Read how diet can help a baby to strengthen his immune system, so no illness thwarts your plans for active time outdoors.
Many factors influence strengthening of baby's immunity. First of all, walks in fresh air are very important for good ventilation of the body, as well as for its contact with germs to learn how to fight them. Correct choice of clothes is important, so the baby is not overheated and his body learns how to correctly manage temperature, together with physical exercise and good atmosphere at home.
The immunity is also strengthened with appropriate diet. The alimentary tract and the digestive system form one of the largest units in the immune system, mainly, because blood flowing through it is rich in lymphocytes, i.e., white blood cells responsible for control of germs, as well as due to probiotics produced by intestinal flora and preventing intestinal infections. Probiotics support the immune system by stimulating antibodies production and increasing lymphocyte activity.
Without appropriate amount of fluids it is not possible for the body to mainatain balance. The best option is to teach your baby to drink water. Drinking mineral water is much better than drinking juice from cartons or coloured drinks with preservatives, because it removes toxins and contaminants from the body.
With spring around, later followed by summer, ensure your baby's diet contains fresh fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are not only a very well absorbed source of vitamins and mineral salts, but they also contain phytonutrients, not found in other products. These substances protect plants against bacteria, viruses and fungi, and in humans they improve immunity, help to control infections, and remove toxins from the body.
Necessary unsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) are received only with food, and the body cannot produce them. The ratio at which these acids are supplied, is also important and should be 1:5, in favor of omega-3. Omega-6 acids are found in vegetable oil, and soy and sunflower oils in particular. Omega-3 acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) so important for brain development and correct cognitive processes, are found in oily saltwater fish. UFA contribute to protection of the young body against allergies, have an anti-inflammatory effect and are necessary for correct development of the nervous system.
It is worth to add probiotics to a baby's diet. These are live cultures of beneficial bacteria, producing lactic acid and present in microflora of the digestive system. They bring a lot of benefits to the body: control the digestive system function, contribute to increased absorption of vitamins and minerals, have a beneficial effect on the immune system by improving resistance to infections. Probiotic dietary supplements available at a pharmacy are recommended during antibiotic therapy, while normally we recommend feeding children with food products rich in probiotics, such as natural yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut or pickled cucumbers.
For the immune system to function correctly, it needs support in form of all components required for its good functioning. Therefore, you should include in your baby's diet products rich in:
Sweets, fast foods, highly processed products should not appear in baby's diet at all, but when they are included, it should be as rarely as possible. Sugar has a bad effect on condition of body mucosa, which become more permeable to germs. Fast-food and highly processed food contain relatively small amounts of natural and easily absorbed nutrienta, while they contain many unhealthy fats, stabilizers and taste enhancers.
Correctly understood diet is not limited to the food given to the baby, but also focuses on a way in which it is given. Way of eating is of great importance for an improvement in immunity. Of course, products must be fresh, from a verified source, washed, subjected to appropriate thermal processing, and baby's and our hands must be clean. Frequency of meals is also important. It is the best to serve 5 wholesome meals to the baby every 3–4 hours. A hungry body has limited resources available to combat germs and viruses, so it is more susceptible to infections.
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