The immune system is the defense mechanism of our body against external infections, whether viral or bacterial. Little by little and from birth, a reference library is being formed that makes it possible to distinguish what is a pathogen from what is not, and contains information on how to combat them.
In children, especially at an early age, the immune system is still developing, that is, it has a lot to learn, because it has not been in contact with the vast majority of infectious agents. Although this learning period is unavoidable,if there are ways through diet to help strengthen the immune system and to function to its full potential, with a good attack army and effective tactics to eliminate the organisms that cause the infection. These are foods that boost the immune system in children.
- Vitamin C It is one of the most studied in conjunction with the immune system, and its effects are very interesting. This vitamin, present mainly in green leafy fruits and vegetables, enhances the production of white blood cells and antibodies, in addition to increasing the levels of cytokines that increase protection against viral infections. It also boosts HDL cholesterol over LDL, reducing the accumulation of fat in the arteries and protecting against hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, and being an antioxidant, it also protects against numerous types of cancer.
- Despite not being so studied, the Vitamin E it is even more important than vitamin C in terms of its effect on the immune system. This vitamin stimulates the production of cells responsible for detecting and destroying not only pathogens but also cancer cells, in addition to enhancing the creation of B lymphocytes, responsible for producing antibodies. Vitamin E is easily found in the olive oil, oily fish, nuts and seeds.
- Carotenoids they are another antioxidant, along with vitamins C and E, that protect against free radicals and cellular aging. In addition to increasing the army of T lymphocytes, it seems to have been shown that, in the presence of carotenoids, they increase their ability to perform their attack functions, in addition to stimulating the production of macrophages, which are responsible for eliminating pathogens. Carotenoids are found in carrots, peaches and apricots, tomato and red pepper, in addition to green leafy vegetables.
- Zinc it participates in the formation of white blood cells, in addition to enhancing its aggressiveness against infectious agents. In the case of zinc, research has shown that its external supplementation does not perform the same function but quite the opposite, so the contribution of foods that contain it, such as red meat, seafood, and whole grains it is necessary to strengthen the immune system.
- Selenium it stimulates the mobilization of T lymphocytes and their action against pathogens and even cancer cells. It is mainly found in shellfish, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
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