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5 Must-add ingredients to child’s diet to boost immunity

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Immunity boosters

Boosting immunity has become the prime aim of all segments of people throughout the world due to the pandemic. Parents around the globe have become very anxious and concerned to protect their kids from the effects of the pandemic. Hence, a balanced diet with proper nutrition is a must for Children below 5, who have an immature immunity. A proper balance of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients are essential for boosting their immunity. 5 must ingredients include

1. Dark chocolate – Studies have shown that dark chocolate enhances the immunity among all especially kids.

In one study it was observed that consuming chocolate reduced lower risk of irregular heartbeat, diabetes and heart disease. Dark chocolate contained more flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants and neutralize the oxidative stress and protect cells from being damaged and also reduce inflammation.

Five healthy participants between the age group of 2-30 were advised to have 48 gm of dark chocolate and their brain activities were measured. It was observed that eating dark chocolate enhanced the gamma frequency in the cerebral cortical regions of the brain which are involved in memory and sensory processing.

In another study, 5 healthy people in the age group of 25-50 were administered 48 grams of dark chocolate per day for a total of 8 days and blood samples collected on the starting day and completion days. It was seen that consuming dark chocolate increased the expression of genes associated with neural signaling and sensory perception and also gene expression involving in the T –cells activation, which help in the fighting of infection and diseases. Thus the studies proved that consuming dark chocolates elevate mood, and had a positive effective effect on the memory, immunity and overall health.

2. Whole grains play n important role in maintaining the health of kids. Whole grains help to reduce and mage the inflammation levels in the body. Whole grains such as oats and barley contain fiber which reduce the C-reactive protein (CRP) which is responsible for 40% inflammation. They also are rich in beta glucan reduce inflammation and also contain polyphenols which have strong antioxidant, anti-itching and anti-inflammatory properties, which are highy effective in reducing chronic inflammation. They also contain Vitamin B complex; trace minerals and thus help in maintain good cardiovascular health among children.

3. Healthy fats are essential to maintain the energy levels of children, they provide structural strength; act as cell communicators, transporters. They have anti inflammatory properties, reduces the platelet aggregation, enhances vasodilatation, decrease arrhythmia, Healthy fats are available in walnuts, almonds, olive oil and mustard oil helps in building  and production of hormones, and provides insulation to the body from infections and extreme temperature variations.

4. Turmeric is also essential as it contains urcuminoids-curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin, which exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antiviral, and immunomodulatory activity. 12g daily is regarded safe for human consumption. Also curcumin has anti-inflammatory property helping the body’s immune system, heals and repairs and also acts as an antioxidant by reducing the oxidative stress and improves cardiovascular health and overall health.

5. Adding dried mango powder to dishes can enhance the taste buds of your child and they an enjoy healthy food. Amchoor powder or dried mango powder mostly contains more than 20 different vitamins and minerals. It rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and B12, folic acid and minerals like copper, iron, magnesium and calcium. Vitamins A, D, C, B6, zinc and iron which help in providing immunity to the body. Vitamin E and K are also present. Phenolic acids present also help to maintain the integrity of the whole body and stay  healthy

References:

  1. International Children′s Day 2021: Add these 5 ingredients to your child′s diet to boost immunity amid COVID-19: Jagran Prakashan Limited.; 2021 [updated 01 Jun 2021; cited 2021 26-Sep-21]. Available from: https://english.jagran.com/lifestyle/international-childrens-day-2021-5-additions-in-your-childs-diet-to-boost-immunity-during-covid19-crisis-10027376.
  2. Whiteman H. How dark chocolate could boost brain health, immunity: MEDICAL NEWS TODAY NEWSLETTER; 2018 [updated April 27, 2018 cited 2021 2-Sep-21]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321618#Dark-chocolate-enhances-neuroplasticity.
  3. WHOLE GRAINS AND IMMUNE HEALTH: Wholegrains; 2021 [cited 2021 25-Sep-21]. Available from: https://wholegrainscouncil.org/blog/2020/03/whole-grains-and-immune-health.
  4. Nutrition and Immunity 4:Fats: vanderbilt.edu;  [cited 2021 26-Sep-21]. Available from: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/olli/class-materials/Nutrition_Immunity_Session4.pdf.
  5. Maria Elena Maldonado-Celis, E. M. Y., Ramiro Bedoya, Patricia Landázuri, Nelsy Loango, Johanny Aguillón,, Beatriz Restrepo and Juan Camilo Guerrero Ospina. Chemical Composition of Mango (Mangifera indica L.) Fruit: Nutritional and Phytochemical Compounds. Front. Plant Sci., 2019, 17, 1073, 1-21.
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