A healthy body with strong immunity is the need of the hour for everybody during this COVID -19 pandemic. We have to strictly follow a balanced diet comprised of immunity-boosting foods for our children, especially when the speculations of reopening of schools are buzzing around. As there is no proven remedy available, improving our immune system is all we can do to fight against the infection. Most importantly, we can safeguard ourselves and our children from any infection if we boost our immune system naturally. By incorporating the right amount of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in our diet and following a healthy lifestyle, we can boost our immune system and minimalize the possibility of falling prey to this danger as well as any sickness.
IMMUNITY BOOSTING FOODS FOR ADULTS AS WELL AS CHILDREN
1. FRUITS WITH VITAMIN-C:
All citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C that builds our immune system. To fight cold and flu, we must include vitamin C rich fruits like lemons, limes, grapes, oranges, amla(Indian gooseberry), and tangerines in our children’s diet. Vitamin C present in these fruits will help to produce the white blood cells which are responsible for fighting against various viruses and bacteria. To heal cuts and wounds properly, we also need vitamin C. Instead of going for supplements, we have to encourage our children to eat these fruits that boost immune system naturally.
2. LEAFY GREENS LIKE SPINACH & KALE:
Spinach and Kale are the other healthiest options of immunity-boosting foods. Spinach has an adequate amount of iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and folate. It helps to fight all types of infections. It replenishes the blood cells and boosts immune system naturally. Kale has more vitamin C than spinach. High fiber present in spinach and kale helps to maintain a healthy gut. It also helps to absorb the important nutrients from food.
3. RED BELL PEPPER:
Red bell pepper contains more vitamin C than any citrus fruit. Vitamin C helps to form antibodies that make our immune system strong. Red bell pepper is also a great source of beta carotene. This immune system booster food can keep our skin and eyes healthy.
We all have had turmeric powder mixed in a glass of warm milk to fight cold and flu in our childhood. It helps to improve our immunity and gives relief to cough, cold, and chest congestion. According to a research , curcumin in turmeric is anti-inflammatory that boosts our immune system naturally. It helps the growth of healthy gut bacteria. At the same time, it has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties also. The raw stem of turmeric is more beneficial as there is no chance of mixing up of artificial elements.
Garlic is an excellent food that builds up our immune system naturally. It has elements that can destroy viruses and microorganisms. Consumption of garlic regularly has many health benefits. It is claimed to be helpful for high blood pressure and cholesterol also. It has been suggested that garlic can treat cold, sore throat, flu, and respiratory infections. Though all the benefits have not proved through research, garlic is considered as an important home remedy to boost immune system in India.
In case of common cold, ginger is the best to give instant relief. Ginger has anti-inflammatory property that helps to fight against cold and flu by boosting our immunity. In several Ayurvedic medicines, ginger is an active ingredient for its ability to fight infections.
If you are thinking about how to boost immune system by food that your child would eat without fuss, then yogurt can be a great choice. Yogurt is the best source of probiotics that can boost our immune system. It has vitamin A and Zinc also. Kids would love it with some nuts or berries and a little amount of honey. But the yogurt should be of low fat or non-fat variant.
Broccoli is full of vitamin C that is needed in the formation of antibodies to boost immune system quickly. It also contains vitamin A and iron that is also important for our immunity power.
Nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashew, and pistachio contain vitamins and minerals that give multiple health benefits along with a stronger immune system. They can be used both as brain food snacks and quick immune-boosting snacks for the children.
10. BLACK PEPPER:
A study has shown that black pepper decreases the growth of some bacteria. It has also said that it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as power to increase immunity. In Ayurveda, black pepper is used to treat ailments related to our throat.
Not only eating healthy foods, but we should also encourage our children to adopt some healthy habits to boost their immune system. There is no doubt that adults also should follow these.
HEALTHY HABITS TO SUPPORT THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
1. ADEQUATE SLEEP:
Studies have proven that sleep deprivation makes adults as well as children more vulnerable to illness. Scientists say that adequate sleep can strengthen the T cells in our body. T cells play an important role in our body’s immune system by fighting against the infections. In addition to this, enough sleep rejuvenates our body. Children need 10-11 hours of uninterrupted sleeping whereas, 7-8 hours is a must for adults.
2. REGULAR EXERCISE:
Research shows that regular exercise can boost the immune system of the adults as well as the kids. It has many other health benefits also. So, we should set a family exercise routine to enhance our immunity. There are some fun and simple exercises for kids that we can enjoy together.
3. ENOUGH LIQUID CONSUMPTION:
We should encourage our children to have 2-3 liters of liquid every day. Water, soup, juice, milk, lemonade, buttermilk – doctors advise to consume any type of liquid to make up the adequate amount.
4. AVOID JUNK FOOD:
To keep our immune system strong we should avoid eating too much sugar, junk food, and oily food. These foods can cause harm to the balance of our immune system.
5. PREVENT THE SPREAD OF GERM:
We should follow strict hygiene to prevent the spread of germs. Encourage kids to wash their hands with soap frequently, before and after eating, returning from outside, after using the toilet, after playing. By doing this we cannot boost the immune system, but we can protect it from extra stress.
Nobody can promise that by adopting these habits and eating these immune system booster foods, one can shield himself from getting sick. But we can definitely prepare ourselves and our children to fight against the germs throughout the year by constantly strengthening the immune system.