Immunity is the capability of the body to fight off disease-causing germs. It is a protective shield that prevents us from falling ill. Immunity can be divided into:
Innate Immunity: This is the natural immunity that we all are born with. Barriers like the skin or mucous membranes are part of innate immunity. These provide some defense against invading germs.
Passive Immunity: This is the ready-made immunity we passively gain from sources outside our body, like mother’s milk which transfers temporary immunity to the baby.
Adaptive Immunity: This is the immunity we develop throughout our life by exposure to diseases or through vaccinations.
Children have an immature immune system because their adaptive immunity is not developed yet and the passive immunity from mother’s milk is gone. But falling sick again and again can hamper their physical and mental growth, and can damage their studies.
So here are 15 immunity-boosting foods you can give your child to help them fight off diseases and stay healthy all year round:
Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are full of antioxidants. These antioxidants remove free radicals from the body and prevent cellular damage, thus keeping the immune system healthy.
Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are a tasty source of vitamin C, which is essential for proper immune functions of the body. They also contain vitamins B, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus as well as much-needed antioxidants.
Nuts and Seeds:
Nuts like almonds, cashews, and seeds like pumpkin, flax, and sunflower seeds contain vitamin E which boosts immunity. They also contain proteins, fiber, and healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. Proteins help in the growth of children while omega-3 fatty acids enhance their brain development.
Yogurt contains large quantities of probiotics. Probiotics help good bacteria to grow in the gut. These bacteria help in digestion and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Having good digestion means your child gets more nutrients out of the food he eats.
Lean Meats And Fish:
These are rich sources of protein, which aids in the production of white blood cells. They also contain vitamin B, zinc, and iron. Oily fish also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Eggs contain vitamin D and selenium. Vitamin D helps in boosting immunity.
There are few foods like oatmeal when it comes to providing fiber, zinc, along with several vitamins and minerals needed by the growing body.
Pomegranates are known to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-tumor properties. They contain vitamins A, C, and E as well as folic acid which help in bolstering children’s immunity.
Turmeric has been long used to prevent many diseases. It contains antioxidants that strengthen the immune system and antibacterial properties that help keep the gut healthy.
Water is the most important ingredient when it comes to having a healthy body with good immunity. Children need to drink enough water to remove toxins and maintain proper water balance in the body.
Children are generally fussy when it comes to eating healthy foods. Having a variety of dishes and trying out new preparations is the only way to keep them interested in eating these foods, which will boost their immunity and help them stay healthy and active.