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Key Nutrients to Boost Your Child’s Immunity

with Rachel Aldridge, Naturopath

The old saying, “An apple a day can keep the doctor away,” may have truth behind it after all. Eating nourishing foods rich in certain vitamins can help to build a child’s immune system and fight off illness. Breast milk is full of the key nutrients and antibodies to build natural immunity but high quality infant formula, that use natural ingredients, can also provide key nutrients to promote happy and healthy babies and toddlers.

I recommend speaking with me in relation to exactly what you or child may need but I find these nutrients really important when it comes to supporting the immune system:

Vitamin D: a strong immune modulator and in Australia many of us are actually Vitamin D deficient! As well as vitamin D synthesis in the skin (from the sun) we can also obtain it from dietary intake – salmon, tuna, cod liver oil and sardines are sources of this nutrient.

Vitamin C: a potent antioxidant and is used up rapidly during an infection. Studies show that regular vitamin C consumption reduces the duration and severity of common cold episodes in children. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruit, rosehips, strawberries, sweet potato, broccoli and blackcurrants.

Zinc: affects multiple aspects of immune function and a clear link has been established between zinc deficiency and an increased susceptibility to infections. Zinc is associated with reduced duration of cold symptoms, decreased severity of symptoms and a reduced incidence of colds in children. Foods high in zinc include red meat, legumes, shellfish, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews and eggs.

 

 

Vitamin A: extremely important in supporting immune health as it helps to maintain the structural and functional integrity of the airways, gut and genitourinary systems. It’s good to remember it is these systems that are our first line of defence against infection. Foods high in vitamin A include liver, cod liver oil, egg yolk, apricots, green leafy vegetables and cheese.

Quercetin: a naturally occurring flavonoid in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, it is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune modulating and antiviral. Research has shown that quercetin can reduce the infectivity of target cells and block viral replication at an early stage of multiplication for several respiratory viruses, as well as reducing the release of histamine in the body, so especially important with allergy reactions and viral infections. Foods high in quercetin include apples, broccoli, citrus fruits, garlic, raspberries, red onions and tomatoes.

 

For mums who are bottle feeding their child or are supplement feeding, it’s worth knowing that goat’s in naturally full of the many nutrients required to build immunity. Goat milk is a natural source of the Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Probiotics & Prebiotics and Magnesium. It is also a rich source of selenium which is a key component in boosting the immune system.

But most importantly, and as we touched on yesterday, goat milk is full of naturally occurring prebiotics, or oligosaccharides, many of which are found in human breast milk. It is these prebiotics that can provide many anti-inflammatory and anti-infection properties that could protect infants and children against gastrointestinal infections[1]

If you have any questions, you can always email the Health Team at LittleOak at hello@thelittleoakcompany.com or get in touch with me directly to book a video consultation for your child by clicking here –  make an appointment today – and together we can get their health and you on the right track.

Stay happy and healthy!
Rachel Aldridge
In Nature’s Hands

www.innatureshands.com.au

[1] https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/all-news/2019/jun/goat-milk-formula-gut

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Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions

The LittleOak Company aims to give accurate, useful, reliable and up-to-date information on baby nutrition of the general nature and may amend the content on this site as required. To the extent permitted by law, The LittleOak Company does not accept any liability or responsibility for claims, resulting from the misinterpretation of the content of this website, which is never intended to disregard, alter or discontinue professional medical advice and/or treatment. If you are ever unsure about your baby's development, concerned about the well-being of your bub or your own health, seek medical advice immediately without delay.

 

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All rights reserved © 2019 The LittleOak Company. Design & Creative Direction by Lafin Design

 

Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions

The LittleOak Company aims to give accurate, useful, reliable and up-to-date information on baby nutrition of the general nature and may amend the content on this site as required. To the extent permitted by law, The LittleOak Company does not accept any liability or responsibility for claims, resulting from the misinterpretation of the content of this website, which is never intended to disregard, alter or discontinue professional medical advice and/or treatment. If you are ever unsure about your baby's development, concerned about the well-being of your bub or your own health, seek medical advice immediately without delay.