A naturopath’s tips for boosting your immune system and beating lurgies

Kinderling News & Features

Sick of getting sick? Naturopath Emma Sutherland shares her smart tips to lose the lurgy as quick as possible. 

Listen to Emma on Kinderling Conversation:

A healthy diet is important

Take care of your family by making dishes with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and lean meat or fish. While the jury’s still out on whether Vitamin C definitively reduces cold and flu symptoms, it does strengthen white blood cells. Try kiwi fruit, oranges, pineapples, mangoes, papaya and strawberries, plus vegetables like red and green capsicum, chilli, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. 

Foods that help you get well

There’s a reason why every culture in the world has a recipe for chicken soup – it really does have cold-busting properties! Get a chicken and boil it up with some vegetables and whatever combination of herbs and spices you like, such as garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric, sage, thyme and a squeeze of lemon. Cook up a big batch and freeze portions for later. 

Foods to avoid when you’re sick

Try and avoid reaching for chocolate or sugary treats when you’re sick because these can reduce the ability of your white blood cells to absorb and destroy viruses and bacteria. Avoid soft drinks, processed foods and alcohol. 

Make a strategy for sleep

Where possible, allow one parent or carer to have a good night’s rest and then alternate, so you’re getting a good night’s sleep at least every second night. A six hour block of good quality sleep makes a big difference. 

Be kind to your partner

Instead of expecting them to read your mind, acknowledge you’re feeling cranky and unwell and let your partner know that you need a bit more help. When your partner is unwell, give them some TLC, make them a cup of tea and give them a backrub. 

Keep an eye on your stress levels

High cortisol levels suppress immune function, which means that the more stressed we are, the more run down we become. Make sure you take time out for yourself - this could be reading a book before bed, or even a two minute guided meditation before you go to sleep at night.