As I've found myself sharing the following multiple times in the PTA and church positions I hold, I thought sharing "here" may also be appreciated and appropriate. Maybe a helpful reminder or even something new to think about:
Here's To Your Wellness!
To help ensure that you and our kids are functioning with optimal immune systems, please consider the following tips:
One of the MOST effective preventive habits is simply good hand washing skills. Using warm, soapy water, especially before touching our mouths, ears, nose, eyes, and our food can greatly reduce the exposure to many potential 'bugs'. Encourage children to sing their ABC's while scrubbing to ensure enough soap time.
Teach your children to use tissues for coughing, sneezing and nose blowing then properly disposing of the tissue. If tissues aren't available, using their sleeve or elbow rather than their hands.
Find a quality Vit D3 source. Most often, the liquid forms are more assimilated in the body. Study after study show that vitamin D plays a critical role in our immune function.
Eat primarily whole foods, including a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding a diet high in processed foods filled with preservatives and artificial ingredients. Before you eat anything, ask yourself, is this food supporting my health or stressing my health? Then decide if you really want to eat it.
Support a healthy digestion by incorporating probiotics and fermented foods into your diet. See the following borrowed from Best Health Magazine:
About 100 trillion bacteria call your gut home - improve the ratio of good to bad bacteria by eating foods that contain probiotics (various types of healthy bacteria). Probiotics, which include lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, keep the lining of the colon healthy and may improve gut motility and sensation. While much of the research has centered on intestinal health, studies point to potential positive effects on the mouth and stomach, too.
- "The good bacteria in fermented foods like yogurt, miso and sauerkraut can make it through the gastric acid to the colon, where they go to work," says Yoshida. "There are some claims that the acid in your stomach kills the probiotic bacteria in food and that's why you should take supplements instead, but that's not true."
- "In principle, there is no difference between probiotics taken as a supplement and those in food," says Michael Gänzle, Canada Research Chair in food microbiology and probiotics at the department of agriculture, food and nutritional science at the University of Alberta. "In practice, it is easier to keep high cell counts during the product's shelf life if they are in a supplement." Experts recommend you use a product that contains one million to one billion live cultures. "But the market is unregulated; the consumer has to trust that the product contains live cultures that remain throughout the shelf life," explains Gänzle. "Try a product and see if you feel better. If you don't, try another."
- To support the growth of probiotic bacteria, also choose foods known as prebiotics that naturally contain lots of soluble fiber, such as bananas, garlic, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, honey, leeks and onions. Foods such as cheese and cereal bars that are labelled "prebiotic" usually have added inulin, a soluble fiber most often extracted from chicory root.
Reduce (or eliminate even) the amount of sugar your children consume. Sugar stresses several systems in the body and reduces the body's ability to fight germs and infection. Simple carbs break down into sugar and throw off the balance of a healthy gut.
Get plenty of rest, avoiding late bedtimes. If you recall the sleepless nights when our children were babies, you remember the difference in our ability to function well.
Get plenty of regular exercise, the benefits affect all our systems, including our immune responses to the germs that are circulating during 'flu season'. It's possible to be fit and unhealthy at the same time, but you can't be healthy if you're not fit.
For the sake of your health and for those around you, relax, smile, and tell a joke. "Humor stimulates laughter. And we know that physiological stimulation through laughter leads to a number of health benefits. It appears to reduce stress; it tends to boost immunoglobulin A (an antibody that fights upper respiratory disease) and it tends to boost killer T-cells, which are antibodies that fight infection", according to Steven M. Sultanoff Ph.D.
Remember a healthy perspective about the germs and bugs rather than fear them. Know that "bugs" are here and part of our environment. When we come in contact with them everyday, we're doing little immune system workouts when we kill them, building and strengthening our natural defenses, ideally without having to "tip" into symptoms that make us feel bad. BUT if we're already run down, the body will put you to bed because you didn't do that for yourself already.
Maintain Proper Hydration: The human body is made up of roughly 70% water. We need water for our bodies, specifically our immunesystem, to run efficiently and effectively.
To guide you in your journey to health and wellness, seek out a person who will support you in your commitment to your health and wellness goals. (health practitioner, health coach, friends and family with similar health / lifestyle goals) We are not alone in our efforts.
See your chiropractor regularly. For many years chiropractors have claimed that spinal adjustments can help improve the overall health of an individual. There is a growing body of scientific research to support this contention.
Please remember that children learn by example, healthy caregivers foster healthy children.
We're excited to support our school families with events and information in the coming year.
Serving our children together,
Your Dekalb Council PTA Wellness Committee
Continue to visit the DeKalb County Council's Wellness Site for information.
Submitted by Lisa Engle - DeKalb Council Wellness Co-Chair