The immune system is a intricate and vital body system that helps to protects fight off various ailments that come from things like viruses, germs and bacteria. It’s important to take good care of this system, since it plays such a large role in our overall wellbeing. Children like toddlers can be especially susceptible to dangerous pathogens, so it’s a good idea to keep their immune system as healthy as possible. Making sure that they get an adequate amount of sleep and creating a healthy (washing your hands, covering your mouth when coughing, covering your nose when sneezing, sterilizing) and nurturing environment (minimal stress) will help to maintain their immune system. It’s a good idea to encourage exercise and physical activity because it supports the immune system with its job by increasing circulation.
Diet and nutritional intake can help or hurt a toddler’s immune system. Staying clear of foods that are over processed or contain excessive amounts of sugar and fat is key. Processed foods are filled with refined carbohydrates, unhealthy oils and additives that can actually stress the immune systems. They are hard for the system to break down and digest and they do not contain the nutrients that are vital to our wellbeing. The deficiency of such nutrients may result in a weakened immune system. Obtaining a healthy amount of vitamins A, B, C and E are crucial. “Antioxidants are extremely important because they quench free radicals, which attack healthy cells and sometimes even kill them. Free radicals contribute to lowered immune function and to accelerated aging. Some of the major free-radical quenchers are vitamin A, beta carotene, lycopenes, vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase (SOD). They are essential immune system boosters (“Immune Boosters”).”
A diet that consists of complex carbohydrates like brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat, fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy is ideal. The food should always be fresh, as the nutritional value of foods can alter when they are frozen, overcooked, or combined with different additives. Foods that help keep the immune system healthy are dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach, arugula, kale, collard greens, chicory, dandelion greens and Swiss chard, which are great sources of folic acid. Garlic and onions are specifically noted to boost the immune system. There is also a plentiful amount in kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and navy beans are great sources along with fruits like bananas and berries and different grains such as wheat germ, oatmeal, whole wheat, brown rice and Brewer’s yeast. Back in 1998, food manufacturers in the United States became required to add a certain amount of folic acid to supplement their products.
Before purchasing things like flours, cereals, pastas, breads and cereals, check the boxes and labels to see how the products are fortified. Generally, a majority of products from companies like Kellogg’s and General Mills are regarded as high quality. Liver, beef, kidney, dark meat turkey, chicken and seafood such as tuna and salmon are full of healthy nutrients, as are nuts and dairy products like eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt. Drinking a good amount of liquids like water and juices that are free of additives is also important. Garlic and onions
If your toddler is not or cannot obtain these nutrients through their food intake, there are herbal immune enhancers and vitamins that can be taken to boost the immune system and ensure its’ health. Supplementing the diet with a multivitamin or a mineral rich enhancement are beneficial options. Herbal supplements, some of which are also known as remedies may be good to have on hand as well. When picking out the proper vitamin ort supplement for your toddler, you want to be sure that it is something that they can easily take and absorb. Some herbs that boost the immune system are Echinacea, Astragalus, Viscum, Hawthorn, Goldenseal, Black elderberry extract, Coltsfoot, Licorice, Peppermint, Fenugreek, Olea, cats Claw and Horehound. Products like these can be purchased at most health food stores and even some markets. Additional products worth considering are Influenzinum 200C, Oscillicoccinum 200C, and something like Floradix Kindervital, which is a multi-vitamin in liquid form.