As kids grow, it is vital to get sufficient nutrients to ensure optimal health. Simone Tan, Pharmacist of Essentials Pharmacy and General Manager of HST Medical, shares with us the essential vitamins and minerals kids need and what foods can they get these nutrients from.
Whenever your kid starts sniffing, shivering, and coughing with a bout of flu, your heart sinks.
Flu is the perennial “bug” that will persist to the end of time, and so we will need to deal with it for the long haul. Viruses are everywhere, and unless we live in a bubble, we cannot avoid contact with viruses, especially the flu viruses. There is no cure for the flu, only symptomatic relief. Thus, the best way forward is to strengthen your kid’s immunity, through a balanced diet. These essential nutrients will build up your kids’ immune system, thereby reducing their chances of falling sick. If they do fall sick, a strong immune system reduces the severity of symptoms and the time to get well.
Vitamins A, B6, C, and E, minerals such as zinc and iron, play roles in keeping the immune system in good condition.
The most commonly known immunity boosting vitamin is Vitamin C, which can be found mostly in fruits such as orange, papaya and kiwi, and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and capsicums. Vitamin C is essential for the child’s immunity system, as well as helping to repair tissue, form collagen fibres, maintain healthy skin and bones.
Another important antioxidant is Vitamin E, which helps the body fight off infections by protecting cell membranes. Such a vitamin can be found in nuts, seeds and eggs.
Vitamin B6 is vital in supporting the biochemical reactions in the immune system. This vitamin can be found in chicken, salmon, tuna, green vegetables, and chickpeas.
Vitamin A protects the body from infections by keeping skin and mucous membranes (mouth, respiratory tract, and intestinal lining) in good condition, which are our first line of defence against diseases. Yellow and orange vegetables such as carrots and pumpkins, sweet potatoes, apricots, eggs and spinach are rich in Vitamin A.
Zinc is an immunity-boosting mineral, found in red meat such as beef, milk, and baked beans.
Iron is the foundation of our blood, and is critical for activating and propagating immune cells. Rich sources of iron include beef, clams, mussels, and shrimp. Examples of good vegetarian sources of iron are spinach, tuna, lentils, kidney beans, soya beans, black beans, pumpkin seed, quinoa, broccoli, and tofu.
Besides consuming a healthy mix of vitamins and minerals, staying hydrated is important as well. A hydrated body will be better equipped to produce lymph. This carries white blood cells and other immune system cells, to maintain a healthy immune system.
The best way to get your nutrients is by eating a healthy and balanced diet. If necessary, vitamin and mineral supplements come in handy and Zoo-Vite vitamins from HST Medical are 100% natural, and great for the little ones.