Smart Nutrition for Immune Support

Food does more than keep us healthy; it also provides our bodies with the necessary tools to do the same. Good nutrition supports the body’s ability to fight off illness, balance good and bad bacteria, and prevent infection. While simply eating a healthy, balanced baby food diet comprised of all four food groups will definitely keep your baby’s body strong, there are certain foods that provide a special boost of defensive nutrients. These foods will help your baby to have a stronger and more effective immune system.

Immunity Boosting Vitamins

Most people know that vitamin C is a powerful fighter against illness. It increases the number of white blood cells, which are vital to fighting off infections and also helps your body create important antibodies. Making sure your baby is getting enough vitamin C can help prevent illness and also shorten those that can’t be avoided. Citrus fruits are great sources of vitamin C, but the acidity might be hard on your baby’s stomach. Choose other options that are also full of vitamin C such as papaya, kiwi, cantaloupe and strawberries.

Although it isn’t as well known as vitamin C, Vitamin E is also an important immunity booster that can keep your baby healthy. Vitamin E helps your body to create the cells that fight germs and even cancer. Vitamin E is found in grains, nuts and vegetable oils. Almonds are a great sources, so consider trading your peanut butter for almond butter – although peanut butter provides a good dose of vitamin E too. Another excellent source that is perfect for babies is avocado.

Other Antioxidants

In addition to vitamins E and C, which are both antioxidants, there is another powerful antioxidant that can provide an incredible boost to your baby’s natural defenses against illness. A group of phytonutrients known as caretenoids, specifically beta-carotene, are incredible immunity boosters. Beta-carotene helps the production of those important illness-fighting cells, as well as destroying free radicals, which can lead to all kinds of problems including cancer.

The body also uses beta-carotene to create vitamin A, another great immune boosting vitamin. All of the caretenoids in this family of nutrients have similar protective effects on the body and are thought to be one of the best cancer fighters around. Look to foods like carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

Omega-3 fatty Acids

There has been a great deal of buzz around these essential fatty acids in recent years for good reason. Not only are they great for your heart, they also have immune boosting powers as well. Kids who get enough omega-3’s generally get fewer respiratory infections than those who don’t. Get these healthy fats in foods like fish and nuts. Almonds are on the best nut sources of omega-3’s, which makes another argument for almond butter as a peanut butter substitute. When choosing fish, look to choices like salmon, which is high in omega-3’s while low in mercury, which can be a danger in some fish sources.

The right baby foods really can make a difference in how often your child gets sick as well as the duration of illness. And it’s not just minor illnesses you will be helping your baby to avoid, but also far more serious problems both now and later in life. Supporting the body’s natural defenses against infection with these incredible immune boosters will keep your baby healthy and happy for a long time.

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