5 Natural Antibiotics For Back To School
By Jessica Brown
It is that time of year again…
The air is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter and you are getting… sicker?
That’s right. It is back to school time and those kiddos you love and adore are bringing home germs from all their favorite friends, teachers and water fountains.
It is time to get ahead of sick season this year with these 5 whole foods that act as natural antibiotics for you and your family!
Wait, Why Not Just Visit The Doc?
Besides potentially costing you a fortune in deductibles and co-pays over time, visiting the doctor can cause you to miss work, your child to miss school and can make everyone stressed in the meantime. I mean, really, who likes going to the doctor? That lollipop is totally overrated.
Also, the overuse of antibiotics in recent years has begun to create “superbugs” that are immune to the effects of synthetic antibiotics, forcing researchers to invent antibiotics that are more powerful and knocking out the good bacteria with the bad.
A Natural Solution
To protect you and your family, here are the top 5 natural antibiotics you should include in your diet to beat those back to school bugs:
Garlic contains a substance called allicin, which is its natural defense against pests. When used for human consumption, it can reduce atherosclerosis and fat deposition, balance lipoproteins, decrease blood pressure, have anti-inflammatory effects and act as an antioxidant. No wonder this little bulb is praised as a “superfood!” Allicin also has many antimicrobial and antiviral properties, even in vitro.
The best way to distribute this natural antibiotic to your family is by making it part of a delicious, healthy, whole meal. Want another kid-friendly – and my personal favorite – way to eat garlic? Try Seattle Mariners style garlic fries, with a few healthier mods (*modifications: swap canola oil for coconut oil; swap russet potatoes for sweet potatoes).
Since the time of the ancient Egyptians, honey has been praised for its healing properties. In the lab, it has proven to inhibit the growth of dangerous bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. Honey has been shown to beat out cough suppressants at easing nighttime coughs in children and can even help prevent allergies if the honey has been harvested locally.
As with most health foods, if the honey is darker, it will be better quality and have a higher nutritional value
Note: Never give honey to children under 1 year of age because there is an increased risk of botulism.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The uses for this product seem endless. Sinus congestion, sore throat, acid reflux, digestion, warts, you name it and apple cider vinegar can help. Some of the most well-researched uses for apple cider vinegar include diabetes, heart health and weight loss.
Apple cider vinegar has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. It is thought that the enzymes in the vinegar lower blood sugar by preventing complex carbohydrates from digesting completely and by helping bodily tissues use the sugar more quickly, so less of it is left in the blood stream. With big corporations filling our foods with sugar and high fructose corn syrup, apple cider vinegar is something everyone can benefit from in their diet.
Apple cider vinegar supports heart health by lowering cholesterol and decreasing blood pressure. It supports weight loss by increasing satiety due to the acetic acid in the vinegar.
A house trick? Get the unpasteurized version of apple cider vinegar that has a cobweb like substance in the bottom called “the mother.” This version of apple cider vinegar will contain more enzymes and have more healthful effects than the lighter and more processed vinegars.
Since you will probably have a rough time getting those kiddos to drink apple cider vinegar straight from the bottle, try adding it to their diet by using it on salads or mixing it with cranberry juice, water and molasses for a sweet and sour after school beverage.
4. Oregano Oil
This one is easy. Pizza anyone? Because of its high antioxidant and vitamin count, this popular herb can be used to treat just about anything from respiratory tract disorders to dandruff. But it’s most interesting quality lies in the antibacterial properties.
Due to the essential compound carvacrol, oregano has proven in studies to be a powerful antimicrobacterial. It has been shown to kill the hospital superbug MRSA as a liquid and as a vapor, even after being boiled in water. This is definitely one to keep in the spice cupboard.
5. Fermented Food
This is the easiest one yet. What child doesn’t love a cup of yogurt and some fresh berries as an after school snack? Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and pickles have incredible probiotic properties that help improve digestion and improve bowel health.
They also help those back-to-school brains by aiding the body in the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine facilitates nerve impulses in the brain and body, to improve function and memory.
Finally, fermented foods contain many unknown compounds that destroy the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Recently, a strain of lactic acid bacteria in sourdough bread was proven to quickly eliminate superbugs currently immune to most antibiotics.
So, what are you waiting for? Just stop by your local grocery store to arm those kids and yourself with an arsenal of whole foods to keep you illness-free all year long.
Jessica Brown’s health journey began her freshman year of college when she realized that, without high school sports, the “freshman 15” would soon find it’s way into her life and she refused to let that happen. She dove into nutrition and health and fell in love with the world of whole foods and weightlifting. After graduating with a degree in Neuropsychology, she continued learning about health and the mind-body connection.
Years later, she is continuing her Fitlife journey with her husband of five years and a recent addition to their family, a beautiful daughter. She’s eager to inspire and educate people as to the benefits of a whole-body lifestyle and researching the latest information on a daily basis.
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