Many parents, especially in times like these, are concerned about how to protect the defenses of infants and children. The challenge today is to strengthen a child’s immune system to better fight infectious diseases.
If so, here are some steps you can take to strengthen your child’s immune system.
How is your child’s immune system doing?
In the first few years of life, children are most susceptible to infectious diseases. Although they are born with certain defenses, their immune systems are still immature and must be strengthened during the first years of life.
- Remember that babies have no antibodies or immune memory against many pathogens and antigens because they have not yet encountered them.
- In addition, their intestinal flora is scarce. It is not yet strong enough to stop the advance of certain pathogens.
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What are children’s defenses?
During pregnancy, a woman passes on to her baby a number of antibodies and immune cells, as well as microbial molecules and antigens that are involved in development. Therefore, unless the baby is born prematurely, the immune system is fully developed.
However, each child’s defensive capabilities are different, depending on the mother’s immune system and her experiences during pregnancy. Illness, stress, and the mother’s diet can affect the baby’s immune system.
What can I do to boost my baby’s defenses?
Here are the main tips that will help you boost your baby’s defenses:
- Give him a balanced diet: nutritional imbalances can disrupt the baby’s immune system. Make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need.
- Take care of their intestinal flora: gut bacteria promote digestion, prevent the entry of pathogens and contribute to the development of the immune system.
- Encourage outdoor activities.
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How can you help your immune system?
The best way to boost a baby’s defenses is to breastfeed. It is a complete food and will help you strengthen your immune system. Through breast milk, you provide your baby with all the substances he needs to strengthen his immune system.
The World Health Organization recommends continuing breastfeeding for up to two years. However, from the age of 6 months, children should receive complementary foods, always under the supervision and advice of a specialist.
These are some nutrients that contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system:
- Vitamin D is found in fish or eggs. It also appears as a provitamin in some vegetables.
- You can find zinc in meat, nuts (such as almonds or hazelnuts), or oats.
- Ironically, it is abundant in meat, legumes (such as lentils or chickpeas), and spinach.
- Vitamin C is found in all vegetables, although it stands out in bell peppers, parsley, broccoli, or fruits such as strawberries or oranges.
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