The Power of Understanding Immunity: Nutrition is Neat!
We all know we’re supposed to strive for a “balanced diet”...and that our kids should eat a veritable rainbow of foods (and sometimes presented as one we can even get them to eat a few new colors). But when it comes to immunity, what nutrients are most critical? Vitamins A, C, D and E are a great start along with the group of B Vitamins, Iron, Selenium and Zinc.
To cover your bases, try to incorporate these options:
- Yogurt/Kefir - this probiotic powerhouse can help fight sickness with one study finding a 19% lower risk of colds, ear infections, and strep throat. Keep it unsweetened to avoid extra sugars, and look for brands with live cultures that have a bit of separation/liquid on top when you open it.
- Nuts & Seeds - high on the list, especially those that offer Omega3’s which have been shown to cut the number of respiratory infections in kids. Sprinkle into a homemade trail mix or on top of cereal or oatmeal (another great source of zinc!).
- Fruits & Veggies - berries and citrus typically top the list, with bell peppers a close second (they actually have more Vitamin C than oranges - so if you can get your kid to eat either, it’s a win!). And yes, those green vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale, as well as cauliflower and cabbage are critical as well (for the haters, we like to toss ‘em in a smoothie, sauce or muffin).
- Lean Meats and/or Legumes - wherever you choose to get your protein, it’s vital for maintaining strength, and both animal and plant based options contain zinc, which helps white blood cells fight infections.
- Supplements - whether you use them routinely or to fill the gaps, nutrition based supplements such as Vitaminis offer an immune supportive combination of Vitamin C, Magnesium and Zinc to support your kiddos nutrient needs.