Immune system being one of the most important systems that protects your child without the intervention of antibiotics provided if it is healthy. Some of the foods that boost immune system in children include citrus fruits, vegetables, green leafy vegetables, coconut water, berries, garlic and yogurt.
Our immune system protects us from the attacking microbes like bacteria, fungi, yeast, protozoa and viruses. It is one of the very complex systems in our body. The immune system forms the third line of defense, the first being the skin and the second line of defense being the various layers of mucous membranes.
The skin is the first line of defense, as it forms the outermost layer on our body. It is difficult to penetrate all the layers of the skin and enter into our body. If the microbes can make their way through skin, they will be met by the mucous layers. These mucous layers form a protective layer, stopping the micro organisms from entering into the organs. When the microbes can cross the mucous membranes and enter into the organs and they attack the organs.
From here, the immune system takes over. The cells in the immune system start attacking the invading micro organisms. Each of the cells in the immune system forms the foot soldiers that fight against the attacking micro organisms. Each of the micro organisms has a different set of protective mechanisms to protect them against attacking immune system cells. This is how the immune system functions in our body.
Infants and kids are of a concern when immune system is in question. This is because of the fact that their immune system is still developing and it can take few more years or until they are at least 16-18 years old. Only after children reach the ages between 16-18 years, their immune system might not be fully developed. Until, this time, it is the parents’ responsibility to make sure that the food that they eat, the water that they drink, etc are of clean and pure. Contaminated food and water are the main factors causing many diseases. In order to protect your child from those infections and diseases, there are certain foods that you can think of. These foods can actually increase the immune system and help in fighting off those invading micro organisms.
Food that boost immunity in children
There are certain foods that improve the immune system.
Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits which include lime, lemon, orange, etc and many more. All of these fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C has been found to be one of the important vitamins that can boost the immune system. Studies show that vitamin C was found in many of the immune system cells and has also been found to improve their role.
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Vegetables: Various vegetables such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, bell pepper, asparagus, zucchini, pumpkin, winter melon, etc are full of vital vitamins, minerals and immune boosting phytonutrients. All these micronutrients put together help boost the immune system of your child.
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Green leafy vegetables: Leafy vegetables such as spinach, amaranth, parsley, coriander or cilantro, curry leaves, etc and many more are excellent sources of iron, vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C and several antioxidants. All of these nutrients help in building up a strong immune system and up the defenses against various diseases.
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Berries: Various berry fruits such as strawberries, cranberries, gojiberries and many more berries, etc are also known to be important for improving the immune system. Berries are known to be good source of antioxidants and biochemicals that enhance the immune system.
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Coconut water: Coconut water is perhaps one of the easiest sources to boost your immune system. The water a green coconut is supposed to nutrition water of highest quality. In many parts of the world, green coconut water, directly from the coconut is administered much like glucose or saline. Though, it is not practiced any more, this practice saved many lives. The nutrients found in coconut water possess immunostimulant properties.
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Garlic: Garlic is one of the condiments that is known to possess many health benefits. One of the health benefits is immune building property. Studies in this regard have shown that garlic possesses immunomodulatory properties.
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Yogurt: Yogurt is another great food that improves the immune system. Yogurt is full of gut-friendly bacteria. These bacteria fall under the category of probiotics. These bacteria are found in most of the digestive system including the intestines, liver, duodenum, etc. The more of these bacteria are consumed, the better for the immune system as they can increase the efficiency of the immune system.
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Note: Please be careful while introducing fruits such as berries and condiments such as garlic before giving them to your child. Introduce berries to your child, only after he or she is over 3 years old and only when your pediatrician gives a “go-go”. Introduce garlic to your child only after 5 years of age. As garlic has heavy flavor your child might not be able to take it right away.