Support Your Child’s Immunity With Right Nutrition | Unilever Horlicks
Support Your Child’s Immunity With Right Nutrition
It seems like yesterday when you held the apple of your eye in your arms for the first time. In just a few years, your child is not just doing things independently but is also self-driven and determined to succeed, be it in the classroom or in the playground.
But there are times when factors such as environmental pollution, lack of proper diet and exposure to germs play spoilsport and take a toll on your child’s ability to fight infections, in other words weaken their immune system. This is when your child is most vulnerable and needs your tender love and care, along with the right nutrition to support their immunity.
Immunity- The Science Behind It1
Immunity is the body’s ability to guard against external infection causing agents like bacteria, virus or other disease causing agents called antigens. These foreign agents enter the body, and are initially blocked by the protective layers of the skin and mucosa. Whether the child will become a victim to disease causing agents if they overcome the initial resistance offered by physical barriers, depends on how strong their immune system is.
When antigens enter the body, immune cells called T – cells and B – Cells present in the blood streams which produce antibodies and enzymes fight these foreign agents, killing them. However, a regular attack of these foreign agents on our body weakens these T–cells and B–cells, and therefore the immune system. This is where the role of good nutrition comes in.
Role of Nutrition
Adequate nutrition intake aids the immune cells T cells and B cells to keep producing antigen fighting substances and help in cell multiplication1.
Micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, iron, copper, and vitamins A, C, D, E, B-6, B-12 and folic acid have a significant impact on the immune response2. These are essential for the body as they aid in the division and proliferation of immune cells and production of antibodies. Healthy immune system cells strengthen the immune system, turning it into a formidable opponent for disease causing antigens.
Your child’s growth needs and rapidly developing cognitive skills calls for right nutrient intake. In this competitive world, mothers can no more take a back seat and let things happen as they do. As mothers you have to be mindful that for your child eating food should not just be about satisfying hunger, but should be a means to build a strong immune system, maximize growth and ensure outstanding performance in all spheres of life.