Back to School Basics: 3 Immune-Boosting Tools You Can Find in Your Kitchen!

With October just around the corner, the air is crisp, and school is back in full swing.

Just because this time of year is ordinarily full of sniffles and sore throats, it doesn’t mean that your child or your family has to suffer through the seasonal cold or flu.

Your kitchen can contain everyday tools that strengthen the immune system and keep infections at bay.

Building a strong immune defense system is not as difficult as you would imagine.

In fact, the human body is designed to fight off pathogenic bugs. In spite of this, modern convenience and fast-paced living make it tough for the body to do what it is meant to do – thrive!

Keep your family’s health in tiptop shape this school year by using medicinal tools found in your very own kitchen. Natural remedies like fermented foods and bone broth can boost immunity to help resist the common cold and flu.

When it comes to our children, a slight shift in lifestyle can make a big difference. These are things like:

  • Poor dietary choices that involve too much sugar and refined oils
  • Antibiotic overuse
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Too much screen time with electronics and not enough time outdoors

The body has an innate ability to simply bounce back – even after a bout with the flu bug. This is especially true when we give the body good food, good sleep, and the opportunity to move.

Your Kitchen Can Be Your Tool Box and Medicine Bag

Whether you live in a large farmhouse or a small studio apartment in the middle of the city, your kitchen can contain everyday tools that strengthen the immune system and keep infections at bay.

Below are 3 tips that any home kitchen can manage.

1. Get Familiar with Fermentation. Most of the fermented foods that we are familiar with are things like yogurt and sauerkraut. Both of these foods are readily available at any supermarket, although their availability does not ensure quality.

Quality ferments already contain a rich community of beneficial bacteria.

Fermented foods that pack the biggest punch are typically the ones that you make yourself. Cultured vegetables can be made from cabbage, carrots, and cucumber, and you can even throw in a little seaweed for an extra boost of trace minerals. We recommend using a starter culture in order to ensure that the strains of bacteria growing in your ferment are 100% beneficial.

Some grocers sell high-quality fermented foods that can rival what you would make at home. If you can find them, they will be in the refrigerated section of the store. When you open the product, you should hear a pop and a fizz that sounds like carbonation but is really the gases produced by friendly bacteria.

While it may be tempting to pop a probiotic capsule, one recent study found that a food matrix greatly supports the survival of bacteria as they make their way through the caustic environment of the digestive tract. (1)

A simple way to get your children to like these living probiotics and enzymes is to mix a little stevia into a few ounces of InnergyBiotic first thing in the morning before school and right after dinner.

2. Pull Out Your Slow Cooker or Crock Pot. A slow cooker is a highly efficient kitchen tool and is invaluable when it come to making bone broth.

Bone broth is usually made from the bones of beef, lamb, bison, and chicken. In the culinary world, a good bone broth gives an unmatched depth and richness to sauces, soups, and stews.

When it comes to nutrition, bone broth is the quintessential restorative tonic. It can serve as a postpartum elixir or as baby’s first food. It can deliver nutrients to a tired gastrointestinal tract and call upon the immune system in cases of chronic inflammation. This makes it ideal for the elderly or those with severe gut disorders.

In addition to all of this, bone broth gives the immune system exactly what it needs to function at its fullest potential. A cup of bone broth in the morning or with dinner can do wonders for your child’s immune defense.

Because bone broth can take hours and sometimes days to make, the easiest way to make bone broth is to use a slow cooker. A slow cooker can be left unattended and requires a minute amount of energy.

When making bone broth, go for bones that are lined with thick cartilage and connective tissue. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar to help break down bones during the cooking process. Set the temperature of the slow cooker to low. If you would like a steaming batch of bone broth within an hour, use a pressure cooker.

3. Celebrate Seafood. Specifically, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are recommended. This is because fatty fish contain high levels of vitamin D, a nutrient that is key when it comes to optimal immune function.

While we generally associate vitamin D with healthy bones, it actually affects many other systems besides the skeletal system.

Vitamin D acts as a steroid hormone in the body. Other steroid hormones are testosterone and estrogen. Like these other steroid hormones, vitamin D has a profound affect on the immune system and helps to regulate immune function. Studies have found that low levels of vitamin D play a role in the development of tuberculosis and can increase your chances of getting the flu. (2)(3)

Watch out for foods that are fortified with vitamin D as they often contain vitamin D2, which comes from plants and is less bioavailable.

What To Remember Most About This Article:

As your kids head back to school, it’s important to build a strong immune defense to help your family stay healthy during cold and flu season. Many times, lifestyle choices like a poor diet, antibiotic overuse, and irregular sleep can make the body susceptible to illness.

The good news is that the body is designed to bounce back, even after a bout of the flu. You can use your kitchen as your toolbox to strengthen your family’s immune health and fight infection with these 3 helpful tips:

  1. Get familiar with fermentation. Eating quality fermented foods daily will support immune health with friendly bacteria. You can use a convenient starter culture to ensure that all ferments contain strains of bacteria that are 100% beneficial. Kids can also enjoy InnergyBiotic mixed with naturally sweet stevia before school and before bed for a healthy dose of living probiotics and enzymes.
  2. Pull out your slow cooker. A slow cooker can be easily used to make nutrient-dense bone broth to function as a restorative tonic. Enjoying bone broth daily can build up a child’s immunity so that their immune system can function at its fullest potential.
  3. Celebrate seafood. Fatty fish contains high levels of vitamin D, which can help to boost immune function. Not only will vitamin D regulate immunity, but research proves that it can prevent tuberculosis and decrease the risk of the flu.
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  1. Faye, Tamburello, Vegarud, & Skeie (2012). Survival of lactic acid bacteria from fermented milks in an in vitro digestion model exploiting sequential incubation in human gastric and duodenum juice J. Dairy Sci., 95 (2) DOI: 10.3168/jds.2011-4705
  2. Beard JA, Bearden, A, Striker, R (Mar 2011). Vitamin D and the anti-viral state. Journal of clinical virology : the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology 50 (3): 194–200. doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2010.12.006
  3. Nnoaham KE, Clarke, A (Feb 2008). Low serum vitamin D levels and tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Epidemiology 37 (1): 113–9. doi:10.1093/ije/dym247
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