Why Immunity Boosters
Although the main purpose of this site is to provide parents such as myself with a way to entertain our kids, this page is about increasing our kids immunity. I wanted to find out how increasing immunity would help our kids stay healthy. I also wanted to prevent them from getting sick from illnesses.
What I Found Out About Immunity Boosters
While reading about immunity boosters, I found they will assist with a lot of illnesses. I also found that there are 8 immunity boosters. They are:
- Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables.
- Get Sunlight,
- Take Vitamins and supplements,
- Be careful when you interact with sick people,
- Wash hands often,
- Get some sleep,
- Get Exercise, and
- Avoid unnecessary antibiotics.
More Information on Immunity Boosters
Detailed Information on each immunity booster is below:
1. Eat Plenty of Fruit and Vegetables
The first immunity booster is fruits and vegetables. Read below and find out what they contain to help boost our immune system.
- Phytonutrients – Needed to fight bacteria and infections. Source – Seasonal veggies and fruits
- Vitamin C – Boosts immunity. Sources – Cherries, Peaches, Guava and More
- Carotenoids – Contain immunity boosting phytonutrients. Sources – Carrots, green beans, oranges and strawberries
- Iron, Folic Acid and Zinc. Source – Green vegetables such as Spinach, broccoli and Fenugreek according to this article.
As shown above, vegetables help increase our immunity. Usually, kids are picky eaters. They is fine. Just do your best to persuade them to eat all their vegetables so they can boost their immunity. For example, you can put them in a smoothie or in a pasta dish. Or it may be the form of the vegetables. Do they prefer their vegetables baked or stir-fried?
2. Avoid Unnecessary Antibiotics
Another immunity booster is avoiding antibiotics. Overprescribing antibiotics is common. The purpose of antibiotics is to kill bacteria. Unfortunately, sometimes they are also prescribed for viruses.
According to Professor Howard Bauchner, M.D (a professor of pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine), antibiotics only treat infections caused by bacteria, and the majority of childhood infections are caused by viruses. In the survey, more than thirty percent of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary and written on the pressure of parents.
According to other research, the unnecessary prescriptions of antibiotics not only wipe out harmful bacteria but affect the beneficial bacteria in the gut. By doing this, the immune cells that are necessary to kill bacteria are also weakened. Then why kill off the good gut bacteria when it’s not necessary? It is a better idea to strengthen the immune system of kids as a defense mechanism against infection.
3. Exercise and Physical Activities
Another immunity booster is exercise and physical activities. Research shows that exercise increases the number of natural killer cells in adults—and regular activity can help kids in the same way.
Therefore, encourage your kids to exercise. According to a pediatric immunologist Ranjit Chandra( at the Memorial University of Newfoundland), to get your children into a lifelong healthy habit, it is necessary to exercise with them rather than just send them outside for physical activity. He mentions that parents have to be role models for physical activity because exercise boosts not only your immunity but also your mood. According to a clinical psychologist in Renee Stucky, fun family activities like bike riding, hiking, and tennis helps in increasing the immunity and urge the kids for physical activity.
For more information on the benefits of exercise, please go to this page.
4. Sunlight Exposure
Another immunity booster is sunlight exposure. Vitamin D is one of the nutrients that play an essential role in our overall health. According to a study, Vitamin D is very important in keeping our bones strong. Vitamin D helps by regulating calcium concentrations in our body.
According to the study, it is important that you get enough Vitamin D. Without enough Vitamin D, it is easier to get infections, diseases and sickness. Sadly, there are not enough foods that have a lot of Vitamin D in them. The primary sources of Vitamin D is fortified milk and fatty fish.
The good thing about Vitamin D is you don’t need to eat or drink to receive Vitamin D. According to research. You can get good old fashioned Vitamin D from hanging out in the sun.
Vitamin D is also important for kids because this helps to avoid autoimmunity. Autoimmunity happens when the body targets its healthy organs and cells. According to a study by Dr. Zembroski, Vitamin D helps prevent this from happening.
So, make sure kids get plenty of sun, so they get can get Vitamin D and boost their immune system.
5. Good Sleep
Another immunity booster is a good night’s sleep. According to research, adults and kids are more likely to get if they don’t have enough sound sleep. When people don’t sleep enough, they have fewer natural killer cells. Natural killer cells help with our immune systems and they help attack microbes and cancer cells.
According to Dr. Kathi Kemper, (director of the Center for Holistic Pediatric Education in Boston), Children in daycare are particularly at health risk for sleep deprivation because all the activities can make it difficult for them to sleep. If your child can’t or won’t take naps during the day, try to put them to bed earlier for better sleep.
As per the sleep foundation, without enough sleep, the body makes fewer cytokines. Cytokines help fight illnesses.
6. Vitamins and Supplements
Another immunity booster is vitamins and minerals. It is preferred that kids get their vitamins by eating nutritious foods. Read this article from Harvard for further information.
Sometimes kids will not be able to get their vitamins and minerals from food. For example, you may have a fussy eater. If so, consider providing them with a vitamin supplement. There are over the counter options. Your doctor or pharmacist may some recommendations.
7. Hygiene and Washing Hands
Another way to try to keep yourself healthy is to wash your hands frequently. Sometimes, it is easier for kids to get infected after touching a contaminated surface.
According to DR Michael Sternbach, most often, germs move from your hands into your eyes, nose, or mouth, so also make an effort not to touch your face. Make sure your kids wash their hands with soap.
As parents, try to make sure they are washing their hands:
- After playing outside,
- Before and after each meal,
- After handling pets,
- When they use the bathroom,
- After arriving home from places such as school.
According to research, fighting germs doesn’t technically boost immunity, but it’s a great way stop germs, bacteria, or viruses from entering your kid’s body. Once of these items enters the body, then your kids immune system has to attack. They will weaken their immune system or if their immune system isn’t strong enough then they will become sick.
8. Stay Away From Sick People
Another way to boost immunity is to stay away from sick people. Usually, people show carelessness regarding taking precautions and interacting with kids when they are sick or feel common flu/cough symptoms. According to article (15) only few virus particles permeate in your mucous membranes and make you and other people sick .It is better to teach your kids never to share straws and cups, and scarves, or anything that comes in contact with their mouths and faces. Teach your children to maintain social distancing from sick people, and it is also a better idea to avoid the Coronavirus too.
BONUS Immunity Booster – Maintain Gut Health
In addition to the items indicated above, maintaining gut health can also help boost immunity. Probiotics are “friendly bacteria” that are similar to organisms that occur naturally in the digestive tract. Certain types of probiotics have been linked to some health benefits and immunity-boosting.
According to the article, our food, immune system, and digestive tract health are connected with each other. According to other research, Yogurt is one of the best-known of the foods that contain probiotics. To increase kid’s gastrointestinal health, consider adding yogurt to their diet. There are lots of easy on-the-go yogurt options these days. They even come in little tubes or pouches that you can pack for lunch.
Teaching Your Kid About Immunity Boosters
It is also important for kids to feel empowered to take care of their health. To assist kids with that, I created this video.