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Seeing your kids on a sickbed with the feeling of a never-ending cycle of runny noses, fevers, and chesty coughs symptoms is a huge trauma for most parents. While it is the joy of most nurses to attend to your kids when ill, it would be so much better to visit them just once or thrice a year when they are healthy – only for general check-ups!

If you’re looking for ways to avoid sitting anxiously in the waiting room of most clinics, we’ve put together a few tips on how to boost your child’s immune system

#1: Go in the way of great diets

If your kids are surviving off chicken nuggets and pizza, you’re not doing anything to help their immune system. Serving your child a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, vitamin C, and other nutrient-dense foods will help boost their immunity and ward off that nasty virus circulating in your neighbourhood. If you’ve got a picky eater on your hands, try hiding immune-boosting foods in smoothies, baked cookies, and cheese favourites.

For example, spinach, which is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, can be thrown in the food processor and added to spaghetti sauce, chopped up and added to an omelette, or blended into a fruit smoothie. Other great foods to boost immunity include:

  • Plain, unsweetened yogurt
  • Fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut
  • Legumes and pulses such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas
  • Ginger, garlic, and onion

Fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruits such as oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes and grapefruit
  • Capsicum, especially the red capsicums
  • Broccoli and spinach contain good levels of vitamin C as well as vitamin A and E

Most importantly, avoid highly processed foods, like chips, candy, and soda. They all compromise the immune system because they are filled with additives, chemicals that cause havoc on a child’s delicate body. By avoiding these kinds of foods, you make way for healthier foods.

#2: Encourage sufficient sleep

Getting your kid to bed early has more benefits than just a few hours of quiet time at night. Sleep is so critically important to almost all of the body’s functions, including boosting the immune system in your child. This simply means that they should be getting the recommended amount of sleep for their age. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that children get the following amount of sleep in 24 hours:

Infants between 4 months to 12 months- 12 to 16 hours (including naps)

Toddlers between 1 to 2 years of age- 11 to 14 hours (including naps)

Pre-schoolers between 3 to 5 years of- 10 to 13 hours (including naps)

Children between 6 to 12 years of age- 9 to 12 hours

Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age- 8 to 10 hours

In order to give your kids the best chance at a good night’s sleep, cut screen time at least 30 minutes before bedtime, and don’t allow TVs, tablets, or smartphones in their rooms. Implementing a bedtime routine can also help your kids get to bed on time, ensuring they get an adequate amount of sleep.

#3: Regular hand-wash practice

Hygiene is extremely important when we are looking to strengthen a child’s immune system. Have your child regularly wash their hands during cold and flu season. It’s one of the best ways to avoid getting sick, but we don’t do it often enough.

Have your child wash their hands before and after meals, after returning from school or day-care, after using the bathroom, after touching pets or playing outside, after being in contact with someone who is sick, or after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. This one isn’t just for the kiddos.

Mom or dad, it’s just as important for you to practice good hand washing habits to avoid bringing unwanted germs in contact with your kids. Also, though it doesn’t technically boost immunity, one of the first things you should as well do after your child recovers from being sick is to throw out their toothbrush.

Never has there been more focus on the value of health and our immune system in recent times as coronavirus continues to spread globally, so it is inevitably important to focus on what you can control to boost your immune system.

What you eat is likely going to affect your immune system. Making sure you eat what you need to benefit your gut health is one good way to boost your immune system if it’s struggling. The immune system is highly impacted by what you consume, and you can learn what to take to boost it on this page.

Boost Phytonutrient Intake of Supplement

Supplements are a tablet form of common vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants that your body uses daily. Supplements are now readily available in supermarkets and health food stores, yet that doesn’t necessarily mean we need to be taking them daily.

Sometimes you might need to take a tablet form of a certain nutrient if you cannot get enough from food. However, usually, you will get enough nutrients from the food you eat. You may have heard of the following supplements:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important as our body doesn’t store it, and our bodies need it daily. We can get enough from our food when we are eating a variety of fruit and vegetables. This includes fresh, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables.

If you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables, it is best to avoid taking vitamin C supplements in bulk as you will be flushing your money down the drain.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ as we get most of it from the sun and it gives the body what it needs to produce vitamin D. Unless your vitamin D levels are low, usually shown by a blood test showing vitamin D deficiency, then a vitamin D supplement is not necessary.

Getting 15-20 minutes of sunshine on your face and forearms is also a great way to make sure your body is getting enough sunshine to maintain your vitamin D levels for now.

'Immune-boosting’ Probiotic supplements

Probiotic supplements are often taken to help boost the good gut bacteria that help to strengthen your immune system. The evidence is unconvincing right now as to whether you will get any extra benefit from a probiotic supplement over and above eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.

In general, there is no one food or nutrient that is going to be the key to a strong immune system. All foods contain a variety of vitamins (i.e., vitamin C, E, and A), minerals (i.e., iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium) and fibre that all play a role in keeping your immune system and body in good health. It’s more important to have a healthy lifestyle overall

How can i build my immune system

The immune system is basically your inner body’s front line of defence against foreign substances and infectious agents. Consisting of white blood cells, antibodies, the spleen, thymus, bone marrow, complement system, and lymphatic system, it employs an immune response against germs and infections.

Although most people are only aware of the immune system when they are fighting off a cold, it is an essential part of our daily lives for much more than just defence against infection.

The immune system plays a key role in cellular repair and, most importantly, helping to keep us germ and illness-free. It acts as your body’s natural defence system against ‘pathogens,’ which can be anything from viruses to worms that attack your body’s tissues and cells.

That’s why it’s vital to keep your immune system working optimally to ensure you can train harder and stay disease-free. Here, we detail five scientifically-proven ways of boosting your immune system. Listed below are quicker ways to boost your immune system:

Consume probiotics and prebiotics – Both probiotics and prebiotics support the body in building and sustaining healthy bacteria and microorganisms, thereby promoting gut health and aiding with digestion.

Incorporate more magnesium into your diet

Magnesium, which is found in dark leafy greens, is another nutrient that can be beneficial to a struggling immune system. Getting more magnesium may give you the boost you need. Magnesium contributes too many reactions in the body, including keeping the immune system strong and supporting cardiac and brain function. Talk to your doctor if you think you may need a bit more magnesium for your health.

Drink More Water

One of the simplest things you can do to help boost a struggling immune system is to make sure you’re drinking enough water. Besides the obvious dangers of not drinking enough water, dehydration can cause constipation, headaches, and compromised immunity.

Similarly, proper hydration facilitates a healthy immune system by helping the body flush out toxins and foreign infections. So while you talk to your doctor and try to find other ways to help boost your immunity, you can also make sure to keep drinking as much water as possible.

What we do every day to stay well can really impact the strength of our immune system. You can’t stop every infection from invading your body. However, you can do a lot to support your immunity to be its best, encourage our bodies’ natural immune processes to function optimally because a compromised immune system may leave you susceptible to colds and other illnesses, the tendency to develop food allergies, and an increased risk of an assortment of gastrointestinal issues.

You run the risk of developing more serious health issues; therefore, it’s always important to quickly boost your immune system whenever you’re feeling symptoms of immunodeficiency. Some small changes to your daily life can help you; however, if your immune system is struggling on a large scale, you might want to consult your medical doctor.

How immune systems works

Our body’s immune system is extremely complex, and many aspects of it have yet to be revealed by medical science. For instance, we still do not fully understand why some people are more prone to infections, such as the common cold or the flu than others.

The immune system exists practically everywhere in the body. The most well-known cells of the immune system are the body’s white blood cells, often thought of as the body’s policemen. These move around the body in our bloodstream. However, our blood vessels only represent the ‘motorways’ of our body – to be effective, immune system cells have the ability to leave the circulatory system and mingle amongst cells in our tissues and organs.

The immune system’s primary function is to protect us from infection, and it does so utilizing two types of action

How does your immune system work?

If you understand how the immune system works, you will recognize the importance of optimal functionality and how you can best support it. The immune system is a fascinating and complex body system that is vital to our well-being.

When functioning normally, your immune system fights off intruders before they cause damage. These foreign invaders are pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. Recognition of such pathogens puts your immune system into defence mode.

A healthy immune system continuously eliminates potential intruders without us knowing. The immune system has two different levels of defence.

  1. Innate immunity
  2. Adaptive Immunity

Innate immunity

Your innate immune system is what you are born with. It is your first line of defence against any foreign substances and is non-specific in its reactions. This means that your body reacts the same no matter what the invader is.

Adaptive immunity

Adaptive immunity is your second line of defence. This part of your immune system is specific and has memory. It protects you against microbes that you’ve previously had contact with. Chemicals such as antibodies, and certain white blood cells, called T Cells, are all part of the adaptive immune response.

When you have contact with a specific pathogen, the adaptive immune system “tags” it. Then, if the same pathogen attempts to invade the body again, the adaptive immune system recognizes it and can target a specific attack very quickly.  Because it takes time for this part of the immune system to develop, it is important that the Innate Immune System is intact.

In conclusion, taking steps to improve your lifestyle in a way that will strengthen your immune system doesn’t mean this will stop you from getting sick. However, it’s important to focus on what you do have control over by focusing on healthy food choices to help your immune system is one area where you do have control, and this can help you to fight any infection that does make you sick.

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