The months of December, January and February can be harsh on children. Illnesses such as the common cold, the flu, sore throat, chest congestions can wear them down significantly. Mentioned below are food items that can boost children-‘s immunity to fight such illnesses and the colder months.
Vegetables contain a healthy amount of antioxidants which help fight infections and reduce inflammatory reactions of our immune cells round the year. Antioxidants also fight off free radicals, which causes damage to the cells in our body as well as DNA. Broccoli, spinach, ginger, garlic and onions contain potent antioxidants which help ease illness symptoms in children.
We must have heard umpteen times as children that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” because it is somewhat true. A study by the University of Illinois, in 2010, found that soluble fibre contained in apples can turn our immune cells “from being pro-inflammatory, angry cells to anti-inflammatory, healing cells that help us recover faster from infection”.
Apples also contain healthy doses of the molecule Vitamin C, which is said to have immunity-boosting effects provided that children receive the molecule regularly. Oranges, guava and pears also contain healthy doses of antioxidants and Vitamin C.
Pulses offer healthy doses of protein for countless Indians. Proteins not only help maintain and repair tissues of our body, but they also provide much-needed energy to our immune system to fight off bacterial and viral infections.
All essential nutrients required to create and develop a life are contained inside eggs. They are powerhouses of protein, vitamins, antioxidants as well as essential minerals like Zinc, which aids our recovery from infectious ailments.
There is good news for those who love mushrooms. Several studies have found that mushrooms have medicinal properties which regulate our immune system and help fight infection and inflammation.
Technically not foods, spices have been used for centuries in Indian households for their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Spices like turmeric, clove, cinnamon and black pepper help treat cough and cold.