Back to School Immune Boosters

August 26, 2020
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Support the health and strength of your child or grandchild’s immune system with these simple, natural remedies.

School this year looks very different for most children across the country. Educators of all types are finding new and innovative ways to teach our children while minimizing the risk of exposure to this pandemic virus. Regardless of how children are going back to school, one fact remains the same – they need their immune systems in top shape to fend off whatever germs come their way. Here are my top immune boosters to keep children – and educators – healthy through these challenging times.

Get Outdoors

The immune system is similar to a muscle in that it needs to be exercised to stay strong. All of the work we’ve been doing to keep our surroundings as clean and sterile as possible may actually weaken our immune systems over time and increase the risk of autoimmune diseases. The safest way to “flex” your immunity is to get outdoors. Not only is it a great way to maintain social distancing, but it’s also good for practicing earthing or grounding to recharge yourself, getting some sunshine on your bare skin to naturally increase immune-boosting vitamin D levels, and reconnect with the outdoors.

Maintain Your Microbiome

That collection of microorganisms living inside of you that numbers in the trillions is a key player in your immune response. When you have a healthy balance of probiotic bacteria, your microbiome not only helps you break down your food and absorb nutrients better, but also helps manufacture neurotransmitters for better brain health and moods, reduces inflammation, and regulates the immune system. At the same time, your immune system does its part to keep your microbiome in balance.

In many ways, your microbiome is your immune system’s best friend. A healthy immune system promotes the growth of of healthy bacteria in the microbiome, while also warding off unwanted invaders – like a neighborhood watch for your microbiome. In turn, your microbiome is like the human resources department of your immune system – it trains and develops immune cells, while fine-tuning both your innate and adaptive immune responses.

In children, it doesn’t take as much to support the health of the immune system through the microbiome because they simply haven’t accumulated as long of a lifetime of exposure to toxins and wear-and-tear as adults have. So, where an adult may need stronger support to successfully fight off an infection, a child may only need a regular daily probiotic. And while it may not be enough by itself to help an adult fend off an infection, it’s still an invaluable part of my everyday supplement regimen to maintain the health of my microbiome.

A word of caution about probiotics – they are not all created equal. Thanks to the popularity of probiotics, there are a wide variety to choose from. Unfortunately, some of the strains used can be so closely related to pathogenic bacteria that they produce unpleasant symptoms or even make you feel ill.

My probiotic of choice is Flora-Key from UNI KEY Health because it contains the tried-and-true strains that I’ve used with my clients for decades in a high enough potency to consistently produce excellent results. It comes in a powdered form, so it’s easy to add to smoothies or sprinkle over fresh berries for a tangy-sweet treat. I recommend children under 2 take ¼ of the adult dose, and children 2-12 years take ½ the adult dose.

Focus on Flax

Flaxseeds have been cultivated for their nourishing and healing properties for more than 7000 years. This tiny little seed is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – a unique essential Omega 3 fatty acid. ALA has been shown to boost immune function, not only by reducing inflammation, but also by strengthening immune cells, especially white blood cells.

In addition, according to recent studies, flaxseed oil and vitamin C taken together have been shown to reduce the hyperactivity associated with ADHD, while increasing focus and relieving ADHD symptoms overall. It can take 12 weeks of consistent supplementation before you reach therapeutic effect.

For either immune or neurologic health, I recommend 1 tablespoon of flax oil per 50 pounds of body weight per day, in both children and adults.

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away – and the Teacher Healthy

We’ve all heard this saying for years but it’s never been more true than now. A raw apple, with its skin, is a rich source of a powerful bioflavonoid called quercetin. If you follow me on Facebook, then you’ve no doubt seen my posts on this amazing nutrient.

Quercetin has been shown in recent studies to have a strong antiviral effect when combined with vitamin C, and is being studied as a promising preventative for the pandemic virus. I recommend quercetin and vitamin C both for seasonal allergies because of their histamine-lowering properties, and for their antiviral properties. To me, it’s a must-have to keep immunity strong.

We’re Stronger Together!

Bringing you the very latest in reliable, science and research-backed information on how to protect yourself from the virus pandemic:

And don’t miss this very timely interview with Dr. Linda Lancaster who discusses the BEST homeopathic remedies for both the current pandemic as well as common medical issues that you should ALWAYS have available in your home. Listen here!

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Patti

    Very interesting suggestions to help my immunity. I never knew why apples were so healthy!!!!!

  2. Team ALG

    I haven’t tried probiotics and didn’t know they helped the immune system. I think I will try this one and see if it helps my digestive problems.

  3. Gladys

    I haven’t tried probiotics and didn’t know they helped the immune system. I think I will try this one and see if it helps my digestive problems.


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