A good immune system can help to reduce
the number and severity of some infections in children as well as
adults. Some nutrients can have strong immunity enhancing or protective
effects. On the other hand, poor nutrition, as shown by many studies,
can lead to more infections among children.
As children grow and develop, it's
important to ensure that they have adequate intake of important
nutrients that can help build a strong immune system. The system is the
body's defense against infections and diseases.
Nutrients that play a particular role
in immunity and help to protect health include zinc, selenium and
vitamins A, C and E.
Zinc - this trace element is
particularly important for the physical growth of children. However,
some studies have also shown that inadequate zinc can lead to more
infections, as well as impacting on the brain and nervous system.
Selenium - this trace element is a
powerful antioxidant, which can help protect cells from damage,
especially the cells of the immune system. This may help improve
natural defense mechanisms.
Vitamin A - this vitamin is
particularly important for maintaining normal vision, as well as
healthy growth. It also acts as an antioxidant, and can be useful in
maintaining a healthy immune system and preventing certain
Vitamin C - this vitamin must be
regularly provided in the diet, as the body does not store it well.
It is an antioxidant, and also plays a role in immunity. Some
studies have shown that certain vitamin C intakes may help reduce
the severity of infections such as the common cold.
Vitamin E - this vitamin is also
an antioxidant, and adequate intakes are needed for optimal immune
function. Sufficient intakes may help improve the functioning and
performance of the immunity system, which can help protect against
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