With the cold and flu season upon us, it's important to find ways to stay healthy. Thankfully, there are many foods that boost your immune system that can help you be healthier.
Even when we eat healthy and try to stay fit, we can sometimes fall prey to a cold or fever. As we grow up, our immune system can sometimes fail us.
For a young child who is still growing and developing, the immune system plays an especially crucial role.
When functioning well, the immune system helps protect you from infections and diseases. None of us want to be sick, but such illnesses could potentially hamper growth and stall a child's development. However, proper nutrition helps improve the functioning of your child's immune system to help avoid such problems.
To help everyone be healthier, here are 11 super foods that will help you and your child stay healthy and in the face of many onslaughts.
What is a Superfood?
Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods that are considered to be especially beneficial for your health.
Typically, when one talks about superfoods, people have thoughts of things like goji, spirulina, chlorella, elderberries, wheatgrass, pomegranate, acai, and more.
In this post, you can see some superfoods featured in Delicious Superfood Berry Popsicles. They are a great way to get high quality nutrition into your body in a delicious treat.
However, truly there is no real definition of superfoods, so really it's a nutrient-rich food.
For this blog post, the idea is to figure out ways to get good nutrition into you and your kids easily.
Let's face it. Life is hectic enough already without adding hard-to-find foods onto your grocery list.
So this list of 11 Superfoods is made up of foods that are more readily available so parents all over the world can easily get these into their kids' (and into their own) diets.
11 Simple Super Foods to Boost Your Immune System
Citrus fruits such as oranges and limes have high vitamin C content. They are also rich in antioxidants and are known to help fight inflammation and contribute to your body's immune defense. (source)
Antioxidants are beneficial for the immune system as they help fight free radical damage and prevent cell breakup.
Common Citrus foods include lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, tangerines, and clementines.
2. Green Leafy Vegetables
Vegetables come loaded with fiber and nutrients and are some of the healthiest foods on the planet. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and cabbages are loaded with essential vitamins and antioxidants that boost immune system functioning.
And to keep your Green Leafies from spoiling, here is information on How to Store Leafy Greens.
Yogurt is packed full of good bacteria that helps with digestion and in turn help with your child's immune system. These are otherwise known as probiotics and aid the immune system in fighting harmful infections and bad bacteria.
Please do choose organic yogurt whenever possible. And if you cannot eat dairy, coconut yogurt is a great alternative.
Nuts like almonds, peanuts, and walnuts are great sources of fats. They also contain vitamin E and zinc along with a good amount of antioxidants. They are also versatile and easy to mix with different foods.
To optimize digestibility of nuts and seeds, soak and dehydrate them first.
And all nuts and seeds can be easily made into delicious Homemade Nut or Seed Butter.
Fatty fish like tuna and salmon are excellent sources of omega three fats. These healthy fats improve white blood cell activity.
This once again helps shore up the immune system.
Blueberries are famous for their high antioxidant content, but almost all berries are very healthy.
They contain flavonoids and phytochemicals, which are powerful antioxidants. Berries are versatile and can be used to make a range of healthy smoothies, desserts and more for your kids.
Eggs are one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. They are rich in protein and vital vitamins along with antioxidants.
They also have essential fats making them a superfood. Eggs and dishes made from eggs make a perfect breakfast for you and your child.
While kids aren't very fond of peas, they are an extremely versatile food. Peas are another green food which is rich in antioxidants.
Carotenoids, polyphenols, phenolic acids, and flavonoids are some powerful antioxidants present in peas.
You can, of course, eat peas alone, but here is a dish that has load of peas in it.
Garlic is famous for causing bad breath. However, it is also useful for fighting bacteria. Infections that affect the stomach through bad bacteria can be prevented by eating garlic. Try and get your child used to the pungent flavor of garlic from a young age. Peeling garlic can be a bother, of course, so here is a post on How to Easily Peel Garlic.
10. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene that is converted into vitamin A once ingested. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin.
Healthy skin is one of the first defenses for your child to protect against viruses and bacteria.
Honey makes a great alternative to sugar and can be added to a child or adult's diet quite easily.
This natural sweetener is packed with antioxidants and helps relieve allergies (when local honey is used).
As parents, we're always striving to ensure children get the best that we can possibly give them.
Not only do these 11 foods taste great, but they are also important for yours and your child's health. Whether sweet or savory, vegetable or fruit, you should try including as many of them as possible in their diet.
This will ensure they stay healthy, and are able to withstand the seasonal flu and cold that usually plagues all of us.
What are you waiting for?
Get started with these superfoods today!
Do you eat any of these Superfoods regularly?
What powerhouses would you add to the list?
Aradhana is a writer from India. Her areas of knowledge include parenting, children with special needs, health and lifestyle. She loves being outdoors and her hobbies include cycling and hiking. Aradhana has a special interest in children with special needs and parenting and shares her experiences through her other passion, writing. She writes to share her knowledge so that it may help others. Her posts on these subjects have been published on more than 250+ various reputed sites like the Huffington post, SheKnows, Mom Junction and many more. Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.