When the cooler months arrive, moms and dads everywhere start to dread the thought of flu and colds entering the home. When and what is going to hit the house? Will it be mild or rough? Do I still have infant vitamin D drops and cold medicine in the cabinet?
During the summer, these worries aren't as much of a concern. But with less daylight in winter, kids and adults often have lower vitamin D, making them more vulnerable to illness. You can help bolster the immune system by giving it the nutrients it needs. This winter, consider the value of vitamin D and alternate methods of increasing your kids' levels.
For a long time, many medical professionals felt that vitamin D had its place solely with bones. Studies clearly showed that it particularly impacted bone strength and that less vitamin D meant trouble absorbing calcium. Without the appropriate amounts, children could suffer from more breaks or a condition called rickets.
While this nutrient remains essential to bone development, researchers have learned that vitamin D serves another essential purpose in immune functionality. Higher levels may help the body combat frustrating viruses.
In a Washington Post article, microbiologist Margherita T. Cantorna emphasizes the vital role of vitamin D in the body's ability to fight disease. Not only does this nutrient impact the gastrointestinal tract, but it is a pivotal player in reducing inflammation and battling intruding microbes.
Most kids and adults get enough of the nutrient during the summer by heading outside, allowing the sunshine to do its job. The UVB rays assist the body in producing the supplement, thus, arming the immune system. Cold weather often leads to less time outside, so kids struggle to maintain appropriate levels.
What can you boost vitamin D when the sun's gone away? There are some easy, convenient options that kids will love. The simplest is looking for companies like Wellement that focus on creating natural products that are easy to consume and offer appropriate, research-based levels.
Having something on hand means you can make it a simple routine. Take it in the morning with breakfast, and know your loved ones are set for the day (whether they head outside or not).
During colder or cloudier months, consider stocking your fridge and pantry with foods full of vitamin D. Add one or two to your plate each day. Make the main feature a selection of fatty fish, pork or eggs. Include some mushrooms in a salad or cook them with other veggies.
If your children aren't there with their palate, then check labels. Many companies fortify cereals, snack bars and yogurts with vitamin D.
This winter, find some fun activities to do inside. But also consider your children's vitamin D needs. If you can't get it from the sun, look to alternative sources. Understand facts about colds, rely on supplements and make dietary changes. These decisions boost the immune system.