Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now with the easing of lockdown our focus should be on protecting the vulnerable sections of our society - our children.
Most children are fussy eaters and have low immunity. As per the current scenario, it is crucial to take care of their health and make them eat a healthy, well-nourished diet.
Food plays an important role in maintaining good health. We all know good food equals good health. Have your Food as Medicine. What we eat – and how much – aﬀects our overall health and mental well being
Therefore, a meal prepared using these good foods helps to maintain strong immunity and keep most illnesses at bay. Good foods constitute all the necessary vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals which helps the body prepare to ward off infections. Developing healthy eating habits right from the 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 properties. 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 help in immune strengthening and work in making the respiratory system stronger. They are rich in fiber which keeps gut healthy. Full of vitamins, minerals and which helps in boosting the immune system.
It is important to encourage children to consume vegetables regularly. The earlier they develop the taste, the better.
Citrus fruits like oranges, limes, and guavas contain a good amount of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C is known to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Moreover, citrus fruits help the body to absorb the nutrients like iron and support the immune system to get strong.
Eggs are one of the only foods with naturally occurring vitamin D. Deficiency of vitamin D, makes a person more susceptible to illness. It also includes 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. It is known as a superfood with cancer-fighting properties. Above all, it contains a compound called curcumin, that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that help boost immunity. To prepare, Firstly add a pinch of turmeric to milk and give it before bedtime. Lastly, 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.
Most importantly, it kills the cold virus and detoxes the system by relaxing the intestinal tract. In addition to milk/tea can be served in curries.
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. So, can be served to kids in form of candies, juice, smoothies.
Yogurt, the best known dietary source of Probiotics, has a general immunity-boosting effect and inhibits 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, a great source of Vitamin E, which defends and protects our body against all illnesses. Rich in nutrients and antioxidants which boost immunity and keeps the organs healthy. So, serve them as dips, purees, salads.
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. Finally, after 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.
To Sum up, Food is the key to good health,and stronger immunity.