Boosting your children’s immunity
With the world we are living in today it is more important than ever before, that we really start to look after ourselves, not just by staying home but by improving what we eat. If you think about it, no athlete will go into a competition without some sort of training and preparation, and considering the situation at hand, neither should we. We need to prepare our immune system to be on the ready, this doesn’t make us invincible, however it will give us an advantage that we would not otherwise have.
So, let’s look at some simple ways in which we can support your family’s immune system through the foods we eat. To function properly our immune system relies on vitamins A, C and E, as well as zinc. We will be looking at the different foods you can incorporate into your family’s diet, as well the role of healthy fats on the immune system.
Vitamin A is one that we do not hear about very often but, it is vital for the immune system as it support the body’s mucous membranes which is our first line of defense against intruders. Vitamin A is fat-soluble and is stored in the liver to be used when needed. Foods such as green and yellow/orange fruits and vegetables, apricots, sweet potatoes, spinach, garlic, broccoli and asparagus are all great sources.
Most people tend to think of vitamin C as being primarily in oranges, however there are plenty of other foods which are amazing sources such as, asparagus, avocadoes, broccoli, green peas, pineapple, strawberries, tomatoes and spinach. As vitamin C is water soluble, it cannot be stored by the body therefore, it is important to include these foods every day in your diet.
Vitamin E plays an important role in looking for those nasty toxic free radicals (the bad guys) and neutralising them. It also works simultaneously with vitamins A and C, in supporting the immune system. It is found primarily in cold pressed vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, eggs, milk and oatmeal.
Zinc also supports the immune system and is vital for wound healing, it is found in foods such as, fish, legumes, mushrooms pecans and wholes grains.
A good rule of thumb for children and young adults, is trying to eat about half of their vegetable intake raw, as this provides the body with a much higher nutritional value than if they are cooked. So, smoothies and salads are a great option for this, adding a tasty salad dressing can make all the difference.
Knowing that 80 per cent of our immune system comes from the gut, this is also a key point, for boosting immunity. We want to keep the good bacteria happy and working hard. The raw foods mentioned above is one way, another, is by eating plain yoghurts which contain lactobacillus acidophilus, these are good bacteria which support the immune system, look for the ‘live culture’ on the label.
Reducing our consumption of sugar, which is found in most processed and frozen foods as well as soft drinks and energy drinks is so important at this time. Sugar is known to cause inflammation in the body and therefore puts an unnecessary stress on our immune system. So instead of drinking two cans a day of Coke, maybe look to having just one and having a coconut water instead, which also has a sweet flavour but contains healthy vitamins and minerals.
Healthy fats, such as nuts, avocadoes and fish, also support the immune system, not only that but they will also help to reduce any inflammation in the body. I find these morning glory breakfast muffins they really hit the spot and are so easy to make.
One more thing which has nothing to do with food but also impacts our immune system is stress. Right now, things are strange and surreal, so whatever you can do to keep those stress levels in check, will most definitely help your immune system. If you can’t get out for a walk, you might want to check out YouTube it has plenty of videos for inside games your children can do to help burn off some of that energy and have some fun as well.
Considering the current climate, I am offering free 30-minute discovery calls, to help you pinpoint any health issues you or your family may and to see how some simple changes can improve your health and well-being during these uncertain times.
Send your nutrition questions to firstname.lastname@example.org