How to Increase Immunity In Children Naturally
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Having a strong immune system is important for anyone to fight off germs and illnesses. But children’s immune systems are still developing and any germs they are exposed to may be completely new to them.
Now more than ever it’s important to make sure our immune systems are strong, especially for children whose delicate immune systems may not be fully developed.
Do Immune System Boosters Work?
It would be easy to just take some special formulas to give the immune system a boost when it’s needed, but that’s not how the immune system works. Immune boosters don’t fight off diseases, which is what a lot of people use them for (1).
There is also a fine balance between a strong immune system that can fight off any bacteria or viruses and a hyperactive immune system that can cause problems like allergies and other types of autoinflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
It’s more important for children (and adults) to develop good habits to stay healthy like washing hands, eating right and getting enough sleep.
How To Fix A Weak Immune System With Food
Some children have a weak immune system with either mild forms that often go unnoticed for years or some that are so severe they are discovered soon after a baby is born. Some of the signs and symptoms include:
- Frequent and recurring infections (sinus, ear or skin), pneumonia or bronchitis
- Inflammation and infection of internal organs
- Blood disorders such as anemia
- Digestive problems such as diarrhea or nausea
- Delayed growth and development
Eating a healthy diet can help the body’s natural defenses and is also important for a growing child whose immune system is still developing. Make sure to include these types of foods in your children’s meals:
Fruits And Vegetables
Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can help decrease inflammation in the body. Also plant foods provide the gut with microbiome, which is healthy bacteria that can improve immunity and keep harmful pathogens from entering the body through the digestive tract. Plus fruits and vitamins are rich in vitamin C, a vitamin crucial for the immune system.
Nuts, Seeds And Legumes
Also rich in nutrients and antioxidants. They work to combat free radicals that lead to inflammation.
Found in olive oil and salmon, healthy fats can boost the body’s immune system by decreasing inflammation allowing the body to fight off harmful disease-causing bacteria.
These have beneficial bacteria known as probiotics which can help build up beneficial bacteria in the stomach. This beneficial bacteria can help the immune cells differentiate between healthy cells and bad ones.
Cutting sugar can decrease inflammation. Plus added sugars and refined carbs can lead to an unhealthy weight which weakens the immune system.
Staying hydrated can help build the immune system because dehydration can lead to headaches, digestive issues and even heart and kidney issues which can increase susceptibility to other illnesses. Water is best because it doesn’t contain sugar or other additives.
What Are Immune Boosting Superfoods?
Not all fruits, vegetables and healthy foods are created equal. There are some known as superfoods for the immune system that are packed with nutrients. So make sure to include the foods listed below as part of your child’s menu:
- Citrus fruits
- Red bell peppers
- Goji berries
- Sunflower seeds
- Chia seeds
How Can I Boost My Child’s Immune System Naturally?
Besides just making sure your child is eating healthy foods including the superfoods listed above, there are some other easy steps to make sure your child is doing to help naturally boost their immune system.
Young children, especially toddlers, are good at putting everything in their mouths. You can at least make sure they wash their hands frequently. Start by making sure they know to wash their hands at least after sneezing, coughing and using the bathroom. And it’s good to start children on that routine during potty training.
Make sure you work with your children’s pediatrician when it comes to their immunization schedule.
Ensure Adequate Sleep
Making sure your children get enough sleep can really boost their immune system. When children don’t get enough sleep, it limits their body’s ability to produce cytokines, a kind of protein that can help fight infections and reduce inflammation. Follow these suggestions:
- Children between the ages of 3-5 should get between 10-13 hours
- Children between the ages of 6-13 should get between 9-11 hours
- Children between the ages of 14-17 should get between 8-10 hours
What Are The Best Vitamins For Children’s Immune System?
The best way to get vitamins and nutrients is through eating a healthy diet, but we know that children can be picky eaters and may not always get what they need. Here are some vitamins to make sure your child is getting:
Found in milk, cheese and yellow and orange vegetables likes carrots, this vitamin can promote normal growth development and immune responses
The B vitamins including B2, B3, B6 and B12 not only help with energy, they help the circulatory and nervous systems too. These are found in meat, milk, cheese and beans.
Found in citrus fruits, this vitamin is one of the most popular immune boosting vitamins.
This helps strengthen healthy gut bacteria which can strengthen the immune system
What Are The Best Ways To Booster A Child’s Immune System
As we’ve seen one of the best immune boosters for children is eating a healthy diet. That combined with sleep and proper hand washing goes a long way to keeping your child healthy. However, it’s important to make sure your child isn’t stressed.
It’s often thought of as more of an adult worry, but kids can get stressed too, they just may have different stressors. And it could be things we wouldn’t worry about because we think we have bigger things to think of. So whether your child is upset because they can’t find their favorite toy or they are stressing about a homework assignment, their stress is big to them and it could impact their immune system.
Make sure your children have time to unwind. Whether they like to draw, paint, read or run around, encourage them. Exercise is an ideal way to boost the immune system. It could be as simple as running around a park or playing in a sport. Kids can even practice yoga or meditation. Whatever it is, let them unwind too.
Supplements That Can Help
Our body is made up of cells that can become damaged especially as children get older. Healthy cells are able to operate at their highest efficiency possible leading to better health. Spermidine is a supplement that aids the body’s natural autophagy process which gives cells the ability to get rid of old, damaged cells that can lead to illnesses in order for new cells to be formed.
Optimal health and longevity can be found at the cellular level, so it’s important for the body to get rid of the old damaged cells. When the immune system recognizes foreign invaders (like germs and bacteria), the autophagy process works to get rid of it. Spermidine can help trigger the autophagy process so the immune system remains strong and cells are healthier.
Research:1.Can supplements help boost your immune system?