A child's superior learning begins with brain-building nutrients such as DHA. But it's also important to maintain his physical well-being, because sickness can compromise a child's brain development. Thus, a well-functioning immune system is crucial in young children. Below is a list of nutrients that support your child's immune health in three important areas: respiratory health, gut health, and prevention of other common infections.
Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth of "good" bacteria in the intestines, which may help improve immune development and function in the intestinal tract. They also help prevent the growth and attachment of pathogenic bacteria in the intestinal lining¹.
Proteins are important for the development and growth of immune cells and the production of protein compounds that support the immune system. Protein deficiency could result in weaker resistance to infections².
Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin, as well as the linings of the respiratory and digestive tracts. It strengthens immune responses by supporting the growth of immune cells. It makes a child less susceptible to diarrhea and respiratory infections³. It also helps children recover from measles.
Vitamin B Complex has different functions. Vitamins B1, B2 and B6 aid in the growth and function of white blood cells, including the production of antibodies. An adequate amount of Vitamin B12 is important for phagocytes' ability to kill bacteria. Folate (Vitamin B9) decreases the risk of lower respiratory tract infections in young children.
Vitamin C is important for the function of certain white blood cells and wound repair. It also helps maintain lung health and normal function of the airways¹¹. Vitamin C is needed for the proper function of the immune system.
Vitamin D stimulates the development and function of white blood cells to help strengthen immunity¹³.
It may also act as an important immune system regulator¹³.
Vitamin E helps protect cells from oxidative damage during infections and enhances immunity and resistance to disease¹.
Iron plays an essential role in the production of red blood cells, helping prevent anemia¹. It also helps maintain sufficient number of immune cells¹ and decreases the risk of infections in children².
Zinc plays a central role in the growth of cells and tissues, including those of the immune system¹.
It promotes the function of all types of white blood cells¹. It also helps reduce the severity of diarrhea in children¹.
Protecting your child from sickness should certainly be one of your top priorities, especially because children, in addition to not having a fully-developed immune system, are often exploring their surroundings, where infection-causing agents may abound.
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