Going back to school makes everyone anxious, and I’m not only referring to the students! Even if you’re prepared for the impending early morning wake-ups and the crazy afternoons of homework and activities, it can be scary to consider and difficult to prepare for the amount of germs within and throughout our schools that our students have to face every day. For this reason, it is especially important to discover the right routine and remedies to keep everyone sane and healthy. You included!
Here are my recommendations for some of the top and most effective products to keep your family’s immune system at its best while limited exposure to toxic ingredients:
1. Hand Sanitizer and Washing Hands
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this past April finalized a rule that manufacturers can no longer use 28 active ingredients that are common in over-the-counter hand sanitizers, including triclosan and benzethonium chloride.
While the ban of these 28 chemicals is only expected to affect less than 3% of the hand sanitizer market, the ruling won’t take effect until April 13, 2020 – leaving these potentially harmful sanitizers on the market for a little longer. Be careful when selecting your hand sanitizers to make sure they don’t contain any toxic ingredients, but always remember that the safest and most effective disinfectant is a good old fashioned hand washing with soap and water.
My recommendation for when you can’t use soap and water such as when you’re at a sports game, is to use a lighter alternative like the Thieves hand purifier which is composed of essential oils or the EO hand sanitizer spray in lavender which consists of water aloe and essential oils.
About 80% of of immune system's strength lies in your gut, making it the powerhouse of your immune system. With that in mind, let’s talk about what probiotics are and what they can do for you and your family.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that can be ingested through certain foods or supplements. Eating live microorganisms may sound strange but don’t worry – they are truly and unquestionably amazing for you!
Probiotics offer a plethora of benefits to your health and general wellbeing, including balancing the friendly bacteria in your digestive system, boosting your immune system, and keeping your heart healthy – and that’s only a few examples!
We take probiotics every day in our family and suggest to take a high-quality probiotic that contains live active cultures and at least 1 billion CFU’s (colony-forming units, or the amount of live or active micro-organisms found in your probiotic serving). Look for live active future strains that contains Lactobacillus Acid ph and Bi Fidocateriam.
A spoonful of organic elderberry helps keep the doctor away! Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world. It was used by Native Americans and Egyptians for various medicinal purposes, and is taken today as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms.
Packed with antioxidants, elderberry is a superfood that does wonders for the body including fighting harmful bacteria and supporting the immune system. Additionally, elderberry is loaded with flavonoids like anthocyanins, which is a powerful plant pigment that reduces inflammation, and as a bonus also has antiviral properties. Whenever you or your children are feeling run down or have been around someone with a bug, taking a serving of this natural but powerful remedy can help.
4. Vitamin D
Maintaining a high level of Vitamin D is an essential component of maintaining a healthy body. This vitamin plays multiple roles throughout our bodies, including supporting the health of our immune system, nervous system, lung function, cardiovascular health, etc. - there are countless ways that it supports us!
I think you get the point, vitamin D is vital. But because we commonly use SPF and hide from the sun, most people are unnecessarily deficient in Vitamin D, even my friends here in Florida, the sunshine state! Adding a supplement to your routine to ensure you are getting the daily recommended dose of vitamin D is a great alternative, or addition, to a daily dose of sunshine.
5. Manuka Honey
Pass the honey please!
Manuka honey is a rare type of honey native to New Zealand that provides anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits. The honey’s high level of the active ingredient Methylglyoxal is likely what is responsible for its amazing antibacterial effects, and is what distinguishes it from other honey’s.
You can enjoy a serving straight off the spoon or mix into smoothies or other foods like yogurt. The health benefits are likely what makes it more expensive than other honey, but trust me when I say Manuka honey is worth every penny!
6. Essential Oils
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. Integrating essential oils into your daily routine can offer many amazing benefits including creating a calm relaxing environment, reducing anxiety, elevating mood and supporting the immune system.
I personally diffuse Thieves essential oil blend to help support my family’s immune systems by neutralizing bacterial and viral pathogens that may be in our home. These essential oils, or little bottles of magic, can do wonders for your family and give your home a wonderful clean scent.
7. Cut the Sugar
I know how hard it is to skip the sweet treats as bribery for a good start to the school year but sugar is known to wreak havoc on our immune system. Sugar is devious because while it tastes amazing, it is undeniably terrible for us.
Too much sugar can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and may even increase the risk of cancer and/or depression. Try treating with some fresh frozen popsicles or some low sugar homemade treats for snacks or treats as an alternative.
I hope these tips help de-stress this stressful time of year and ensure the healthy and happiness of everyone in your home!
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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am just a mom who shares what works for me!