Ah September. The beginning of Autumn with its beautiful orangey yellow hues, crisp mornings and some warm Indian Summer sunshine if we’re lucky. We might even dare to start thinking about Christmas. But if you’re a parent of young children, then you’re probably also preparing for those three words that we all fear. Back. To. School.
Both you and the kids might be dreading the morning routines and maths homework, but you’re probably also concerned about the onslaught of coughs, colds, sickness and stomach bugs this time of year brings.
So, amongst the shiny un-scuffed shoes, just-that-little-bit-too-big school uniform and new pencil cases, have you thought about back to school vitamins?
The biggest weapon we have in our armoury for avoiding bugs is a strong immune system. The best way to a strong immune system? A healthy diet full of fresh fruits and veggies. And whilst some kids may actually eat their greens, after a summer of ice cream and chips (because who doesn’t?) our kid’s immunity might not be at it’s strongest. Annoyingly, this coincides with replacing the outdoors with the indoors. Cramming 30 children into one classroom, the windows firmly shut is a recipe for bug-mageddon. It only takes one kid with a cold to send everyone else reaching for the tissues. Or worse, the sick bucket. And teachers, we’re not forgetting you or the fact it’s much harder for you to take a duvet day.
So, what can we do? Boost our immunity with vitamins and superfoods, that’s what! Here’s the BigVits guide to impressive immunity supplements.
Probably the most well-known of the immune boosting vitamins, along with vitamin E, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. This means it helps the body ‘mop up’ free radicals, nasty little molecules that can dampen down our immune response. The more supported the immune system is, the more power it will have to fight invading winter bugs. If there’s one supplement you and your family take, make it vitamin C! Even if you do fall foul of a cold, vitamin C has been proven to help reduce the length and severity of colds.
Zinc is a mineral that also helps to reduce the symptoms of a cold, and how long they stick around for. It can also help to reduce the risk of upper respiratory infections in youngsters.
A herb rather than a vitamin or mineral, echinacea supplements stimulate the immune system. Take these supplements either every day or at the very beginning of a cold, to reduce the severity.
Elderberries are the fruit of the elderflower plant and are packed with antioxidant vitamins and immune boosting minerals.
Most associated with helping to keep our teeth and bones healthy, vitamin D is now thought to also play a role in activating certain cells of the immune system called T cells. T cells are pivotal in fighting infections. Since we produce vitamin D from sunlight hitting our skin, it’s a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement during the darker UK winter months.
It’s not just colds and flus we need to worry about, the cooler months also mean an increase in stomach bugs. Probiotics are the ‘good bacteria’ our guts need to stay healthy. If we have good reserves of these bugs, then we’re more equipped to fend off invading bugs such as the revered winter vomiting virus or bugs that cause stomach upsets in general.
Keep everyone healthy this Autumn, with our extensive range of immune boosting supplements!