Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now with easing of lockdown our focus should be on protecting the vulnerable sections of our society - our children.
Many of them are fussy eaters and have low immunity. As per the current scenario it makes it even more important to take care of their health and make them eat a proper diet.
Food plays an important role in maintaining good health. We all know good food equals good health. A diet prepared using these good foods is known to maintain a strong immunity and keep most illnesses at bay. Good foods constitutes all the necessary vitamins, antioxidant and minerals which helps body prepare to ward off infections. Developing healthy eating habits right from early years makes them stronger and prepares them to ward off any illness.
Incorporate these 10 foods in your child’s daily diet to help improve their immunity.
All Vegetables have nutrients and protective powers. They contain antibacterial and antiviral agents that keep you disease free.
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are rich sources of vitamins C, E, and K. They have plenty of immune system boosters and antioxidants.
Green leafy vegetables like Spinach is full of vitamins and minerals that boost our immune systems. It has vitamin A, E, C, and K, folate, manganese, zinc, selenium, and iron.
Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, beetroots, yam, and potatoes helps in immune strengthening and work in making the respiratory system stronger. They are rich in fibre which keeps gut healthy. Full of vitamins, minerals and which helps in boosting of immune system.
It is important to encourage children to consume these vegetables regularly. The earlier they develop the liking for them the better.
- Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, limes and guavas have a good amount of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C is known to increase the production of white blood cells. WBC's are key to fighting infections. Besides this, citrus fruits help the body to absorb the nutrients like iron and support the immune system to grow strong.
Eggs are one of the only foods with naturally occurring vitamin D. Deficiency of vitamin D, makes person more susceptible to illness. It also include a number of other immune-boosting nutrients, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B 12, Vitamin E, zinc, selenium, iron, choline, iodine, lutein and zeaxanthin and omega 3 fatty acids.
Turmeric is a natural way to help boost the immune system. Turmeric is now recognized as the superfood with cancer-fighting properties. It contains a compound called curcumin, that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that help boost immunity. Add pinch of turmeric to milk and give it to them before bed time. Adding some saffron will further enhance the healing properties of the milk."
It is one of the best immune boosters for babies and toddlers in changing weather. Ginger has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-nausea and immune boosting power. It kills the cold virus, and detoxes the system by relaxing the intestinal tract. It can be served in little quantities to kids in curries or milk/lemon tea.
- Indian Gooseberry(Amla)
Amla is an powerhouse of Vitamin C, hence it helps boost your immunity, metabolism and prevents viral and bacterial ailments, including cold and cough. It's antibacterial and astringent properties boost one’s immune system. Can be served to kids in form of candies, juice, smoothies.
Yoghurt, the best known dietary source of Probiotics have a general immunity-boosting effect and inhibit a range of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts in the gut. Full of calcium, which is important for bone health and growth in kids. Serve Yoghurt sugar free or blended with natural fruits.
Avacado, the great source of Vitamin E, which defends and protects our body against all illness. Rich in nutrients and antioxidants which boosts the immunity and keeps the organs healthy. Serve them as dips, purees, salads.
- Holy Basil
Holy Basil, also know as Tulasi, acts as a natural immune system booster. It protects from any type of infection from virus, bacterial or fungal. Can be served to kids as drops in their drink or can be eaten raw.
Other factors to consider for improving the immunity:
- Breathing exercise like Pranayama
- Physical Exercise
- No Sugary and Processed foods
- Drink 1.5 lt of water daily.(Warm or Room temperature)
- Good Sleep and Ample Rest
Doctor Recommended Ayurvedic drinks for stronger immunity :
- Herbal Tea - Add holy basil, cardamom, black pepper, dry ginger, Raisin in boiling water. let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Once it cools down add honey and few drops of lemon. Serve it 2 - 3 times a day.
- Golden milk or turmeric latte - Also works as a wonderful immune boosting drink. Add turmeric powder in milk. Let it cool. Add Jaggery powder and serve.