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4 Ways to Support Family Immune Health*

4 ways to support immune health

The school year can be an exciting time of growth for students, but if you’re like many parents, you dread the constant influx of new exposures that constantly challenge your family’s immune health. The back-to-school season doesn’t have to be one bug after another. You can nourish your family’s immune system function all year long.*

In this article, we’ll explore healthy lifestyle and wellness tips that you can use all year long to support a healthy immune response for everyone in the family.*

Immune Support Basics*

Your immune system has two wings: the innate response and the adaptive response. Innate immunity is what everyone is born with. It is also called nonspecific immunity because it acts like a rapid-fire first responder for any pathogen exposures. (1) Your adaptive immune system is the one that is built over time. It learns how to defend against specific threats. This is how immune cells make antibodies in response to specific exposures.

A robust immune system is one that is well-nourished and responsive. Because the immune system primarily resides in the gut microbiota, many aspects of health contribute to a healthy immune response, such as: (2, 3, 4, 5)*

  • A healthy digestive system
  • Beneficial bacteria (good probiotic strains)*
  • A healthy stress response
  • Restorative sleep
  • High-quality nutrition

4 Ways to Support Healthy Immune System Function All Year Long*

The immune system never takes a break. It is always on-call, looking for threats and, in many cases, addressing them without you ever being aware. Whether it’s school season or not, your immune system depends on more than just a little vitamin C here and there.*

Support your family’s immune health with these simple lifestyle tips for year-round immune support.*

4 ways to support healthy immune system function all year long

1. Prepare Healthy Meals

During the school year, it’s easy to default to packaged foods, snacks, and other meals that are not as nutrient-dense. Whether you pack lunch to send with your kids to school or focus on more home-cooked meals, a balanced diet is vital for a healthy immune system.

You don’t have to follow a specialized dietary plan. Increase vegetables, fruits, healthy proteins, and whole grains for plenty of supportive nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These foods contribute to a robust gut landscape, helping to nourish the good bacteria that live there. They also support a healthy immune response. (6)*

Certain types of fiber are crucial for immune health. These are known as prebiotics. They’re beneficial because they nourish good gut bacteria and help maintain their presence. Prebiotic foods include: (7)

  • Chicory root
  • Chia seeds
  • Dandelion greens
  • Flaxseeds
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Almonds
  • Artichokes
  • Oats
  • Barley

Prebiotics are also found in many plant foods and can be found in supplement form, too. Probiotic foods are also an important part of a good immune system diet. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha contain beneficial microbes for gut health.*

2. Stick to a Healthy Sleep Routine

Heading back to school after summer or Monday morning after the weekend can make it challenging if you do not maintain a healthy sleep routine. The right amount of sleep dramatically affects learning ability, focus, mood, and immune health. (8, 9, 10)

A sleep routine is essential to ensure enough sleep and good quality sleep. To prepare the mind and body for rest, consider easing into bedtime with a routine, such as:

  • Limiting time on screens for an hour before bed (TV, smartphone, tablets, computers)
  • Having a regular calming activity (story time, yoga, bath time, or anything soothing)
  • Ensuring that bedroom spaces are not too hot and not too bright

Another pro-tip: make sure that everyone in the family gets morning sunlight exposure. This helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, which plays a significant role in releasing sleep hormones like melatonin later in the day when it is time to rest. (11)

Even subtle changes to sleep routines could significantly affect your family’s physical and mental well-being.

3. Focus on Healthy Activities

It is common to default to indoor time when cooler weather arrives, but staying active outdoors even in colder months is essential for overall physical health. Instead of forcing exercise as a chore, having regular outdoor playtime all year can improve family health and increase activity levels for parents and kids.

Regular physical activity supports healthy immune function and is also beneficial for supporting healthy digestion, microbiome, mood, and sleep quality. (12, 13, 14, 15)

Whether you kick a ball around, play tag, use a swing set, go hiking, or play at a park, find as many opportunities to enjoy physical activity all year long.

Exercise and immune health

4. Probiotic Supplements

A healthy diet is vital for good immune function, but you can also provide extra support by adding dietary supplements. Specific probiotic strains have different benefits. Probiotic supplements can play an important role in nourishing the gut microbiome, especially for people who do not digest fermented foods well because of bloating, constipation, or other uncomfortable gastrointestinal side effects.*

A healthy gut rich in beneficial microorganisms provides a more robust home for 70-80% of the immune system. (16) The benefits of probiotics have been widely studied. Specific strains make a difference in effectiveness, both for the specific health need and the person's age.*

Hyperbiotics does not believe in one-size-fits-all probiotics. Your age, stage of life, and health influence which probiotic strains will be most supportive for you. That’s why specific formulations have been designed with individual needs in mind.*

The health benefits of specific probiotic strains have been studied for pediatrics, healthy aging, digestive tract support, and more. Consider the following for healthy gut support in your home:*

  • For kids: Four strains of science-based probiotic bacteria for children’s health have been combined in PRO-Kids. A tiny pearl capsule that can be swallowed or chewed, PRO-Kids supports digestive and immune health. When you want to support your child's inner ear, nose, and throat health, consider PRO-Kids ENT. (17)*

  • For adults: Immune Defense is designed to support a robust immune system and upper respiratory health. Lactobacillus paracasei and lactobacillus plantarum are well-studied strains used in this formula to encourage daily immune function. (18)*
  • Summary

    Optimal immune health in every season does not have to be complex or time-consuming. Your body was designed to manage this intuitive defense system with direction from diverse, healthy gut bacteria. Nourishing your microbiome with daily probiotic support is a science-backed way of supporting a hearty immune system.*

    Explore time-released, targeted probiotic support for the whole family now.

    References

    1. Medline Plus. National Library of Medicine. 2022
    2. Cell Research. 2020; 30(6):492-506 
    3. Immunologic Research. 2014; 58(2-3):193-210
    4. Physiological Reviews. 2019; 99(3):1325-1380
    5. Nutrients. 2020; 12(3):818
    6. Front Immunol. 2021; 12:644269 
    7. Biomolecules. 2021; 11(3):440 
    8. Children (Basel). 2018; 5(3):33 
    9. JMIR Mental Health. 2019; 6(3):e12613 
    10. Am J Clin Exp Immunol. 2017; 6(6):92-96 
    11. Sci Rep. 2020; 10(1):4168 
    12. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2015; 135:355-80 
    13. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017; 2017:3831972 
    14. Transl Behav Med. 2019; 9(3):451-459 
    15. Adv Prev Med. 2017; 2017:1364387 
    16. Nutrients. 2021; 13(3):886 
    17. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(31):e4509 
    18. PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e75368 

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug (FDA) Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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