Keeping Your Family Healthy This Fall Amid a Pandemic

By Ross Pelton

Scientific Director, Essential Formulas

Ross Pelton is a pharmacist, nutritionist, author and a health educator who is widely recognized as the world’s leading authority on drug-induced nutrient depletions. He was named one of the top 50 most influential pharmacists in the United States by American Druggist magazine for his work in Natural Medicine.

Tips to help boost your immune system in the midst of a pandemic

While things like a pandemic and seasons changing may remind us of immune health, it’s really of utmost importance all year long. The good news is that even though there are some things that are out of your control, there is still much that you can control, specifically what you eat, what supplements you take, and how you treat your body.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to prioritize your family’s health. All of the change can feel overwhelming, but keeping your family healthy doesn’t have to be. Below are some tips to keep the entire family healthy and happy:

1. Stay active together and get outside.

It’s important for both adults and kids to get moving throughout the day, especially as we’re spending more sedentary time working from home or participating in distance learning. Kids should move for at least one hour each day in an activity that increases their heart rate. While your family is limited in the places you can go to exercise, there are a like a virtual fitness classes or an impromptu family dance competition.

2. Drink enough water.

Staying hydrated is important for your body to function properly. Water also has a significant impact on your energy levels, brain function, and general health. With everything that’s going on, it can be hard to remember to drink enough water, but try these creative ways to get your kids to increase their water intake: Use a silly straw, Freeze water into fun shapes and add it to their drinks, Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, Flavor water with pieces of fruit or a splash of juice.

3. Eat a well-balanced diet.

You may not be taking as many trips to the grocery store while social distancing, so it can be harder to make healthy food choices. Do the best you can. If you have room in your freezer, take advantage of frozen fruits and veggies, which are picked at the same time as fresh produce and then “flash frozen” to store nutrients. They offer the same nutritional value, but will last longer.

4. Follow a bedtime routine and get enough sleep.

Getting enough sleep is important to having enough energy and being able to concentrate throughout the day. If you or your kids are struggling, try to go to bed earlier. A regular bedtime routine can help you fall asleep more easily because your body knows what’s coming.

5. Practice preventative medicine and build your immunity with high quality supplements.

Ross Pelton, Pharmacist and EFI’s Science Director recommends:

Vitamin C is one of the best immune system boosters of all. In fact, a lack of vitamin C can even make you more prone to getting sick. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health because your body doesn’t produce or store it. —— 500 to 1,000 mg twice daily.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are crucial for both gut and immune health. With 80% of your immune cells located in the gut is only makes sense to ramp up your intake of beneficial bacteria. Research has shown that high-quality probiotics offer benefits for immune-related diseases and viral infections, and can help treat and prevent seasonal allergies. Take a high-quality probiotic daily, preferably a fermented food probiotic like Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics that directly delivers postbiotic metabolites and probiotics & prebiotics.

Zinc is an important mineral that we get from our food, and it helps our bodies produce immune cells. Research shows that zinc plays an important role in reducing the risk, severity, and duration of infectious disease, and it also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Even mild zinc deficiency may cause immune dysfunction. —— 10 to 25 mg daily.

6. Get More Sleep

Sleep regularly gets put on the back burner when you’re busy. It is not surprising that it’s been estimated that 20–30% of the general population may experience poor sleep, thus missing out on necessary rest time. To improve sleep quality, consider taking a warm bath before bed to relax your muscles and unwind, learning meditation, or avoiding screen time for two hours before bed.

7. Reduce Stress

Increased levels of stress can make you feel exhausted. Find ways to minimize lifestyle-related stress, as this can help keep up your energy levels. Adding activities that promote relaxation into your day will help. For many people increasing will exercise burns off the effects of stress and anger, while others may find relief in quieter pursuits such as listening to music or even just talking to friends and loved ones.

8. Stay Hydrated

A large number of us walk around in a state of dehydration daily. When your body is dehydrated, it can make you feel tired and sluggish, as dehydration can affect your brain function, mood, and energy levels. We lose water by sweating and urinating daily. To stay hydrated, make sure you drink when you’re thirsty, and if you sweat a lot due to hot weather or being very active, you will need even more water to maintain hydration.

9. Stay Connected

Social and emotional connections are crucial for maintaining good health. If you feel tired and in low spirits, it can be beneficial to get out and socialize with friends, join a social club, or start a new hobby that gets you out and about.

10. Eat a Nutritious Diet

If you’re constantly feeling tired, sluggish, and low in energy, consider your eating habits. When you feel tired, it is easy to reach for a sweet, sugar-filled snack. However, although sugar can give you a short-term energy boost, it will wear off quickly. A diet based on healthy foods benefits your health and energy levels. In contrast, a diet high in processed foods will negatively affect your energy levels.

11. Move More

Yes, it’s understandable that you feel too tired to exercise. However, studies show that the more you move, the more energy you’ll have. Exercising will cause your body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, stress hormones that, in modest amounts, can make you feel energized. To incorporate exercise into your day, you could try getting away from your desk and going for a brisk walk on your lunch break, choosing the stairs instead of the elevator, or joining a local gym, Pilates, or yoga studio.

If you are one of the many people that feel tired and lack the energy to function at their best throughout the day, you are not alone. Remember that drinking enough water, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and exercise, and being sociable will benefit your energy levels and health.

If you often feel tired, it’s worth looking at your lifestyle to see which healthy changes you can make that will boost your energy levels and energize you.


By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Scientific Director, Essential Formulas

Ross Pelton is a pharmacist, nutritionist, author and a health educator who is widely recognized as the world’s leading authority on drug-induced nutrient depletions. He was named one of the top 50 most influential pharmacists in the United States by American Druggist magazine for his work in Natural Medicine.

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