A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Victoria Larson, N.D.

No more hot dogs
No more s’mores
No more extra summer chores

If there’s an end-of-school chant, shouldn’t there be one for back-to-school too? Not just for kids but also for the many adults headed back to school as well. As we move gently to cooler weather, which sends us to sleep sooner and less time outdoors and also less exercise, we need to think of boosting our immunity.

Less time outdoors, more time indoors, increases the chances of “coming down with something.” This does not always have to be the case, though.

Naturopaths, and many others, believe that it’s rarely “the germs” that cause the disease. After all, germs are everywhere all the time. It’s the “field” that the germs land on that causes the diseased state. Germs enter your nasal passages, ears, eyes, but mostly through your gut, that term referring to the long tube that goes from mouth to…the other end.

If your child, or you for that matter, is the one who “always gets sick” or “brings every illness home” it’s time to consider “the field” that those germs land on. While in the United States we use more vaccines than any other country in the world, we still have some of the highest rates of chronic disease. Without getting into a further discussion of vaccines, let’s consider immune support for all of our children, and all of our citizens, for that matter. While the medical community and pharmaceutical companies continue to increase their profit margin, those of any income level can do their part to combat illness.

In the U.S. we’ve come to accept disease states as “the norm.” Allergies, Autism, ADHD, the list goes on. It always amazes me that there are people who shrug off diabetes type II, when there is so much evidence showing that diet and exercise are as effective in the treatment of diabetes as drugs like Metformin. Yet, there are people who complain more about the cost of their food than the cost of pharmaceuticals. The appropriate expression here might be “pick your battles.”

The complaint of food costing so much in a nation where only 10% of income is spent on food (less than most other countries) and throws away nearly 40% of the food they buy is sort of backwards. In many countries food is purchased daily or nearly so, and locally, not trucked in from thousands of miles away. The markets are not “super” markets or big box stores with entire aisles devoted to boxes of cold cereal or plastic bottles of salad dressing.

So where does good nutrition start? At home, fixing breakfast for your kids and foregoing the office goodies. Or worse yet, that candy bar and energy drink that many teens think constitutes a breakfast. Try to wean children off cold cereals (any brand) perhaps by letting them sprinkle some on their oatmeal (which does have nutritional value) or yogurt. Add fresh fruit (endless choices these days) and nuts and proper protein of cow’s or goat’s milk.

Almond, rice, and soy milk may be appropriate for some instances but make sure other nutrients are still being supplied. Perhaps some wheat germ (readily available in the cereal aisle) or nutritional yeast (not baker’s yeast) which is a little harder to find but often in bulk food sections of the store.

Children need plenty of carbs because they are still growing and building their bodies. These needn’t be the empty carbs of cookies, crackers, or hydrogenated peanut butter or chocolate on white bread! Better sources for growth and health would be nut proteins, fruits and veggies. Healthy fats include avocado oil, butter, certain cheeses, eggs, flax seeds, olive oil, and animal fats from pastured-raised animals. Expensive? Yes, but so is medical healthcare and those pharmaceuticals. Since most pharmaceuticals have side effects leading you to need more drugs, you should know that by the time you are taking a third drug it’s to take care of the side effects of the first two!

Whereas the side effect of good nutrition and a healthy immune system is….good health!

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