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How To Boost Immunity

Help your child to boost their immune system and fight those common term-time seasonal germs with these simple practices.

With the changing seasons, feeding your family immune boosting foods and teaching them healthy habits will help protect them from winter bugs. Here are some tips and advice on how to boost immunity and help to keep everyone in the family infection free over the next few months.

Boost immunity by eating well

1. Fruits and vegetables
Although experts have yet to establish exactly how much is required to keep colds at bay, vitamin C has a long-held reputation for boosting immune function. Vitamin C also aids the absorption of iron. Citrus fruits, strawberries, blackcurrants, papaya, blueberries and watermelon along with bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and fortified cereals are all excellent sources of vitamin C.

2. Lean meats
Lean meats contain protein, which is important for keeping up strength. They also contain zinc, an immunitystrengthening mineral which helps white blood cells fight off infections. A 75g serving of lean beef provides about 30% of the recommended daily amount of zinc. Other zinc-rich foods include poultry, fortified cereals, pork, oil-rich fish, yoghurt, milk or oysters.

3. Yogurt
Yoghurt contains live cultures called probiotics. These protect your gut from disease, assist your body in getting the nutrients it needs.

4. Oil-rich food
Rich in omega-3 ‘healthy’ fats, oil-rich fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines are highly nutritious immune boosting foods. Experts believe that omega-3s help your body fight illness. One small study found omega-3s cut the number of respiratory infections in kids.

READ MORE: 6 Easy Ways To Keep Your Family's Immune System Strong

5. Porridge oats
Porridge is rich in vitamin E, which helps to fight against bacteria and viruses. Porridge oats are also a hunger-busting food and will keep your child feeling full until lunchtime.

6. Ginger
Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is often used in homemade cold and flu remedies. Ginger stimulates the sweat glands, which helps detoxification by promoting ‘healthy sweating’. According to a recent study, sweat contains a potent antibacterial agent that can help fight off infections, including skin infections and candida.

7. High-fibre food
Swap white bread for wholemeal seeded varieties. They contain immune-boosting vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium to keep your child strong, healthy and free from disease. They are also high in fibre, which makes for healthy digestion.

8. Superfoods
There always seems to be a newer, or better, or recently discovered ‘super food’ on the market that beats all the rest. The latest miraculous berry or magical juice to cure all ills – it’s just marketing! Choosing from a wide range of wholesome and fresh produce means you’ll be feeding your family the very best.

READ MORE: 9 Everyday Foods To Boost Your Immune System

Get some sleep

Most children are not getting the required amount of sleep. Depending on age, children need between 10 and 14 hours of sleep per day. And it’s the quality of sleep that matters most. For proper secretion of melatonin (our sleep hormone), children need to sleep in the dark, without a night light.

Guard against germs

Fighting germs doesn’t actually increase immunity, but it’s a good way to reduce stress on your child’s immune system. Encourage your kids to wash their hands often – and with soap. Get your children to sneeze into the crook of their elbow, which helps to stop the germs from spreading.

READ MORE: How To Boost Your Immune System To Avoid Colds & Flu

Get them moving

Sitting around all day in class then again at night doing homework makes not only the body sluggish, but the immune system sluggish as well. If your kids aren’t involved in sports at school already, make a point to sneak 20 minutes of exercise into your kid’s day at least three times a week. This could be a quick family walk around the block after school or a even a game of football in the back garden.

Do you have other tips to boost your little one's immune system? Share them in the comments below.


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