Flu cases are higher than usual this time of the year and are expected to soar in the coming weeks. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (R.S.V.) and other upper respiratory illnesses are sweeping the nation, and the dreaded C-word is expected to rear its ugly head. All three create a trifecta of health hurdles these next few months and pose a threat during the last stretch of the academic semester and the holiday season.
All parents are concerned about protecting their children from the threat of cold and flu. However, those mama and papa bears with college-aged children, who are largely responsible for their own health while away at school, are probably the most concerned.
Well, don't despair! Even though you can't be there to take care of them you can help them by passing along these tips - and by sending them some all-natural immune and gut health supplements that will help keep them healthy during one of the busiest and most stressful times of year - exam season!
Support their immune system every day. You likely sent your student off to school with a multivitamin, but there are other supplements they should be taking, notably a daily metabiotic such as del-IMMUNE V®. del-IMMUNE V will help keep their immune system balanced throughout the year. It replicates the intestine’s natural immune function which is to turn on and off when needed (which is now!). It will offer the necessary protection for cold and flu season and daily when their academic and social lives are in full swing! If your student is already sick or showing signs of the sniffles, it's best to send del-IMMUNE V DEFENSE which offers enhanced immune support.
Go with their gut. The immune system and gut are inextricably connected. In fact, about 70 percent of the immune system is housed in the gut and there’s a direct connection between the gut and the brain. Improving digestion benefits both immune and mental health. During this time of year when students are very stressed, there's no better time to add a daily probiotic, such as delPRO™, to your student's routine. A probiotic is also crucial when they are taking a course of antibiotics since it helps restore beneficial gut flora.
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Well, any fruit or veggie will do! We know you can't control your student's diet from a distance. We also realize that a healthy diet is generally unheard of in college, but encourage healthy eating. Suggest they grab a fresh fruit smoothie or acai bowl, a nutrient-rich kale or spinach salad or a hearty veggie soup to help give them a boost! Everyone's favorite coffee shop stocks healthy boxed meals, and the cafeteria, while likely not their preferred eatery, certainly has a salad bar and soup station!
Be zen. Lowering stress levels is crucial for your student's mental and physical well-being, and there are simple things they can build into their schedules to help them unwind. Grabbing a cup of tea or coffee, reading a book, taking a walk or meditating (suggest they download an app!) are just a few ideas. Unwinding will make a difference in not only how they feel but will enhance their immune system.
Make time to move. Exercise increases metabolic activity, mitochondria functions, better absorption from food, and better blood flow that increases nutrition supply to cells and detoxification processes on the cell and organ level. With better cell nutrition and energy supply, all organs work better, including the brain. Exercise helps to reduce stress and the immune system to perform at a high level. Encourage your student to try to get in at least 30 minutes a day of moderate cardio like walking, biking or running. Suggest they set a reminder on their smart device - they may need a nudge to get moving and they likely could use a break from the books.
Get some Zzzzs. The college student is the perfect case study to demonstrate how lack of quality sleep increases the chance of getting sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold. Without sufficient sleep, the body makes fewer cytokines, which is a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, which is responsible for effectively creating an immune response. Additionally, chronic sleep loss makes the flu vaccine less effective by reducing your body’s ability to respond. Teenagers (13-18 years old) require eight to 10 hours and adults seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night may not be realistic for a college student, but taking a nap, even a power nap, should be doable. And, it will make a big difference in boosting their defenses.