Supercharge your family’s immune system with smart strategies and simple steps to fight off not only cold and flu but other diseases as well. Approximately 70% of our immune system is in our gut, so it makes a huge impact on your health what you feed your gut bacteria with. Check out my blog “Get ready for school by healing your gut” for all the details.
Not only food but the lifestyle, exercise, sleep, stress, and other factors also impact our immune system. We want our bodies to be able to protect us from germs, viruses and chronic illnesses. If you haven’t already, start boosting your immunity to avoid runny nose, cold, cough, and other aches and pains so you don’t miss a day at school or work and don’t lose productivity.
10 strategies I incorporate into our family’s daily life:
1. Stay hydrated
Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Water helps our body naturally eliminate toxins by keeping our gut and kidneys healthy. To learn more about the benefits of water and how to make infused water, check out my “How to stay hydrated in the summer?” blog.
2. Eat antioxidant-rich foods, herbs, and spices
We hear the term “antioxidants” all the time but what does this really mean? Oxidation happens naturally as our cells process the oxygen we breathe and convert it into energy. But there are times when oxidation damages some cells leading to inflammation and disease. Free radicals are the damaged cells that result from oxidation. These free radical cells have an unpaired number of electrons, so they search and steal other electrons from healthy cells. This process injures other cells and opens up the body to different kinds of diseases. Antioxidants give these free radicals the electrons they are looking for, so it stops the chain reaction that can lead to compromised health. We can supply our body with antioxidants via a diet rich in antioxidant foods.
Fun fact: Dark chocolate has more antioxidant capacity than any of the superfruits, even more than blueberries. Anybody interested?
3. Eat fiber-rich foods
Fiber riches foods (berries, peaches, green leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, oats, cashews, flaxseed, just to name a few) help feeding the good bacteria in our gut. Remember, 70% of our immune system is in our gut. We love eating fruit in the morning, having an apple or carrot slices for an afternoon snack and serve fresh or roasted veggies with dinner.
4. Have a green smoothie every day
Smoothies are great because you can add your favorite leafy greens, veggies, fruits, herbs, and spices, so you end up getting not only a good amount of fiber loaded with vitamins but antioxidants too! All in one delicious drink!
We like to drink our smoothies in the morning or in the afternoon for an energy boost before sports practices.
My Basic Green Smoothie Recipe:
¾ amount of green leafy greens (spinach or baby kale)
¼ amount of fruit
1 tbsp flaxseed
1 scoop of protein powder (optional)
1-2 leaves of fresh herbs like mint, basil, or spices like a hint of cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom
Almond or other non-dairy milk or water for desired consistency
Ice, if not using frozen fruit – some might like the smoothie better when cold
Place all ingredients in this order in a good quality blender and blend for 20-30 seconds.
Cool Tip: If you are just starting out, experiment with more fruit and less leafy greens and gradually change the ratio.
5. Breathe: Reduces stress and anxiety
The connection between our gut and our brain is very powerful. When we are stressed, our brain sends signals to our gut, which is why we might experience an upset stomach. Stress and anxiety also affect what we eat. Many might crave sugar or fatty foods to cope with their feelings or some might have a suppressed appetite.
Breathing and meditation can be a stress healer. By focusing on your breath your heart rate will slow down, your cortisol level will decrease. Cortisol, our stress hormone, is associated with abdominal weight gain and decreased immune response. Slowing your breathing in stressful situations helps clear your mind, and you will be able to make better decisions.
Practice: I recommend starting your practice when you are calm, so you can easier apply the focused breathing when you are in a stressful situation. I practice breathing with my boys during our night-time routine. You can sit in a comfortable position or lay down. Close your eyes and begin by becoming aware of your breathing. Take a deep breath and exhale gently. Feel how the air flows in and slowly flows out. By breathing deeply and slowly, your body and mind will start to relax. It is that simple! Try it every day for a couple of minutes.
6. Diffuse daily and at night
We diffuse essential oils in the living room and in our bedrooms every day. Some essential oils are great at targeting invading microbes, infected cells and they strengthen our immune system and protect our body from disease. Before the fall flu and cold season, I use immune-defense essential oils.
Frankincense has superior immune-boosting ability. Thyme has anti-viral and immune-boosting compounds. Orange contains limonene, which is a powerful defender against oxidative stress, that could trigger inflammation and disease.
Immune-boosting diffuser blend
5 drops of Frankincense essential oil
2 drops of Orange essential oil
Fill your diffuser with tap water to the “fill line”. Add the essential oils and you are set.
Double bonus: Frankincense and Orange essential oils are also known to be calming and relaxing so you can use this blend for a good night's sleep while boosting your immune system.
I love the Young Living starter kit because it has the 12 essential oils you need to start with, it comes with a diffuser and some other cool Young Living products that help boosting your immune system.
7. Immune boosting essential oils roll-on
Immune System Support Roll-on
10 drops of Thieves essential oil
5 drops of Lemon essential oil (or Orange essential oil)
5 drops of Frankincense essential oil
1 drop of Oregano essential oil
Add these oils into a 10 ml roll-on bottle and top it off with either Apricot Kernel carrier oil (known to stimulate the immune system) or Coconut carrier oil (attacks bacteria and fungi and easily absorbed, making it perfect for rollerball blends). Roll on your tummy, the back of your neck and down your spine daily to give your immune system a boost.
8. Exercise or movement
Regular exercise is one of the core elements of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight and protects against a variety of diseases. Sweat every day! Your gut bacteria operate best when you exercise regularly because regular movement promotes the biodiversity of your gut flora. When your gut flora is happy, your immune system is ready to fight off diseases.
For some people, the word “exercise” feels like a dreaded chore. I like to call it movement. Find the movement that makes you sweat and feels good to you, so you are looking forward to doing it every day: a brisk walk, yoga, jogging, tennis, join a soccer league, jump on a mini-trampoline every morning for couple minutes, check out your local gym…, really, the ideas are endless. My boys are out in the fresh air every day either playing or bike-riding or practicing the sport of the season. My husband lifts some weights in the morning and likes to go on long bike-rides after work. I personally am not a gym person; I just love to pop in my exercise DVDs at home or get a variety of workouts from different apps. Find your favorite movement that you are looking forward to doing and enjoy!
Sleep disorder is a huge problem in our busy world. Not only adults but our children are getting less and less quality sleep. People who do not get enough sleep have an increased rate of getting viral infections, obesity, mood disorders, and the list goes on. Quality sleep improves performance, memory, immunity, and appearance. While you are asleep your internal organs rest and recover; hormones that regulate stress, appetite control, growth, and metabolism are released and memory consolidation occurs.
Getting a good night’s sleep starts with eating a healthy diet (remove stimulants before bedtime) and creating a peaceful bedroom (clean out the clutter, remove electronics from your room, reduce exposure to light and sound).
Create a bedtime routine. This is especially needed for children, but you will notice your body will get used to it too.
Try to relax your child’s brain by using deep breathing exercises. You can even try meditation. There are lots of wonderful apps for guided meditations designed for children and adults.
Our evening routine starts with setting the diffuser with a blend of lavender and orange, bergamot or frankincense essential oils, which promote not only relaxation but also boosts the immune system. By the time I start smelling the lovely scent I usually start yawning. Then we read a book, talk about what we are grateful for today and about the fun moments we had (this helps relieve anxiety and stress), turn the lights off and focus on our breath.
10. Use non-toxic cleaners and household items
We absorb chemicals through our skin, and we breathe them in through our nose. When you remove the toxic household cleaners and replace your chemically loaded household items with non-toxic ones, your immune system will get a huge break and it will be able to focus on other important things such as dealing with germs and keeping your body healthy. So next time you go shopping just replace your cleaner, shampoo, soap, detergent, toothpaste, lotion … etc. with non-toxic ones. Which ones to choose? Try to avoid products if you can’t pronounce the chemical ingredient. Choose pure, natural ingredients from essential oils and botanical origin.
My favorite cleaner: Thieves Household Cleaner from Young Living. This is the BEST household cleaner, ever! I have been using Thieves cleaner for over a year now everywhere in my house and it has passed all the tests I have put it to. You can read more about this on my Facebook page (V & C Natural Health) or on my Instagram page (vandcnaturalhealth).
To get yours, contact me at and I am happy to give you more info.
Are you ready to boost your immunity? If you have any additional questions or if you need help incorporating habits that help you and your children toward a healthier life now and for the future, contact me for a 15-minute chat to uncover how I can help your family creating sustainable healthy habits.
Do you have friends and family who need help with focusing better in school or at work, who need help with reducing stress, get a good night’s sleep or deal with cravings? I can help. Have them contact me at for a free consultation.
To Your Health,