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Rest, exercise regularly, wash your hands, maintain good oral hygiene, or not share food and utensils with other people are keys to having a strong immune system. Food also plays an important role. Do you want to know what children should eat to strengthen the immune system?
The immune or defense system, as its name says, is the one that defends our body from any external or internal aggression of microorganisms and involves many types of cells, organs, tissues and proteins and that there are two types of immunity, the innate and the acquired one.
Innate immunity is what we are born with, that is, congenital, natural and provides an immediate defense to any microorganism that may invade our body. It is carried out by cells such as white blood cells (neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, monocytes, NK cells), each with a different function. Mast cells, the complete system, and cytosines also participate in this type of immunity.
The problem with this type of immunity, unlike acquired immunity, is that it has no memory of foreign agents that attack the body, therefore there is no constant protection against future attacks.
Acquired immunity is the other form of defense of our body, but it is not born with it. It is learned and is carried out by white blood cells (leukocytes: B and T lymphocytes), which confront the foreign organism (antigen) and develop a memory against it, for subsequent attacks, that is, whenever it attacks, it will recognize it .
This innate immunity includes vaccines, which are live attenuated organisms (viruses or bacteria) that provoke a response in our defense system of recognition, memory and attack; also the administration of colostrum from human milk from birth, since it contains millions of antibodies transmitted from the mother to the newborn.
When a child has what they call 'low defenses' they will be very vulnerable to suffering from mild to severe pathologies and can be expressed clinically by fatigue or weakness, skin-mucosa paleness, respiratory, neurological, gastric infections ...
Important hematological alterations can also occur, which is why constant pediatric control is necessary, where the specialist can diagnose a depressed immune system and take corrective measures regarding it. The causes of a weak immune system can be due to multiple causes, among them we have:
1. Not breastfeeding or too little time
2. Frequent or very severe infectious, viral or bacterial processes or serious diseases such as cancer or lymphomas
3. Environmental factors: seasonal changes, cold, humidity, exposure to sunlight
4. Stress situations
5. Immunosuppressive or antibiotic therapies
6. Poor or inadequate nutrition
Adequate nutrition is essential to strengthen and maintain our body's defense system. For this there are nutrients such as iron, zinc, folic acid, selenium, copper, vitamin A, C and D, B12 and B6 contained in food; as well as animal or vegetable proteins, amino acids, fats such as Omega-3 and fibers, especially fat-soluble and antioxidants such as polyphenols and beta-carotenes, which should make up a balanced diet.
Good hydration, exercise, and adequate rest are also important. All this will make it possible to maintain a healthy body with a well-strengthened immune system and attentive to defend it when necessary. Among the foods we have:
- Animal proteins
Turkey breast, chicken breast, salmon, prawns, white fish, cod, or egg.
- Vegetable proteins
Soybeans, lentils, cereals such as oats, almonds and pistachios, and potatoes.
- Vegetables, vegetables and legumes
Red bell pepper, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, beet, and spinach (preferably after 12 months), peas, tomatoes, peas, and sweet potatoes.
- Fruits of all kinds
Strawberry, kiwi, guava, lemon, tree tomato, pineapple, avocado, banana, papaya, etc.
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