By: Mumbua Nzula Nzyoka
The immune system is the first line of defence when fighting off bacteria and viruses and a balanced diet keeps it strong
Schools in Kenya are reopening this week and as such, there is a lot of anxiety around keeping the children healthy and COVID free. According to licensed and registered nutritionist Lucy Chege, an easy way to do just is by making sure your children eat a balanced diet.
She advises that a healthy balanced diet is important when it comes to boosting your kid’s immune system. A healthy immune system protects your body from illness and infection caused by bacteria or viruses.
Here are Lucy’s professional and authentic dietary guidelines on how to maintain a balanced diet and boost your immune system.Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153
Eat fresh Veggies
Make a point of eating fresh vegetables every day. Make sure not to overcook vegetables as it leads to the loss of important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Eat grains and nuts
Incorporate whole grains and nuts into your diet like almonds, coconuts, beans etc
Fruits are important
If you can, eat a fruit every day
Red meat once/twice a week
Limit your red meat intake to once or twice per week, and poultry 2?3 times per week.
Use fresh produce for snacks
Use fresh fruits and raw vegetables for snacks rather than processed foods that are high in sugar, salt, or fat Additionally, avoid irregular snacking.
Choose canned food carefully
When using dried or canned fruits and vegetables, choose varieties without added sugar or salt.
Reduce salt and sodium
Limit your intake of salt and high sodium foods and beverages.
Unsaturated fats as opposed to saturated fats
Consume unsaturated fats (found in avocado, fish, nuts, soy, olive oil, canola, corn oil, and sunflower) rather than saturated fats (found in butter, fatty meat, palm oil, coconut oil and cheese, ghee, and cream).
Drink 8–10 glasses of water every day to help transport nutrients in the blood, get rid of waste and regulate the body temperature.
No soda, juice
Avoid all fizzy, carbonated, concentrated juices, and all drinks which contain added sugars.
Exercise and sleep well
Maintain a healthy lifestyle with exercise, meditation, and regular sleep. Adequate sleep will help to support immune functioning.