Winters are a beautiful time to enjoy the peace and serenity of all that surrounds you. However, for children, this becomes a season that holds them back with practically everything they enjoy doing on a daily basis. Outdoor activities get replaced with quiet indoor playtime. Shorts and T-shirts get replaced with layers that keep them warm and protected from the breeze. In short, it’s a tough time for both, the parents and the kids.
So the best way that keeps both sides happy is to work on a win-win scenario. i.e Build their immunity. While they love playing outside, it’s our responsibility to keep them safe.
List of food items to help boost your child’s immune system:
● Garlic: Garlic originated around the world over 5000 years ago. In foods and beverages: fresh garlic, garlic powder, and garlic oil are used to add flavour. It is an immune-boosting superstar. The sulphur-containing compounds found in garlic, such as Allicin, help your kids’ healthy infection-fighting white blood cells flourish, and also increase the efficiency of their antibody production, which helps them fight harmful viruses and bacteria. Hence garlic can combat sickness including the common cold. Garlic also contains compounds with potent medicinal properties which provides immunity.
● Almonds: Almonds deliver a massive amount of fibre, potassium, healthy fat and more, but they also contain nutrients like Niacin and Riboflavin - B-Vitamins that may help ward off the negative effects of stress by boosting the immune system. Just one-quarter cup of these tasty nuts also contains your child’s daily requirements for Vitamin E (and more), an antioxidant that also protects the immune system. They can be a choking hazard though, so make sure to serve your babies or young kids slivered or sliced almonds, or natural almond butter.
● Berries: Berries are jam-packed with antioxidants, which help your body fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals. This helps keep our immune system fighting. There are many different berries you should try to include in your child's diet: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and blackberries, to name a few. Don’t worry; once berries are not in season, frozen berries can serve the purpose.
● Chicken Soup: Yep, your granny was right, chicken soup truly will facilitate to alleviate colds and flu. It can help in two different ways - firstly it has anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit the circulation of neutrophils cells that participate in the body’s inflammatory response, and secondly, it temporarily helps to flush mucus out, possibly helping to alleviate congestion and decreasing the number of time viruses is in contact with the nasal lining.
● Mushrooms: Mushrooms are jam-packed full of good nutrition and immune-boosting qualities. Mushrooms have shown both antiviral and antibacterial qualities in animal studies. They also contain the mineral Selenium, as well as antioxidants, which can help to decrease your kids’ risk of getting sick. Mushrooms also contain Zinc, which protects the immune system.
● Yams: Yams and sweet potatoes aren’t solely extraordinarily alimentary, but also very important immune-boosting food items. Yams contain carotenoid, which is converted into Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in skin health, skin being our first line of defence from bacteria, viruses, and germs that cause illnesses.
● Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits also help in boosting immunity. Fruits like oranges, grapes, lemons, etc. are a great source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the production of White Blood Cells(WBCs) which help in fighting infections.
● Omega 3 Fatty Acids: These are anti-inflammatory foods. They help reduce inflammation, hence boost your immune system. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are found in flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts. They are also found in fatty fish like salmon, trout and tuna.
● Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a rich source of zinc. Zinc deficiency might make you ill, especially in winters. Zinc is found in red meat and chicken. You can add garlic to zinc to enhance the body's ability to absorb zinc.
● Ginger: Ginger has anti-viral effects. You can add ginger to tea and other compatible items to help the body fight viruses.
● Turmeric: It also boosts the immune system. Addition to this it increases the antioxidant capacity of the body.
● Broccoli: Broccoli is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is not only rich in Vitamins A, C & E but also in many minerals and fibre. It’s the healthiest vegetable out there. In order to utilize its benefits, it should be eaten raw. The more it is cooked, the more nutrients it loses.
● Spinach: Remember Popeye? Well, you may not get that much of a pump but still, spinach has many benefits. It’s a rich source of Vitamin C and has many antioxidants. It also has beta carotene which helps in boosting the immune system.
Additionally, Chyawanprash is a great immunity booster. It has different combinations of most of the things listed above in the right proportions to bolster the immunity levels. We recommend Immunoprash: 46 herbs in a spoonful! It is a home-made chyawanprash made by a mom who cares for her child just like you do.
A healthy immune system is your best defence with cold and all other ailments. We hope you enjoy this season with your kids to the fullest.
Stay Relevant! Stay Tuned!