Did you know that your body’s best defense against illness is a robust immune system? Building up the body’s natural defenses doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time.
Dealing with a child fighting the flu has got to be one of the most challenging journeys as a mom, and I know so many others can relate to how tough it can be.
There’s no way we can fully prevent every cold or flu bug from making us/our little ones ill. But, I know first hand the benefits of naturally boosting the immune system, as one sure way of building our body’s defenses against common ailments.
Implementing immune-boosting protocols, way before your little one even gets infected, gives them a better chance of avoiding illness.
A healthy diet can never be over-emphasized; and I’ll always put that at the top. There are so many schools of thoughts about diets plans and protocols, what you should be eating and not eating. One thing I do know for a fact is this: a diet full of highly processed foods, full of chemicals, preservatives, dyes, and/or artificial sweeteners will always do harm to your body.
Now that that has been established, we have to know that we cannot always get all the needed vitamins and nutrients from food.
Here’s where supplements come in.
I know the big burning question may be: “If I am eating really well from mother nature, and drinking my water, why do I need supplements when I can get the nutrients from food?“
Why do we need Supplements At All?
“In many ways, supplements are to humans what fertilizer is to plants. Give a plant adequate amounts of sunlight and water, and it will survive. Add some nutrient-rich fertilizer (organic, of course), and the plant will thrive.”
Varying farming practices including the chemicals used in farming, depleted soils, preservatives and additives, all create imbalances in our food supply. Sometimes even the stress of life, a demanding lifestyle or medical complications can create a need in your body for specific vitamins and minerals.
For example, USDA tests showed that in 1950, spinach on average contained 158 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. The average iron content of spinach today is 2.7 milligrams per 100 grams. Food simply isn’t the same anymore.
No, taking supplements will not fix a poor diet. But, even for kids that eat healthy, getting all the needed vitamins and nutrients from food can be tricky.
Taking supplements is a way to fill in what an otherwise healthy lifestyle is missing
Today, I am sharing 3 Must-Have Supplements that you need to have in your medicine cabinet. They have been a game changer for our kids’ wellness, and I am certain it will be for yours also!
Please note that none of these should be used as a replacement for drugs being taken regarding any health condition. Please consult your doctor.
Elderberries (genus name Sambucus nigra) has been used in traditional folk medicine for generations, and they are said to have the highest concentrations of antioxidants than any other berry. The antioxidants present in elderberries fight free radicals in the body, while boosting your immune health. One of my dreams is to be THE Elderberry Lady in West Africa. I can’t talk enough about how powerful these berries are. Elderberry has been used medicinally for centuries to fight infections, clear up complexions and boost immunity. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 1 cup of Elderberries contains:
- 55 grams of calcium
- 2 grams of iron
- 7.3 grams of magnesium
- 52 grams of vitamin C
- 406 grams of potassium
- 44 grams of vitamin A
Studies have even shown that elderberry supplements shortened the duration of the flu by four days as compared to a placebo.
It’s also been used as treatment for constipation, infections that affect how you breathe, fever, and even headaches. Here in Ghana, I make potent Elderberry gummies and syrups with real, clean ingredients that are naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Like echinacea, cloves, star anise, hibiscus tea. You just can’t go wrong with this combo. It’s something I have wanted to do for so long, and it warms my heart to receive reviews from many mothers on how much it has helped their kids, and kept them out of the hospital. That means so much to me. If you’d like to place an order, you can do so via whatsapp on +233552915390.
Vitamin D is also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. You’re probably familiar with the role of vitamin D in promoting healthy bones.
Vitamin D comes in two forms:
- Vitamin D2 is naturally found in some plants.
- Vitamin D3 is naturally found in animals and is produced by the skin when it’s exposed to sunlight.
Your vitamin D needs can be met with either form. But healthcare providers generally suggest D3 supplements because it:
- raises your overall vitamin D level more than D2
- lasts longer in the body than D2.
Vitamins D2 and D3 both prompt your liver to produce 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is essential for maintaining your immune system’s health, keeping your bones strong, and regulating your mood.
Vitamin D3 offers many health benefits:
- Strengthens bones and muscles
- Boosts immunity
- Improves mood
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves heart function
So, if your body isn’t producing enough 25-hydroxyvitamin D, that can impact your immune system. Since vitamin D plays a major role in keeping your immune system functioning well, a deficiency can cause you to be more vulnerable to getting sick. I believe it’s also important to note that we take vitamin D3 and K2 supplements.Taking Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K2 helps ensure that the calcium transported by the Vitamin D is absorbed by your bones where it’s needed, rather than accumulating in deposits in your arteries.
This is the Vitamin D3 supplement I offer my kids. We really love the Mary Ruth Organics brand. I also take this brand of Vitamin D3/k2.
The optimal concentration of zinc in the body is necessary for a healthy immune function. Zinc deficiency in humans has been said to be an important malnutrition problem world-wide; and more prevalent in areas of high cereal and low animal food consumption. While the diet may not necessarily be low in zinc, the issue here is more about bio-availability- which plays a major role in its absorption. Phytic acid, which is found in many grains is the main known inhibitor of zinc (side note: this is why we are encouraged to soak our grains in order to break down phytic acid). Compared to adults, infants, children, adolescents, pregnant, and lactating women have increased requirements for zinc and thus, are at increased risk of zinc depletion.
Because it helps cells to grow and multiply, adequate zinc is required during times of rapid growth, such as childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy.
What does Bioavailability mean?
Bio-availability refers to the fraction of intake that can be absorbed into the blood system and used for physiologic functions of the body.
Why Do We Need Zinc?
Research on oral zinc has proven that:
- if zinc supplements are taken within 24 hours after cold symptoms start, that can help shorten the length of colds.
- oral zinc supplements can reduce the symptoms of diarrhea in children with low levels of zinc, such as from malnutrition.
- zinc that’s used topically (known as zinc oxide) prevents conditions such as diaper rash, wound infection, sunburn and other inflamed zinc conditions.
Our current favorite is this brand. The kids are always so excited to take it.
While these three supplements are not the ONLY ones you need, I hope this blogpost lets you know why you NEED these in your medicine cabinet. As I mentioned, they have certainly been game changers in our home, and I am certain they will be for you and yours.
Always in Love and Health,