Here we are, already in August! Summer breaks are nearly over and soon students and teachers alike will be heading back to class. Unfortunately, that also means increased exposure to viruses that cause colds and flu. In the classroom, illnesses frequently spread from one student to another and can be transmitted home to make entire families sick. Keeping healthy is the first assignment for a successful school year!
While adopting healthy lifestyle habits, like getting adequate sleep, consuming healthy foods, exercising and regularly washing your hands, will build the foundation for good health, adding proper supplementation can further support a healthy immune system and help your student and family avoid colds, flu and other illnesses associated with back-to-school.
a few supplements that can help you stay ahead of the class…
Children (and adults too) can be picky eaters. Making sure to get adequate vitamins and minerals through food sources can be challenging. Consuming quality nutritional supplements are an excellent way to ensure minimum daily nutrient values are being met. We have many chewable varieties (including gummies!) that look cute and taste great. For children who can swallow a tablet, check out our new MegaFood vitamins for kids. They are made from certified non-GMO fruits and vegetables and will help your scholar stay healthy and strong.
Moving back indoors for school means less vitamin D from sunshine. Research indicates adequate Vitamin D levels are important for many aspects of health—including helping modulate the immune system. Studies show that individuals with low vitamin D levels have a 36% increased chance of upper respiratory infection. In another study where participants supplemented with 1,200 IU vitamin D daily for four months, the occurrence of influenza A was reduced in Japanese school children by 42%.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have multiple health benefits for children and adults. In addition to supporting heart health and memory, EPA and DHA have been shown to support a healthy immune system. Research suggests that regular supplementation with fish oil, or equivalent vegetarian EPA/DHA supplement, reduces incidence of illness in children nine to twelve years of age, and decreases length and severity of illness when they do occur.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that populate a healthy digestive tract and can be found in foods such as yogurt, kefir (check the label for live cultures), and live fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi. Probiotics can be taken as a supplement. A recent study reported that children three to five years of age who consumed probiotics twice daily for six months had a 53% reduced incidence of fever, a 41% reduced incidence of coughing and a 28% reduced incidence of runny nose! Look for products containing multiple strains for best results. We have chewables, liquids, capsules and powders for ease of administration for any age.
Zinc has long been recognized as an important nutrient that helps regulate the immune system. Clinical trials supplementing with zinc in the first 24 hours of the onset of a cold, showed that duration and severity were reduced. Ongoing supplementation with zinc may help to reduce the number of colds and flu experienced.
In addition to these important supplements, the Wellness department at Willy Street Co-op also has products to help manage back-to-school anxiety, improve sleep or help with muscle strains and pains that occur with sports. Our friendly Wellness staff is ready to help you find everything you need for a healthy back-to-school season!