I often look to nature to nurture my family and myself. Especially with my kids being so young, I now have two even more important reasons to go natural. Especially during cold and flu season.
Lucky for me, one of my former colleagues turned good friend is a naturopathic doctor. This is our ND/ nutrition crew from Beijing. Dr. Melissa Rodriguez is on the left and Lujin, our amazing dietitian, is on the right.
A little bit about Dr. Rodriguez… Melissa is passionate about health and wellness, natural medicine, and working with patients to achieve their goals for optimal health. She addresses the needs of the whole person; body, mind, and spirit by blending conventional medical practices with traditional healing approaches.
With the cold and flu season still going strong, I asked Dr Rodriguez for her take on boosting immunity through natural means. This is her response:
” As a mom, I take my kids health very seriously, and as a naturopathic doctor I’m lucky enough to know how to help them through the cold and flu
There are many natural therapies and treatments that can be used to help boost our children’s immune systems. These are some of my favorites.
Fruits and veggies. Eat plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies. The foundation of our health (including that of our immune system) is the diet. The micronutrients found in plant foods help support a strong immune system. Look for dark pigmented fruits like berries and grapes, as well as veggies like purple cabbage and dark leafy greens. Think color! I always tell my kids (and patients) to eat a rainbow. Broccoli is an immune boosting powerhouse, as well as onions and garlic. These foods may not be easy to get into your child, if necessary think of ways of blending these into soups and stews, or maybe even juicing them.
Fermented foods. Consume more fermented foods. Products like natural plain yogurt, live sauerkraut and kombucha contain healthy bacteria that help fight off disease causing microorganisms. Another option is to take a probiotic supplement that includes lactobacillus acidophilus, this bacterium normally found in our digestive tracts is one of the heavy hitters for enhancing immunity.
Herbal immune boosters. Astragalus is gentle yet powerful herb. It has been used as an immune tonic for thousands of years, and has an important place in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It can increase vitality and even has anti-tumor activity. Astragalus is easily given to kids as a tincture, mixing it with water or diluted apple juice. Thankfully the flavor is very mild. One of my favorite brands is Herbs for Kids.
Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can negatively impact our immune system, and unfortunately low Vitamin D levels are a global phenomenon. Vitamin
D is naturally produced on our skin with sun exposure, but the constant use of sunscreen doesn’t allow this process to happen naturally. This means we must supplement.”
Special thanks to Dr. Rodriguez. To my Beijing friends and visitors, you can make an appointment with our favorite naturopath at Beijing United Family Hospital. To learn more about her and her services, check out her website at http://s679707826.onlinehome.us/