The Nutrition and Immunity of Children

 

The newborn begins his life with a immature immune systems, and therefore during the first year children are most susceptible to infections. The wish of every parent is to help their children to build a healthy immune system so that they grow strong and healthy.The child's defence system starts to develop, and it takes time for this process to be carried out completely. The body's defence is less effective and it takes 3-5 years to have an  immune responses comparable to those of adults.

Every time the child is exposed to some kind of infection, the immune system find out  that there is an intruder in the body and acts to eliminate it.  Next time, the immune system will know that the intruder does not belong to his body.The health of children may be influenced by many factors and parents should be aware of situations where exposure to viruses or bacteria is higher or if immunity could be compromised.

Some parents still believe that a fat child is a healthy child. This is not true, as studies have shown that overweight and obesity can lower immunity. In the same time, malnutrition is harmful for the immune system. Viral infections affect those with a weak immune systems first.Currently, over 70% of preschool children have a weakened immune system, especially those living in urban areas, compared to those living in rural areas.

Also, the exposure to germs and viruses is higher when seasons change and when spending more time in collectivity.Surgeries or certain diseases weaken significantly the body's natural defence. Medication tends to reduce immunity and weaken the body slowly.Chronic sinusitis, tonsillitis, nasal polyps and atypical infections caused by pathogens such as Mycoplasma pneumonia, chlamydia or threadworm (pinworm) affect the immune system of the child. Even teeth cavities can affect the child's immune system, can weaken immunity and make him more prone to common colds.

Parents need to pay attention to the health of the intestinal tract because this stimulates the synthesis of immunoglobulin and is important for overall immunity.Parents wonder how they can strengthen the immune system of their children to protect them from diseases and to improve the reaction of the immune system to infections. There are many natural ways that strengthen the immune system in children. Certain foods and substances provides the cornerstone for this to happen.

Sometimes parents think about the need to improve the immunity when the child begins to lose weight or during autumn which is the period with the highest risk of contracting acute respiratory viral infections. Other parents start to take measures to strengthen the immune system of the child at the first sign of cold or flu. Unfortunately, most parents believe that strengthening the immune system is a fast process and this is one of the most common misconceptions. Strengthening immunity is achieved gradually. To create a strong barrier against infections, the child's body needs at least a month and sometimes more depending on the  initial immunity condition. Therefore the best time to strengthen the immune system is before the cold season.A great part of the children's resistance to these diseases caused by pathological agents depends on the strength of the immune system. Children have immature immune systems which makes them vulnerable to infections and they can develop problems more quickly than adults. However, a healthy lifestyle with a diversified diet can help boost immunity and fight against colds and flu.

Most children come into contact with many germs and viruses every day at school or when they are playing, but a good hygiene including hand washing can help prevent some of these diseases.Every parent wants his child to be healthy and understands the importance of a balanced diet. Children's nutrition is important in maintaining optimal immune responses. A healthy diet provides adequate amounts of essential nutrients that strengthen the immune system. This includes foods from all categories: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and fats. Together these helps maintain a strong immune system which is able to fight disease.Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in vitamin C boost the immune system and help the body to fight flu and colds.To increase immunity, children should eat berries which are rich in antioxidants and are excellent for enhancing the immune system.

Children need essential fatty acids for their immune system to function optimally. The bad news is that the body can not synthesize essential fatty acids. They should be obtained through eating and are mainly found in in oils, nuts, seeds, beans and oceanic fish.Children's needs for essential fatty acids depends on other alimentation factors. For example, if they do not have a balance diet, their need of fatty acids will be higher. For the metabolism of fatty acid, children need vitamin B6 and antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and minerals-magnesium, zinc, copper and selenium.

To ensure a healthy immune system it is recommended to eat good proteins from eggs, vegetables, nuts and seeds, red meat, chicken and fish. Also, the body needs some healthy fats from oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil to maintain a healthy immune system.For the proper functioning of the immune system provide your child with foods rich in A, C and E vitamins. An increased intake of essential micronutrients such as iron and zinc also boosts immunity.

Avoid processed foods. They suppress the body's natural immunity. Also, eliminate all the products that contain preservatives and dyes: chips, chewing gum and soft drinks from the  children's diet. Give up fast food products. The child must have a healthy and nutritious alimentation.

Source : http://www.csw.ro

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A very long time ago, the Father of medicine Hippocrates, was pointing out for the first time the importance of maintaining human health. He used to say "You are your first doctor! You are what you eat!". Therefore, treat your food as it is your medication and your medication as it is your food!
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