According to Ayurveda, the human body comprises physical, mental and emotional aspects. All these aspects are supremely connected. Everyone has a different composition of body, just like everyone has a unique face or unique fingerprints. Let us understand how ayurvedic diet can help in boosting immunity for kids.
Ayurveda states that any physical discomfort, what we most often call a disease, is nothing but an imbalance in the body’s constitution, called Dosha. The disease is rather a body not at ease and begins with a root cause, that is, an imbalance of Doshas.
- Three types of Doshas:
Vata: Vata dosha implies the imbalance of air and space elements in the body. It includes voluntary movements like blinking eyes, breathing, movement of hands and legs.
Pitta: Pitta comprises basic elements of both heat (fire/agni) and moisture (fire/agni). It includes all activities which our body incurs from ingestion of food to metabolism.
Kapha: Kapha contains the elements of earth and water and acts as glue to hold the cells of body together. Movement of assimilated food to different parts of the body falls under the Kapha aspect.
Boosting immunity is not a curative disease. You cannot boost immunity overnight, it’s a long-term health investment. It needs time, patience and mostly immunity-boosting foods supplementing your diet.
- Just like machines break down when they over-work or miss overhauling, similarly, the body also breaks down when there is lack of right fuel and/or lack of activity.
Needless to say, most of us understand immunity as the protection agent of our body. If a foreign infection/ virus enters our body, the immunity system identifies it and begins to fight against it. However, sometimes our body is not correctly able to distinguish between harmful virus and the good virus in our body and it gets confused. In such a case our Immune system begins to attack the body itself.
According to Ayurveda, such scenarios (and diseases) where the immune system attacks the body itself, is a result of heavy imbalance of Doshas. The root cause of this can be attributed to the lifestyle we lead or predominantly the food we eat.
Understanding food for BOOSTING Immunity
On an everyday basis, we need to consume proteins, carbs and fats, as they are the essential macronutrients needed for the functioning of the body. But sadly, 83% of the population lacks meeting their requirement of protein or good fats, as most of the food we consume is carb-heavy.
- In earlier times, food was fresh, wholesome and consumed in its most natural form. There were combinations of foods preferred purely on the basis of health and experience (and are now supported by scientific research). For example, ghee was prepared using fermented curd which retained good bacteria. Whey was made fresh everyday and consumed for protein in early hours (and also to support metabolism, something which is now called the intermittent fasting). Potato was roasted with skin and not boiled or peeled as that results in massive mineral loss. Food and milk was stored in a dark place to secure certain vitamins in wholegrains. Vegetables were paired such as to maximise nutrient absorption.
- In a striking contrast today, there is consumption of processed food or refined ingredients in at least two meals every day.
Foods to BOOST Immunity in child naturally
The food we eat plays a key aspect in determining our overall health and immunity. Adding a variety of immunity booster food for kids in their diet will go a long way in building their immune system. Replacing carb-heavy food with a good balance of nuts, veggies and fruits adds Vitamin A, C, D, E which are high antioxidants and prepare the body to fight infections.
Oranges: Oranges are one of the most easily available foods to increase immunity in child naturally that kids love to eat. They are the best source of Vitamin-C which is known to boost immunity. Just one orange can meet 100% vitamin C requirement for daily nutrition. Guava, Gooseberry (Amla), Garlic are other good sources of this vitamin.
Nuts: Full of Vitamin E, they are a great source of antioxidants that keep body healthy and disease free by neutralising free radicals and reducing inflammation. Study presents that some roasted nuts appear to have an increased antioxidant level compared with raw ones.
Dairy: Dairy products are also a good choice for immunity booster food for kids. Every single cell in the body requires Vitamin D to stay strong and protect against infection. Ghee, cow milk are a good source of this. Body can also produce this through cholesterol exposure to sunlight.
Ayurvedic Herbs TO BOOST IMMUNITY:
Curcumin: A compound found in turmeric, offers therapeutic relief. Turmeric is also rich in vitamin A, Thiamine(B1), Riboflavin (B2) and vitamin C and works as a perfect immunity booster food for kids as well as adults.
Ashwagandha & Brahmi: It improves the body’s defense against disease by improving the body cell immunity. It also possesses antioxidant properties that help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals. Bacosides, the active ingredient in Brahmi can neutralise free radicals and prevent fat molecules from reacting with the free radicals, thereby maintaining high immunity in the body. Read more about the scientific study on immunity here.
Licorice: It contains more than 20 triterpenoids and nearly 300 flavonoids and hence works as a great anti-bacterial remedy. It is a common herb which has been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine for centuries. Read more about its immunity benefits here.
Giloy: Giloy is a shrub and an essential herb in ayurvedic medicines and is used to treat a wide range of health conditions. Giloy contains important plant compounds like terpenoids, alkaloids, lignans, and steroids. Research shows that these compounds have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antidiabetic properties, among other benefits.
How to give bitter Ayurvedic herbs to kids?
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