Monsoon season not only brings rain and fun but also brings some infections along with it. Children are more likely to supper from seasonal infections such as cold and flu during rainy seasons. When children fall sick their physical, as well as mental development, suffer. Thus, it is important to build the child’s immune system to protect their bodies from diseases. Strengthening the child’s immune system starts with a balanced diet. Foods that are abundant in vitamin C and antioxidants help children have a better immune system and lead happier lives. Mommunity lists below the top 10 foods that help to boost your child’s immunity.
Boost your child’s immunity with these superfoods
Yoghurt is a probiotic with live beneficial microorganisms that are capable of strengthening the gastrointestinal tract. Parents usually do not prefer feeding yoghurt to their children thinking that it could cause cold and cough. But yoghurt helps enhance resistance against infections. Children should be given unfrozen yoghurt. Eating probiotic yoghurt daily boosts the immune system to fight disease-causing germs. Fresh or pureed berries and other fruits can be added to the yoghurt to elevate the flavour.
Diet during monsoon seasons includes soups to keep the body warm as well as to fight infections. Soups such as chicken soup and vegetable soup are commonly recommended to treat a cold. It hydrates the body and also helps improve the child’s immunity and reduce inflammation. Soups contain extracts of ginger and garlic that have anti-bacterial properties. Additional spices in soups such as ground pepper can increase soup’s immune-boosting power.
Kadha is an Ayurvedic drink made with dry herbs and spices which help in boosting immunity. It comprises black cardamom, turmeric, cloves, black peppercorns, tulsi, cinnamon, ginger, and honey or jaggery. These herbs cannot be normally juiced and they can be a combination of many ingredients. The recipe can vary depending upon the mix and spices used in the preparation.
4. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, sweet lime, and grapefruit are excellent sources of vitamin C, which is an important micronutrient to boost the immune system. Citrus fruits help increase immunity and protect children against diseases and infections. Children are more likely to get injured while playing outdoors. Vitamin C acids help in the wound healing process. Guava, papayas, tomatoes, bell peppers and broccoli are few other sources of Vitamin C.
When it comes to improving immunity, green leafy vegetables are the best as they are good sources of vitamin C and folic acid. Greens should be incorporated into the child’s diet at least three times a week. Vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower act as immune boosters. They naturally eliminate toxins from the body and prevent illness. Broccoli contains choline, an amino acid that helps keep the cells functioning properly and promote a healthy gut lining. Some of the vegetables that contain carotene are carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and squashes.
6. Garlic and Onion
Garlic and onion are known for their potent immune-boosting powers. These flavoursome ingredients contain antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help fight infections. Garlic helps open clogged sinuses. Sulfides and allicin in garlic are good for the immune system. It also increases the production of antibodies. Children may dislike the raw taste of garlic and onion which causes bad breath. Finely chopped or pureed onion and garlic can be included in the child’s diet by adding it to soups and pasta dishes.
7. Ginger and honey
Ginger is used as a beneficial home remedy to comfort an itchy throat, cold and cough. Ginger stimulates healthy sweating which is helpful during cold and flu. The combination of honey works best against seasonal infections. The extract of ginger acts as antibacterial and anti-viral agents to fight against disease-causing germs and honey coats the throat to soothe sore throats. Honey contains antioxidant and antimicrobial properties to fight infections. To make it tempting for children, ginger can be added to cookies, bread and cakes. Ginger extract added to lemon water with honey can also increase its effect.
Black pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon are the usual spices that strengthen the immune system. Black pepper is the best-known spice to defend against cold and flu. Peppercorns are rich in a compound called piperine, which helps relieve pain and reduce fever. A study published in the journal of medicinal food showed that pepper and cardamom are natural agents that can promote the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Sprinkling an ample amount of cinnamon to all the dishes helps boost the immune system.
This brightly coloured spice has traditionally been known as a natural antiseptic and antibiotic agent. Drinking turmeric mixed in milk is a sure shot cure when we suffer from a bout of cough or fever. Turmeric is also known to keep the levels of blood sugar under control.
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnut, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds provide vitamin E which helps boost immunity. Walnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids that reduce respiratory infections in children by increasing the diet by adding it to breakfast cereals. Nuts contain zinc and proteins required by our immune system. Children can be given a handful of nuts to munch on instead of junk foods that are deep-fried in oil.
Published on: 26th July 2021