaded with antioxidants. But, did you know our bodies don’t produce it? So it has to be eaten every day in proper quantities to be effective against fighting flus and colds. Check out this post from September for lots of great information on Vitamin C. A whole food vitamin C supplement is a great way to make sure you and your family are getting all the vitamin C necessary to fight colds and flus. We have two great whole food Vitamin C powdered supplements from real food. They are Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C Plus and  Pure Radiance C from The Synergy Company.

Acai

acai_whole_food_weight_loss

Many people have heard of acai for weight loss, but did you know it is loaded with antioxidants? It has twice the antioxidant power of wild blueberries and 10 times that of red grapes! And it has 10 to 30 times more anthocyanins than red wine! Anthocyanins are the pigments in red, blue and purple foods and have mega antioxidant properties. Back in 2009, Dr. Oz talked about acai on Oprah and it became an overnight sensation. He recommended taking it daily because it is a concentrated protein source and for it’s high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value. The higher the ORAC value, the better at immune boosting. We recommend Perfect Acai in capsules or powder form because it is organically grown, fairly traded & there are never any fillers or flow agents.

Colloidal Silver

Sovereign_SilverBelieve it or not, silver is a necessary element in our bodies. It has been used medicinally for over 2000 years because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. In the 1970’s, Dr. Robert O. Becker, MD, conducted research at Syracuse Medical University on electrically generated silver ions. He discovered that people with the lowest amounts of silver in their bodies were prone to frequent and severe colds, flus and infections, while the people with the highest amounts of silver in their bodies were the least prone to colds, flus and infections. What’s more, their illnesses were less severe and for a shorter duration. Colloidal silver can be taken daily to help boost the immune system and increase the amount of silver in our bodies, but taking too much can be harmful. We recommend Sovereign Silver Bioactive Silver Hydrosol because it never contains stabilizers, salts, compounds, proteins, or other questionable ingredients. There are only 2 ingredients, 99.999% pure silver and pharmaceutical-grade purified water.

Probiotics

Eat Dirt? Absolutely.It may seem kinda crazy, but so much of our health is tied to our guts. Did you know eighty percent of our immune system is located in the digestive tract? That information alone helps us see why probiotics could be very effective at helping to avoid cold and flu viruses. There was a study done on three to five year old children that was very convincing. The children took probiotics twice a day for six months. The probiotic users had fewer fevers, less coughing, fewer runny noses, and, amazingly, 64 – 83%  less antibiotic use. There are a variety of probiotics in our store, but my favorite is Prescript-Assist. It is a multi-strain soil-based probiotic. If you are looking for a more traditional probiotic, try Just Thrive Probiotic & Antibiotic blend or Mercola Complete Probiotics.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This one may not be so widely known, but drinking a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily can greatly reduce your chances of getting any flu or colds. This is because it changes the pH in our bodies to alkaline, which creates a hostile environment for viruses and infections. Essentially, they can’t grow well in an alkaline environment and it even helps to kill the bacteria and infection. It is important to use a raw variety with the mothers. I get mine here. Daily, I try to drink a concoction with 2 Tb apple cider vinegar, 1 Tb raw honey (I use medicinal Manuka Honey if I’m feeling stressed or feel like I’m coming down with something) and 100% organic pomegranate or cranberry juice. I can still taste the vinegar a little, but it doesn’t bother me so much. When I actually do end up with sniffles and sneezing because of sickness, I drink 2 – 3 glasses a day. I drink them slowly, so that there is a somewhat constant infusion of alkaline fluids entering my system. Recently my sister asked if lemon will do the same thing. And yes, lemons are also acidic but I haven’t found the correct amount to fend off my own colds. Apple cider vinegar works well for me.

Elderberry Syrup

Feel the effects of elderberry & honey home remedies.Many people report great success preventing and fighting colds and flus by taking a daily dose of elderberry syrup. The use of elderberry as an herbal medicinal goes way back. Folklore around the elder tree pre-dates christianity. More recently, research done at Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel shows how elderberry helps. They found viruses use specific enzymes to penetrate healthy cells in the nose and throat. Elderberry helps to block these enzymes, thus thwarting the infection before it starts. If it is taken after an infection is already present, it helps prevent the spread of the infection through the respiratory tract. There are many pre-made elderberry syrup supplements out there, but it is actually very easy to make and store at home for a fraction of the cost. Check out this blog we did last year for a recipe for homemade elderberry syrup and elderberry gummies. The recommended amount for prevention of flu is 1/2 to 1 tsp daily for children and adults during cold and flu season. Up this to at least 3 times a day if you already have an infection or feel one coming on.

Other Preventatives

I’m sure there are many other natural preventatives out there and welcome input from our readers. If you have a preventative that works for you, please share it with us so we can share it with the world.

 

With Side Effects Like Seizures, Paralysis, and Death, Are Flu Shots Really Safe?

Seizures. Paralysis. Death. Flu shots are big money for doctors & pharmaceutical companies, but with side effects like these, are they really safe?

It’s considered one of the top things you can do to protect your health this winter: get your flu shot. But is the flu shot safe? What are the potential side effects? The flu vaccine wasn’t even used in humans until the early 1940s and has only been in widespread use for part of that time — hardly enough time to know the long-term effects of the flu shot or the cumulative effects over a lifetime. Plenty of adverse reactions in the short term have already been identified:

  • injection site reactions
  • muscle aches and pains
  • severe shoulder pain and paralysis
  • low platelet count and abnormal bleeding
  • inflammation of the spinal cord, optic nerve, or blood vessels
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a deadly rash)
  • Bell’s palsy (palsy of the face)
  • numbness and tingling
  • itching
  • lymph node enlargement
  • chest pain
  • dizziness and fainting

…and other adverse effects to the flu vaccine. Believe it or not, some serious and even deadly flu shot side effects have been identified.

Scary Flu Shot Side Effects: Seizures

Febrile seizures are a known side effect of the flu shot. This risk is highest in babies and young children, and increases when multiple vaccines (such as MMR, pneumococcus, and DTaP) are administered at the same time as the flu shot. Febrile seizures are seizures related to a fever, and they usually occur within 24 hours of receiving the flu shot. Symptoms include anything from small twitches or jerks, to whole-body spasms and loss of consciousness. While the CDC puts the rate of febrile seizures after a flu shot at 1 in 2000 vaccinated children, in 2010, Australia suspended the use of the flu vaccine because so many children had seizures within 12 hours of receiving the flu vaccine. In fact, more Australian children ended up in the hospital because of flu vaccine side effects than were hospitalized for influenza itself!

Allergic Reaction to the Flu Vaccine

It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to the flu shot. Those who have known allergies to eggs, gelatin, latex, or antibiotics are more likely to suffer an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine, but anyone can develop such a reaction. Other flu shot ingredients such as mercury, MSG, and formaldehyde can trigger both mild and severe allergic reactions. Severe anaphylactic allergic reactions are often life-threatening, and include symptoms such as difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, hives, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. These reactions can occur minutes to hours after receiving the vaccination. Milder allergic reactions, while not immediately life-threatening, can leave you feeling ill for weeks, months, or even years.

The Flu Shot Can Paralyze or Kill You

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a debilitating side effect of the flu shot. Though considered rare, GBS has been the top vaccine injury receiving compensation by the vaccine court for several years. This disorder causes nerve damage, muscle weakness, and paralysis. Your body begins to quite literally attack itself. While these symptoms often subside after a few weeks, in other cases GBS can cause permanent damage, disability, and even death. Those over age 50 are at the highest risk of contracting Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Can the Flu Vaccine Give You the Flu?

How many times have you heard someone sniffle, “I think I have the flu! And I just got my flu shot!” Unfortunately, flu-like symptoms are one of the most frequent side effects of the flu shot. You got the flu shot to avoid exactly this: congestion, headache, fever, nausea, aches and pains… yet here you are, suffering exactly those symptoms. The doctor told you the influenza virus was inactivated (dead), so why did it make you sick? What’s going on?

The answer is simple. When you inject anything foreign into your bloodstream, there is a chance that your body will react. Flu shots contain toxic chemicals such as:

  • formaldehyde
  • MSG
  • ethylenes
  • Triton X-100
  • thimerosal (mercury)
  • polysorbate
  • phosphates and sulfates

Your body knows these chemicals don’t belong; it attacks them and tries to rid you of them, leaving you tired, achy, and downright miserable. Consider the fact that you will need to repeat the flu shot every single year. Over a lifetime, all these toxins accumulate in your system and may lead to health problems down the road.

There are several other reasons you may contract the flu after receiving a flu shot. While the flu shot contains only the dead viruses, the nasal spray flu vaccine actually contains live, weakened influenza viruses. While the CDC claims that no one can contract the flu from these weakened viruses, many disagree and believe this can lead to the flu or flu-like symptoms. The CDC does admit that the live virus flu vaccine can shed, transmitting the virus to others. They even recommend that those who are immunosuppressed avoid contact with recently vaccinated individuals for this reason!

What’s more, the flu vaccine only protects against certain viral strains of influenza — those that are most anticipated to be in circulation over the winter. Plus, your body needs a couple of weeks to build up immunity from the flu shot. So if you still come down with the flu, it may be that you were exposed too soon after vaccination, or you were exposed to a strain of flu virus that wasn’t covered by your vaccination. Some people, especially those who are in poor health, cannot build up enough antibodies to acquire immunity to the flu, and in these people the vaccination will be ineffective.

Is There Anything Natural That Can Prevent the Flu?

Yes! Whether or not you choose to get a flu shot — and you always have a choice — there are plenty of natural ways to cut your risk of getting the flu. Reduce your exposure by avoiding those who are sick, washing your hands frequently, and refraining from touching your face. Boost your immune system with all natural supplements so that your body will have the nutrients and compounds it needs to fight invading germs. Exercise, get enough sleep, don’t smoke, and eat your fruits and veggies. Make sure to drink enough water and cut back on alcohol, which suppresses the immune system. Sugar and grains can drag down the immune system too, so reduce or avoid these altogether.

Check back next week for detailed information on what you can do to avoid the flu.

By Ali Wetherbee